Clean the butterfly
Mom: "One, two."
Beth: [age 3] "Buckle my shoe!"
Mom: "Three, four."
Beth: "Shut the door!"
Mom: "Five, six!"
Beth: "Pick up sticks!"
Mom: "Seven, eight!"
Beth: "Clean the butterfly!"
Beth: "I said, clean the butterfly!"
Mom: "Nine, ten?"
Beth: "Clean the butterfly!"
Mom: "You're silly!"
Beth: "That's me!"
Luke: [age 7] "Me and [L...] were talking on the bus and thought it would be really funny if instead of a /bus/ driver we had a /butt/ driver. So instead of a big yellow van, we all had to ride around in the crack of a giant rubber butt with wheels. You'd have to grab some toilet paper when you climbed on just so you'd have something clean to sit on. And instead of a horn, the butt driver would have a giant fart button. You'd have to pick your seat carefully so you weren't too close to the fart, or it would shoot you right out of the butt bus."
Me: "That's pretty gross."
Luke: "Yeah, but it's funny."
Me: "Did you talk about anything else on the bus?"
Luke: "No. It's pretty much butts, butts, butts all day long."
I can't wait to be a grown-up!
Beth: [age 3] "I can't wait to be a grown-up!"
Me: "Don't rush it, sweetheart. Try to enjoy being a kid."
Beth: "But I really want to be a grown-up."
Me: "What kind of grown-up do you want to be?"
Beth: "I want to be whatever is good for my family."
Me: "That's the best idea I've ever heard."
Beth: "I want to have a good job too."
Me: "Is there a kind of job you want to do?"
Beth: "I want to be a marine biologist. But you have to go to school to be a marine biologist. So first I have to go to school, then I become a grown-up, then I can be a marine biologist."
Me: "Well, you have to go to school no matter what, to learn all kinds of things that help make you a better person. But you can start studying fish and science a long time before you grow up."
Beth: "Okay. But I still want to be a grown-up."
Me: "You will be. But for now, just be the best Beth you can be."
Beth: "I'm already doing that!"
I'm a tough princess
[Scene: Beth, age 3, approaches me with a fierce scowl on her face]
Me: "What's wrong? Why do you look so angry?"
Beth: [gruffly] "I'm not angry. I'm tough. I'm a tough princess."
Me: "Uh-oh. Are you going to be tough with me?"
Beth: "Maybe. I'm a tough princess. Even my butterflies are tough."
Me: "Tough butterflies? I don't have any of those. Should I get some?"
Beth: "If you want. But my butterflies can beat up your butterflies."
I send myself as sparkles
Beth: [age 3] "Mommy, I know you need help at work. I send you help every day."
Mom: "That's good, because I need it. But I wish I could spend the day with you instead."
Beth: "I am at work with you! I send myself to help you."
Mom: "You do? How come I don't see you?"
Beth: "Oh, you don't see me like this. I send myself as sparkles."
Explain kamuka again
Mom: "Explain 'kamuka' again."
Beth: [age 3] "Leaves and chicken butts!"
Mom: "Really? Kamuka is leaves and chicken butts?"
Beth: "No, but I don't want to tell you the truth."
Mom: "Could you please stop shaking your water bottle? You're not doing anything wrong. I just have a headache and the noise of the ice rattling around is pretty loud."
Luke: [age 7] "I can't help it. It's just one of my... bottle-y functions."
Mom: "Oh, that was bad."
Luke: "C'mon, it was funny."
Pick a finger
Beth: [age 3, stretching out her hand and fingers] "One, two, three, four, five. Pick a finger, Daddy."
Me: "I'll take this one." [taps index finger] "What does this one mean?"
Beth: "That one means we should go out to breakfast."
Me: "Hmm. What do all the other fingers mean?"
Beth: "The other fingers mean, 'pick a different finger'."
Me: "It's time to leave, sweetheart."
Beth: [age 3] "But I don't want to leave the beach!"
Me: "I know. We can come back sometime."
Beth: "Let me just say goodbye."
Me: "To the beach? Okay, let's say goodbye. Goodbye beach!"
Beth: [waving] "Goodbye beach! Goodbye sand! Goodbye birds! Goodbye buildings! Goodbye seaweed! Goodbye water! Goodbye ocean! Goodbye waves! Goodbye shells! Goodbye sticks!"
Me: "Okay, let's go."
Beth: "Wait, I'm not done. Goodbye crab shells! Goodbye oysters! Goodbye rocks! Goodbye grass! Goodbye houses! Goodbye little dog running around! Goodbye kite! Goodbye garbage washing up on the beach! Goodbye signs!"
Me: "You said goodbye to the garbage?"
Me: "All right. Are you done now?"
