Archive for the ‘Things kids say’ Category

I was helping 9yo Jack with his biography on Alexander Hamilton.  We were discussing the island where he grew up, which Jack was pronouncing as “Saint Crux.”

“It’s ‘saint croy,’ actually,” I told him.  “Or, you could even pronounce it ‘sahn crwah…’ ”

“Sahn what?” asked Jack.

“Sahn crwah,” I replied.  “That’s how you’d pronounce it in French.”

“Oh.  No offense, Dad,” said Jack, “but I wouldn’t trust your French.  It’s terrible.”

Wow.  WTF?   Where’d that come from?  Oh, yeah.  I had told him that factoid at the park yesterday, when we talked about singing and speaking in other languages, and I confessed that Katherine would make fun of my French pronunciation because it was so bad.

“You’re right, buddy.  Let’s ask Momma later to be sure.”

“Good idea, Dad.”

Reminds me of this comic, from a blog on learning French.  You don’t need to know French to see that the only question asked of Dad is “Where’s Mom?”

Out of the mouths of babes



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While we were vacationing in Door County, Wisconsin, my wife and I got into a conversation about how this part of the world is like what Cape Cod, Massachusetts used to be like before it got overcommercialized with big box stores and familiar names. We found out that this is because Door County still strictly regulates what businesses can open up on the peninsula; specifically, “they don’t allow chains.”

As we were driving back from a local art studio, Jack piped up, puzzled. “But Mama, I saw some in the corner of the studio, by the metal working shop. They had chains hanging up by the wall. I thought you said people weren’t allowed to have chains in Door County!”

It took us a while to untangle why he was concerned, and then to realize that he had never heard “chains” in the context of “chain stores,” so when we finished laughing over the mixup, we clued him in. We are definitely at the stage where sometimes we have to pause, realize this boy has not had our life experiences, and tell him things like, “if you dial 911 from an airport pay phone, even if you don’t put money in, it still works.” (But that’s a different story!)

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“I can tell when I don’t have my glasses on, or when they’re dirty.  When they’re clean and I’m wearing them, everything is crispier.”

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As a 4 year old, Peter loves to make other people laugh.  He’s such a clown, with his rubber face making hilarious expressions, and his physical comedy.  If he does something that makes you laugh, he’ll do it again and again, and try it on other people too.

Typically his pratfalls and goofiness have outpaced his joke-telling and wordplay.  A typical knock-knock joke would be to follow up “Raccoon who?” with “The Raccoon talks to his friend, HAHAHAHAHAHA,” while you look on, amused and befuddled.

This week, however, he made a great leap forward.  As we were driving around looking at some Christmas decorations, Peter commented on the inflatable Santa in someone’s yard.

“There’s a blow-up Santa,” he said.  Then he gasped.  “BLOW UP SANTA????” he yelled incredulously.  “Oh no!   KA-BOOM-SHAKA-LAKA!!!!”

We all giggled for a good minute or two.

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My wife descended the stairs, with one towel-covered pajama-bottomed boy in tow.  “Your son is upstairs hiding in his room and wants you to find him.”  This declarative sentence seasoned with a touch of exasperation, a dash of amusement, and a sprinkling of tired love.  Tubby time was over and the bedtime show needed to begin soon, lest storytime be late enough to push the actual bedtime past 8:30 into dangerous territory.

With a nod of assent I passed her on the stairs, ready for another drawn out game of hide-and-seek.  Four-year-old Peter has unfortunately become very good at the Hide while we Seek.  He sometimes eludes us for several minutes when he Doesn’t Wanna, a state with increasing frequency these days.  I reviewed my options.  In the cabinet under the bed?  Beneath a pile of covers?  Behind a door?

Fortunately it did not take long, as in this case, Peter was anxious to be found.  He leapt out of his closet, dry but still naked, with a big Boo! and giggled.

“There you are!” I said, playing it up.  “I was WONDERING where you were.”

“Wasn’t dat a good hiding place, daddy?” he said proudly, as I proceeded to gather the appropriate bedtime artifacts so we could complete the transition downstairs.

“Yes, very good in there.  I almost didn’t see you.  Let’s get your pull-up on and some jammies.”

“That was my mimicry.”

I did a slight double-take.  Wha-wha-what?  “Your what, Peter?  Did you say, ‘mimicry’?”

“Yes!  My mimicry.  Hiding in there.  It made it harder to see me.  Pretty good, huh, dad?”

No, it’s not *quite* the correct usage of mimicry… and yes, I had to look it up later to make sure it was what I thought it was.  But who cares?  Talk about a 10-cent word.  It’s enough to restore my faith in educational TV.   “Did you learn that from Wild Kratts, buddy?”

“Yes!” he said proudly.  “On Wild Kratts!”

Man, I love that show.  And PBS.

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It’s quiz time!  Based on my wife’s experience yesterday afternoon.

You are trying to talk on the phone.  Your 4 year old son comes up to you, holds his hands up like he’s signaling a touchdown, and yells, “SMELL MY ARMPITS!”

Why would a preschooler do such thing?  Here are your choices.

A) He is always looking for new and creative attention-getting gimmicks to interrupt you when you’re on the phone.

B) He likes to say the strangest things to make you laugh.

C) He has found your deodorant and smeared it all over his underarms.

If you guessed secret choice D, All of the Above — you are correct!

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Overheard from the four year old and the mother this morning:

“I jus’ throwin’ my pull-up away downstairs.  Can you putta marble in da bowl for me?”

“Dad, can I have some tea?  Not some pee — some tea.  Dose rhyme, you know!”

“Yeah… it’s a drive-the-kids-to-school sort of morning.”

“Mo-ooom!  Can I have a waffle to ‘tart me over?”

“Do you think anyone else’s children love to eat frozen waffles as a snack?”

“Da-aaad!  We just saw a RED blue jay outside!”

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