Conversations with the Kiddies

Years ago, long before I married and became a mother myself, I loved hearing tidbits of conversation from my married friends with children. One, whose father was a minister, tells about her very young nephew sneaking away from church nursery school and walking into the church wearing his baseball cap turned backwards and dragging a baseball bat. Completely nonplussed by the amused congregation around him, nor the fact that grandpa was talking to somebody real loud from the pulpit, he says in his loudest voice, “C’mon Uncle T.J.! Let’s go play some baseball!”


The same friend, years later, had her own daughter who decided, I suppose from hearing the adults around talk about colds “going down into the chest,” etc., decided that the cold she had would soon go away. She had figured it all out: it had first been in her nose, then it went down into her chest…when it got to her feet, it would soon go away through her toes and out beneath the toenails.


Our own granddaughter likes to spend a little “talk” time with mommy as part of her bedtime routine. This exchange was between mommy and daughter (GdV or granddaughter Vimmy who just turned two in late August) and here’s how it went:  

GdV: I like to ride ponies…

Mommy: when I was little like you, I liked to ride ponies too.

GdV: [pause…] you can still ride ponies when you are big. 

GdV: I ate all the marshpillows at school.

Mommy: yup. You like to eat, don’t you.

Now, it’s not clear to me if the following exchange was really about THAT night’s noodles at dinner. It seems to me to be a fair reconstruction of a scene from our house a couple of weeks back when we were overnighting with them, that–from the sound of this conversation–made such an impact that she “learned” from it! I’d served dinner early because our 5-year-old grandson had soccer practice and I wanted him to have eaten his dinner before all those after soccer treats.

We withheld additional snacks (they’d had them at school before we picked them up), including their favorite M&Ms they look forward to at our house, until AFTER dinner. The older one, 5-year-old Thomas, finally satisfied our quota, but the 2-year-old balked. She wanted chocolate for dinner! Either the dark-chocolate mint she’d confiscated from the kitchen countertop while dinner was being prepared and wouldn’t let go, or M&Ms. But I insisted, no candy until after you eat dinner. Since I can be as stubborn as she, it soon became clear as she watched her brother dig into his chocolates that maybe she’d better comply. She ate the noodles I hand-fed her (normally she feeds herself quite well), and just before the last bite, she burped so loud that I felt a little ashamed having forced her so hard. So I threw part of the rest of the meal away, relented and gave her the candy she’d been promised IF she ate. Both Grampa and I have trouble saying no to her!

GdV: tonight I ate NOODLES (yelling) for dinner. I eat NOODLES. I throw away some noodles in the trash and then I get CHOCOLATE.


2 thoughts on “Conversations with the Kiddies

  1. So, i must admit, she was talking about THAT night, when she herself threw noodles in the trash and got chocolate; so you can toss that grandmotherly guilt right out.

    Here’s something i found on my laptop while working last night, from her older brother a while back – i think he must have been about 4 or so as the file it was in was created about 1 year ago:

    Thomas: our planet is a big giant rock. How did they get our planet up there?

    Monisha: You mean in outer space? Well, the sun kind of holds our planet in place in outer space. It uses gravity, the same thing that makes us stay on the earth.

    Thomas: but gravity is when things fall down.

    Monisha: yeah, you know how when something falls, gravity is what pulls it down; we can’t see it, but we call it gravity.

    Thomas: I usually call that an avalanche.

  2. OMG!!! Ben and I taught him about gravity a long time ago–that year that we were both there for thanksgiving!! I remember we taught him gravity and hibernation, and everytime we’d say “gravity,” he’d say, “Yeah, an avalanche!”

    I think it’s funny how everything that happens/everything somebody tells them eventually goes in the ear and comes out slightly mangled–like a game of telephone. And I also think it’s funny that all of us adults feel so proud and flattered when they say something that “we” taught them.

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