Beth: "Not yet. Goodbye clouds! Goodbye sky! Goodbye sun! Goodbye sparkles in the sand! Goodbye sandpuffs!"
Me: "Sandpuffs? What are those?"
Beth: "Those are the little piles of sand you make behind your feet when you're walking. Goodbye sea foam bubbles washing up in the waves! Goodbye people doing things! Goodbye little boy with a shovel! Goodbye mommies and daddies! Goodbye little pebbles! Goodbye big dog! Goodbye boat!"
Me: "I think you're done now."
Beth: "Oh no, not yet."
Me: "Oh yes."
And then your butt fell off?
Luke: [age 7] "You know [A...] at school? He was telling us stories today about stuff he did on vacation."
Me: "Oh? Anything interesting?"
Luke: "Well, every minute or two I kept interrupting him to ask, 'And then your butt fell off?' Like, he talked about this hike up a mountain, and just when he was getting to the top of the mountain, I said, 'And then your butt fell off?'"
Me: "How many times did you interrupt him?"
Luke: "I don't know. Probably fifty times."
Me: "And what did [A...] do?"
Luke: "He kept telling me to shut up... but he couldn't stop laughing."
Me: "It does sound pretty funny."
Luke: "Can I do that to you?"
Luke: "And then your butt fell off?"
Beth: [age 3] "It would be weird if I had three legs."
Me: "Yes, that would be weird. How would you walk?"
Beth: "I would only walk on two legs. The other leg would be for sliding on down hills or resting on when I got tired."
Me: "What if you had four legs?"
Beth: "Then I'd be a spider."
Me: "Actually I think spiders have eight legs."
Beth: "Not if you pull some of them off."
Link: The First Sex Talk
I know this conversation is coming soon for Luke, so I am both amused and terrified by this report from discoballdad: He’s only 8…the sex conversation(s) should be years away…right? Nope, sorry pops…this is 2012, where even in our perfect little town in the green mountains the kids are growing up too damn fast. (In grumpy old man voice) Hell, when I was a kid…(no, I kid..I actually DID grow up...
Luke: [age 7] "I know this looks dangerous, Dad, but don't worry: it's my kind of dangerous."
I turned the dog into a girl
Beth: [age 3] "Daddy, look at the dog."
Me: "What about him?"
Beth: "I put sparkles all over."
Me: [looks] "Hmm. I do see a few sparkles on him."
Beth: "Not 'him', Daddy. I turned the dog into a girl."
Me: "Really? How did you do that?"
Beth: "I'm a Life Princess. I can do things like that."
Me: "I don't know if the dog really appreciates being turned into a girl."
Beth: "I made him fly up into the sky too."
Me: "Wow, really? When did you do that?"
Beth: "When I was a Air Princess. I can change what kind of princess I am."
Me: "So you can make the dog fly?"
Beth: "Yes. I just -- whooosh -- made him rise up in the air. And then he put his paws out and flew around. And then -- whoosh -- I made him rise back down."
Me: "'Him'? I thought you turned him into a girl."
Beth: "I just changed him back."
[Scene: Beth, age 3, is slowly moving about the room, holding a magic wand in one hand and making large, sweeping gestures with her arms; then Luke, age 7, charges into the room with a pair of toy swords]
Luke: "Beth! C'mon, let's swordfight!"
Beth: "No, Luke. I am making rainbows right now."
Luke: "Well, hurry up. I want to fight."
Beth: "We can fight when I'm done making rainbows."
Luke: "Fine. You have two minutes! That's all!"
Beth: "No, Luke! I need more than two minutes. You can't rush the rainbows!"
I like buying stuff
Luke: [age 7] "It seems like everybody, and I mean really almost everybody I know at school, has an iPod Touch. Even [A...] has one and he's only five years old."
Me: "Really? [A...] has one?!"
Luke: "Yeah. It's got this big red rubber case on it so it doesn't break if he drops it. Except he already dropped it and the screen is cracked. But he still plays with it. He's got all these games that he plays on the bus."
Me: "It seems really crazy to give an iPod Touch to a five-year-old."
Luke: "Yeah, but it's kinda cool too."
Me: "Are you jealous of the other kids?"
Luke: "Yeah. A little. I wish I had one."
Me: "You could save up your chore money and buy one yourself."
Luke: "How much are they?"
Me: "I think the cheapest one is $180."
Luke: "That's only $30 more than my DSi."
Me: "Right. And you saved up for that. You've got more chores now so I bet if you do all your chores, save all your money, save whatever you get for Easter... you'll be able to buy your own iPod Touch in a few months."
Luke: "And I'm selling stuff on eBay too."
Me: "Right. And if you save up for it then I'll buy you the case and some games for it, like I did with the DS."
Luke: "There's only one problem."
Me: "What's that?"
