I am learning that there comes a point in your children’s lives where they start taking things they hear and experience outside of what you thought of as their sphere of influence, and use them in everyday conversation. I realized this when our four-year-old son started blaming certain mishaps on “The Tricky Leprechaun.” I have no idea where he heard about this “Tricky Leprechaun.” It’s not anything my wife and I have ever brought up, it’s not a story we’ve read to him, or in any of the cartoons he watches. But lately, when we’ve asked things like who made a given mess, or who dropped something, he’ll answer “The Tricky Leprechaun!” when it was clearly him (As opposed to one of us or one of the cats—I know there’re no leprechauns, dammit.) He’s even taken to blaming the Tricky Leprechaun for dropping paper towel on the bathroom floor at his preschool.
What’s amusing, to me, is that everyone seems to humor him when he invokes the Tricky Leprechaun. “Haha, that crazy leprechaun,” we say, probably because it’s kind of a funny “kid thing” to say. In essence, it’s been kind of a “get out of jail free card” for him. Which is kind of amazing, really, given that it’s a clearly false statement. I’m not sure which has me more annoyed: the fact that Joey gets away with it—or the fact that I can’t. I just can’t see that strategy working out in real life:
MANAGING PARTNER: Did we really lose the appeal in the Smith case?
ME: It, uh… It was, the ummm… It was the Tricky Leprechaun.
MP: Shit! That goddamn leprechaun fucks us every time! Well, what can you do, right?
Although, I have to admit that that would be pretty cool…