When my daughter was born, I purchased a book that I will use to keep record of clever or priceless things she says. (I tend to record too much. In addition to the basic baby book and a million videos and pictures, I have all the food she ate her first year as well as a book with every gift she has received. Well, most. Sometimes I forget.) Throughout the years I have savored the ideas that have come out of mouths of young minds. The honesty. The connections they make. ("There's a spider in there. Oh, THAT must be the water spout"). The joy. The misunderstandings.
When I was pregnant, I had a four year old tell me about labor.
Four Year Old: "When you have the baby, they will cut you open, take the baby out, and stitch you back up."
Me: "I really hope not!"
Four Year Old: with hands on hips "Well, then! You are going to have to PUSH it out and THAT is going to HURT!"
And this topic came up a few times! She was very interested in my pregnancy. Such genuine questions and concerns. She would make sure I wasn't squishing the baby. And one time she asked me if I had to eat baby food in order to feed the baby inside me. When I finally gave birth it was obvious that even though she insisted pushing would hurt, she still didn't fathom the process (thankfully). She stared at tired me in my hospital bed and when asked what was wrong she questioned, "I don't get it. How did you get her out?" Silence. With permission, my mom informed her she came out where I went pee. That curious little tot looked around the room at us one by one in disbelief, waiting for someone to say she was joking (something she hears all the time due to her silly grandpa, who is my husband), but each person assured her it was true. She still didn't believe it. We don't believe it either.
My darling niece has said some adorable things as well. She loves my "tooth jewelry". A reminder that braces don't look bad to everyone. One day she made me laugh when she got mad at my husband because he was driving and she was trying to do something in the back seat. "Uncle! Stop turning! Just drive straight". Totally possible in the city. I think it was the same day he took a wrong turn at a busy intersection and mumbled, "Dumb Ass". Later we heard her in the back seat exclaiming, "Damas, damas, damas". He was devastated and thought he had taught her something inappropriate while she was in our care. I looked back and she was playing with a balloon monkey and his "damas". Damas was her word for "bananas". All was well.
I considered putting some of my 16 month old's utterings in her book already. Like her cute toddler words. She at first called her belly her "baby". Watching snow fall as we got out of the truck, she declared, "Bubbles!" in the elated tone she always uses in the tub (buboools!). She frequently says, "I YOU" which is I love you. Especially if she sees a heart. And I love how she calls a fork a "book" even though a book is also a "book".
As her mind expands, she learns to classify things. Animals were at first a kitty or a dog and if neither of those sufficed they were a duck. Though sometimes, understandably, a small dog was a kitty. Now, it has expanded to include "bee" and "fish" (thanks to our short-lived attempt to own a goldfish). Anything resembling a bear is "bear". An animal not categorized as any of these previous mammals is a "tiger". The synapses are developing.
And so is my excitement. I love every day that I get to facilitate her exploring. And she shows me what is in my surroundings, too (I have never spent so much investigative time with sewer drains. Well, previously I never spent any time with sewer drains). Another thing I can record-- the discoveries I see through my little enlightenment-facilitator. What a blessing from God she has been.