A few months ago, I wrote an entry following my conversations with my nephew, MP (The Light Side). I babysit him all day on Tuesdays and Wednesdays while my brother-in-law and sister-in-law work. We have a great time together and I am very lucky to be able to spend as much time with him as I do. My son goes with me to my sister-in-law's house and it is great for the two little cousins to spend so much time together.
I have the funniest conversations with MP. Small children have a way of putting things simply and in perspective for you. Children are fascinated by so much, especially the things we, as adults, started taking for granted years ago. MP's sweet, round face lights up for everything from watermelon, cheese sticks, and popsicles, to bugs (yuck!), bubbles (sticky!), and plastic chattering teeth (you know, the plastic teeth that chatter and move across the floor when you wind them up? I have to admit, I kinda like those too.).
Well, we've had some more talks lately and I thought I would share them with you again.
Three-year olds are straight-forward with language and naturally have not mastered slang, lingo, idioms, or informal expressions. I sometimes forget that when talking to MP.
One afternoon a few weeks ago, he was swinging a Star Wars lightsaber around the living room. So I said, "MP, I like your lightsaber!" And he said, shaking his head, "It's not a lifesaver, it's a sword." If he knew what "Duh!" meant I'm sure he would have said that to me next. So I said, "No, it's a lightsaBER. Like the kind they use in the movie, Star Wars. Star Wars is my favorite movie!" (which is true, it really is) So he said, even though to my knowledge he has never seen Star Wars, "Star Wars is my favorite movie, too!" So I said, "Wow! We both have good taste!"
This is where he got confused. He just stared at me for a few seconds and said, "Aunt Amy, we don't eat it." Again, insert "Duh!"
I said, "When someone says someone has good taste, it isn't the same kind of tasting that we do when we are eating food. 'Having good taste' means that the things we like are really cool!"
He just looked at me like he felt sorry for me and my misinterpretation of the English language and said, "Aunt Amy, but we still don't eat it."
I gave up. "That's true," I said. "We don't eat it."
Another afternoon, we were sitting at his toddler table for snack time, discussing his friend, who we will call "JJ". I also watch JJ, a precious 3-yr old boy with curly blonde hair, on Tuesday mornings and JJ had just left for the day.
I asked MP, "Hey buddy, did you have fun with JJ today?"
"Yes," he said with a mouth full of goldfish.
"Yeah, JJ is a pretty cool kat, isn't he?"
MP swallowed, looked up at me, frowned, and said with angry conviction, "Aunt Amy, don't call him a cat!!! That's not very nice!!!"
I tried to explain what I meant and he just kept repeating, "Don't call him a cat!! That is mean!!!"
How do I argue with that? In the way that he understands language so far, he is right. Calling someone a name is mean.
I absolutely love how he makes me see things from a simpler perspective. Life is simple. Adults are the ones who make it difficult.
Lately, he has been learning about the difference between boys and girls and he is very anxious to share his knowledge. Several times he has pulled down his pants to show me his big boy underwear and once pulled them down and said, "Look Aunt Amy! I have a weiner!" This past Tuesday, we were standing in the dining room and he turned around, slapped his butt and said, "Do you think I have a pretty cool bootie?"
I had no idea what to say.
Yesterday, I was reading him a book before his nap. It was an alphabet book and the word for the letter "U" was "udder" with a picture of a cow.
I said, "Look at the cow, MP! Cows have udders and milk comes out of the udders."
He again shook his head and said, "No, cows have boobies."
Pause to stifle laughter.
"Well, udders are like boobies because milk comes out of them both, but on a cow, they are called udders."
He paused and thought about it.
"Oh. Cows have udders." He thought about it some more and then...a revelation!
"Oh, cows have udders! Just like you, Aunt Amy!"
Wait. Did he just call me a cow?