Ever since my daughter turned three, the conversations have been getting longer, more complicated and ever more endearing. There is nothing as refreshing as an earnest conversation with a young child. I get lessons in math, lessons in being helpful and fuel for my waning adult imagination. Sometimes I gain perspective on my world. Sometimes I learn something new. Sometimes I merely reap the benefit of a good belly laugh.
So, in this time of turmoil, snipping and political infighting, I thought I would share a few of these snippets of conversation with you.
Me: “What would you like for a treat?”
E: (pointing to a bag of miniature Oreos) “Cookies.”
Me: “I’ll give you four.”
Dad: “What would be better four cookies or five cookies?”
We were on our way to the state fair. E was counting things in the backseat of the car, things we passed on the road, things she imagined. When all of the sudden we heard this:
“…ten…I need more fingers!”
When she is not busy counting, E is often “helping”. She loves to mix things in the kitchen, sweep dirt into lots of little piles and sail the laundry basket boat to the washing machine. She has also shown her willingness to be part of the “solution” on numerous other occasions.
We needed to travel to my husband’s place of work to jump off his car. When I picked my daughter up from preschool, I explained our itinerary:
“Daddy’s car is broken. We need to go to his work and help him fix it, okay?”
“He broke it?”
“No. You know how your toys sometimes stop working when their batteries go dead? Well, the battery in Daddy’s car is dead. So, Daddy’s car doesn’t work.”
“But before we go get Daddy, we need to stop by our house to pick up some tools to help fix Daddy’s car.”
“Okay. I carry the hammer.”
Cinderella! Clean the table!
Our daughter decided that Daddy would have a Cinderella cake for his birthday. So, I rushed home from work, picked her up and started on the odyssey of baking a Cinderella cake without the appropriate pans, not enough icing and an excited 3-yr-old helper, all before Daddy came home from work.
Here’s how the adventure wraps up.
Me: “We need to get this mess cleaned up before Daddy comes home.”
E: Starts licking the yellow and blue sprinkles from the table top.
Me: “E! I need your help cleaning up. Not eating the spilled sprinkles.”
E: “Eating is helping.”
Me: “Mama, has a very bad headache, sweetie.”
E : “I know how to make you feel better.” She runs to her music box and retrieves her pink, plastic, “princess” recorder. “I will play you a lullaby.”
She was right. I felt much relieved after it was over.
And, always she reminds me how to be thankful for the simple and truly beautiful things in life. Earlier this winter, I woke to a dark sky and frost covered landscape. After getting the day’s things together and emptying the contents of the preschool’s sandbox from the inside of my daughter’s mittens, I helped her into the car seat, and we left in the predawn light. I pointed out to her the setting harvest moon just above the west horizon.
“Ohhh.” She put her mitten-covered hands to her face. “It’s beautiful. The Moon is saying ‘Hi’ to me. And, look! There’s Little Star and all her friends.”
Indeed, Orion was bright, chasing his prey across the brilliant blue-black sky.
She laughed, “Mama, the moon is tickling the car! Look, mama, the moon and the stars are following us to school.”
She was quiet as she twisted and turned in her car seat to get a better look at the setting nighttime sky.
“Mama, I am SOOO happy about the Moon and the Stars. They are beautiful.”
© 2011 Michele Arduengo. All rights reserved.