Luke: "I like buying stuff when I see cool toys in the store!"
Me: "You'll have to resist that urge."
Luke: "I need you to help me with that. If I want to buy something you gotta convince me to put it back. Otherwise I'll never save up."
Me: "Even a Skylander?"
Me: "And you won't argue with me?"
Luke: "Oh, I didn't say THAT. Just... remind me about the iPod Touch."
There are stories everywhere
Beth: [age 3] "I'd like to read this to you."
Me: "Go ahead."
Beth: "It's a story. It says, 'And the Frenchman was very sad, because his bird had flown away, and he could not find it.'"
Me: "You read all that?"
Me: "But you're holding a Target shopping bag. I don't see any of those words on there."
Beth: "Daddy, there are stories everywhere. You just don't know how to read like I do."
Songs of the Boy, Part 4
More improvised song lyrics from Luke, age 7. (also see 1, 2, 3) Typically these were repeated multiple times. Any song involving farting or poop is likely to have been sung at the top of his lungs while he was sitting on the toilet. Yeah, yeah, nah, nah, I call my daddy dada / I don’t want to stop now to get my data. I’m the super pooper and nobody can make me stop! I can do...
Beth: [age 3] "Chacka wacka kacka!"
Me: "What does that mean?"
Beth: "It means KAMUKA!"
Me: "Oh no, not that again. What does kamuka mean?"
Beth: "I don't know!"
Me: "Really? I thought it had something to do with a turtle, or a blind guy, or something."
Beth: "It means CHICKEN FEATHERS!"
Me: "Chicken feathers?!"
Beth: "Just kidding! Nobody knows what kamuka means!"
Me: "Not even you?"
Beth: "It means chacka wacka, chawacka maKACKA!"
Me: "Next week I've got to go to on a trip."
Luke: [age 7] "Where?"
Me: "To a meeting in D.C. I'll be gone for the day."
Luke: "You should just make a robot that looks like you, and send that instead. You could make it act just like you, with remote control voice activation so you can speak into a microphone and make it talk and move."
Me: "I don't know if there is enough time to build that before I go."
Luke: "You'd have to make it really realistic though. Like, what if it gets in an accident and has to go to the doctor's office? You would have to make it so it would trick the doctor too."
Me: "I'm guessing you don't want me to go."
Luke: "No, I don't."
Me: "Maybe I should make that robot and leave it here with you, while I go on my trip."
Luke: "Oh, I would know the difference."
Me: "If it can trick a doctor, it might trick you too."
Luke: "Nah. Besides, the people at the meeting would think it was weird if you were saying things into a microphone to other people who weren't there."
Me: "You've thought of everything, huh?"
Luke: "I always do."
Do you want me to sit on her face?
[Scene: Beth, age 3, is in one of those giant inflatable 'bouncies', all by herself except for a giant plush 'Dora the Explorer' doll which almost the same size as Beth]
Beth: "Daddy! Do you see Dora?"
Beth: "Do you want me to sit on her face?"
Me: "Ummm... that doesn't sound very nice."
Beth: "Okay!" [puts Dora on the floor of the bouncy and sits on her face for a few moments] "There!" [jumps up] "Daddy!"
Beth: "Do you want me to jump on her eyeballs?"
Me: "That would be mean, don't you think?"
Beth: "Okay!" [bounds over to Dora and jumps with both feet onto the doll's eyes] "There! Now, do you want me to jump on her butt?"
Me: "Good thing Dora is just a doll. Why are you doing this?"
Beth: "Sometimes she needs this."
Transparent peanut butter
Luke: [age 7] "You know what? I've never seen transparent peanut butter."
Me: "I'm pretty sure /nobody/ has ever seen transparent peanut butter. It doesn't exist."
Luke: "But what if it did? That would be pretty cool."
Me: "What would it taste like?"
Luke: "Transparent peanuts, obviously."
Dads who support birth control!
Please excuse me. I am interrupting my usual reports of witty and wonderful things uttered by my children, to take an excursion into American politics and vaginas. I wrote this after getting up way too early in the morning, and was unable to post it until now. Recently, CNN published an article titled, “Why don’t men in favor of birth control speak up?” It pointedly asked: …where...
Dreams are weird
Luke: [age 7] "Dreams are weird. It's like one half of my brain is the movie and the other half of my brain is the audience. I'm watching the dream and wondering what's going to happen next even though I'm in the dream and am making it up as I go. That's really weird."
[Scene: Luke, age 7, has a friend over to play, and they're talking about Beth, age 3]
Friend: "Your sister just said the word 'tropical.'"
Friend: "Yeah. She said the word 'tropical' and she knew exactly what it meant."
Friend: "I think your sister is smarter than you."
Luke: "Oh come on, I know what 'tropical' means."
