My Kid Is Smarter Than Your Kid

Noah, my three-year-old son, showed off his smarts a couple times today.

Starting back when Paige and I were first married, we’d do this horribly cutesy thing I only share because it relates to today’s story. When one of us would say, “I love you,” the other would reply, “I love you more.”

“I love you more.”

“No, I love you more.”

And back and forth it would go. These, it turns out, are the heady debates of a pair of philosophy majors. We never did this in public, and any observer would have been forgiven for throwing up a little bit. I’m embarrassed to share it now. But it’s our thing, and I’ll cop to it.

Today, Noah climbed onto our bed to wake me up (Paige was already up and about) and started an “I love you” war, which consists of “I love you”s which get progressively louder until we’re shouting them at each other. Falling into an old habit, I said (no, shouted), “I love you more!”

“I love you more!” he replied.

“No, I love you more,” I corrected.

“I love you more, too.”

Why, in almost nine years of marriage, did neither of us think of that one?

This evening he surprised us again. Noah prefers for his mother to read to him while he goes to sleep. I remember more than a few “chopped-liver” moments, when he politely asked me to leave the room so his mommy could put him to bed. Tonight, after his bath, I picked him up, carried him into his room, helped him climb into his PJs, and then flew him out to the living room to get his favorite pillow. When we came back, Paige had dimmed the lights and was preparing the blankets.

“Would you like Mommy or Daddy to put you to bed tonight?” I asked him.

Noah looked down at Paige, already climbing into her position on his bed, then he stared off into the distance, thinking really hard. For a moment, both Paige and I thought he just might surprise us and choose me tonight.

Finally, he spoke.

“I want Daddy and Noah to go out to the living room. Mommy can go to bed.”