Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Way Kids Think…

Kids say the darndest things!

I was having a conversation with a friend of mine on the phone (yes the phone, you all remember what that is?) and we were having a few laughs as I reminisced over some things my kids said when they were very young. I thought it would be fun to share them with you because I woke up thinking about these memories this morning.

When my older daughter was four, she used to run ahead of me on the sidewalk on the walk home from pre-k. I called her back to me many times and told her to hold my hand. The reason being is that the block was full of driveways and I was afraid if someone decided to pull out they might not see her. I tried to explain the dangers of her frolicking down a block full of driveways. I said to her, “Do you know what can happen if you get run over?” She looked up at me with her beautiful, innocent face and said matter of factly, “Yeah, I’ll get flattened.” Instantly, the images of many cartoon characters being “flattened” by vehicles came flashing to mind. Of course in the cartoons they just pop right back up and everything is fine. Needless to say we had a little chat about this mistaken impression of hers.

My younger daughter and I used to work on many little activities when her sister was in school. I created a weather wheel, similar to the face of a clock, for her and every day we discussed the weather and she would place the “hands” to the words and pictures indicating the weather of the day after we went outside and had a look. One day I said to her, “Look at the sky, it’s partly cloudy.” she looked up at me and said, “I see the cloudy, but show me the partly mom.” Sigh. I took her inside the house and drew some shapes and colored half the circle red, half the square green and half the triangle yellow. Then I explained how each of the shares was “partly” red, green and yellow and the idea clicked.

One day I was talking to my older daughter about stranger danger when she was in elementary school. I tried to explain to her that someone who is out to hurt children isn’t going to look any different than anyone else. In fact, someone might dress in a business suit and have a briefcase and walk into her school and ask her for directions. My daughter was always too smart for her own good. She looked at me and said she would know a bad stranger from a good stranger, she had a fool proof test. I said “Oh you do? Tell me what it is.” She said, “I’ll just ask them their name and if they hesitate I’ll know they are lying and they are bad people.” I said, “Really? I could make up a dozen names right now for myself, so let’s test this little theory of yours. Ask me my name.” She asked me my name and I replied without skipping a beat “Cynthia Baker.” She looked stunned. I said keep asking me and I will keep answering different names, it’s not a good test. But, that was the only way to convince her she couldn’t weed out the bad people from the good people.

One day I was in the kitchen washing dishes while the girls, ages 3 and 8 months, were in the living room watching their morning programs. Suddenly I hear my three year old yelling, “Mom, come quick, she’s killing me!” I stopped what I was doing, not being able to imagine how an eight month old could kill a three year old. I run into the living room to see that my baby had crawled on top of her older sister and plopped there, pinning her down to the floor and couch, so she couldn’t move. I broke out laughing as I removed the baby from her  sister and set her aside. The problem was that my three year old was petite and weighed about the same as my eight month old butterball, whose weight was more concentrated. It was really a hysterical sight.

I remember the day I brought my second baby daughter home. My older daughter was close to three and we had prepared her for the arrival of her new sister…or so we thought. We talked about the “baby,” we named the baby, we got baby things ready and finally the baby came. I put her down in the cradle and my older daughter went over to look at her sleeping. The baby slept for quite a while. I suspect she had her nights and days mixed up. Finally, my older daughter said, “Is that all she is gonna do? Sleep?” It was then that it registered with me that we had not done such a good job preparing my daughter for her little sister. I think she was expecting an instant playmate who would be ready to play Barbie dolls and instead she got this little sleeping, pooping, eating, crying baby doll that took up mommy’s time and attention. It all worked out, but if you are having a baby and need to prepare an older sibling, do a better job of it than I did.

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