Friend: "Somehow she acts like she knows it better than you do."
Pink and sparkly beads
[Scene: at the request of Beth, age 3, I've just gotten out a bunch of beads and string]
Me: "So what should we make?"
Beth: "Let's use pink string."
Me: "Okay." [measures and cuts pink string] "What kinds of beads do you want?"
Beth: [selects a handful of pink and sparkly beads, puts them on the tray] "Here. This is what we're going to use."
Me: "You know, I cut this string long enough to make a necklace, but I forgot to ask what you wanted. Do you want a necklace? Or would you rather have a bracelet?"
Beth: "I don't want a necklace /or/ a bracelet."
Me: "Oh, okay. What do you want to make?"
Beth: "Let's make a slingshot."
Me: "What? You want to make a slingshot?"
Beth: "Yes, a slingshot!"
Me: "With all these pink and sparkly beads?"
Beth: "To shoot monsters, Daddy! Don't be silly."
I think you're awesome
Me: "You know what? I think you're awesome."
Beth: [age 3] "Awesome? You mean like... cool?"
Me: "Very cool."
Me: "Prettiest little girl I know."
Beth: "What else?"
Me: "Really smart. And funny."
Beth: "I don't like funny."
Me: "I mean, you make me laugh. Funny in a good way."
Beth: "Oh, that's okay."
Me: "I think you get all this from your mom."
Me: "Oh? Do you get it from me?"
Beth: "No, Daddy. I get all this from MYSELF!"
Had a dream
Beth: [age 3] "I had a dream that I was on a ship and I was holding a sword. There were pirates on the ship. But it was a magic sword. I had to rescue a painting of a princess with blue hair. She was wearing a pink dress with red sleeves. My sword broke but Daddy was there and he fixed it. Then I waved the sword in a shape and the princess painting just -- *blooop* -- goes into the sword like magic so I could save it."
Me: "Wow, that's a great story. What happened then?"
Beth: "Then I woke up."
Me: "Luke, did you have any dreams last night?"
Luke: [age 7] "I had a dream I farted ten times in a row."
Mom: "That wasn't just a dream."
Songs of the Girl, Part 1
I’ve already posted lines from the strange and silly improvised singing of Luke, age 7; see here, here, and here. Beth, age 3, does just as much singing, but she is more likely to repeat stuff she’s sung earlier, and she also tends to sing so quietly that I can’t understand her words (whereas Luke usually sings at the top of his lungs, especially if he’s sitting on the...
Luke: [age 7] "I think we need to change 'The Lorax.' Instead of -I speak for the trees!- it should be -I speak for the cheese!-"
Me: "Uh... okay. Why?"
Luke: "That way he wouldn't say -Don't cut the trees!- but will say -Don't cut the cheese!-"
Me: "This is a joke about passing gas, isn't it."
Luke: "Oh yeah."
Samantha and time and flowers
[Scene: Beth, age 3, is talking about an imaginary friend named Samantha]
Beth: "My friend Samantha sent me this card." [holds up colored paper]
Me: "That's very nice of her."
Beth: "I think we should ask Samantha to visit us sometime."
Me: "Sure. Does she live around here?"
Beth: "Oh, she doesn't live here now."
Me: "Where does she live?"
Beth: "She doesn't live here now. She doesn't live in February. She lives in April."
Me: "I don't understand."
Beth: "She doesn't live in February. We have to wait until April to see her. She makes up her own days and months so she always has long weekends and lots of time to play."
Me: "That sounds pretty cool, actually."
Beth: "Yeah, she's pretty cool."
Me: "So, we'll see her in April."
Me: "Does she live by herself?"
Beth: "Oh no. She has 14 parents! Moms and dads and grandpas and grandmas."
Me: "Wow, that's a lot of people."
Beth: "Yes. She has 20 moms, 2 dads, and 8 grandpas and 8 grandmas."
Me: "All in one house?"
Beth: "Yes. They have a big house."
Me: "Is Samantha going to bring all those people when she visits?"
Beth: "No, they're too busy."
Me: "That's good. I don't think we could fit them all in here. So what should we do when Samantha is here? What does she like?"
Beth: "Samantha likes the color of the sky. So we'll look at the sky a lot."
Me: "Sure, if the weather is nice."
Beth: "Samantha also likes bubbles and flowers."
Me: "Those are all good things."
Beth: "You'd better buy some flowers before she comes."
Me: "Okay. But we can wait until just before she gets here. If we buy them now, they'll die before she arrives."
Beth: "Then you can buy flowers now, for me."
Beauty and the Beast
Luke: [age 7] "There's one thing I have always wondered. In the movie 'Beauty and the Beast,' they get married at the end. But what happens if they split up? What if the prince ever divorces Belle? Does he turn back into a beast? They never explore this question."