Sh*t My Kid Says, Volume I
When kids evolve from talking to progressively learning the English language, you are quickly reminded how many things in it don’t quite make sense.
Parenthood has a way of reminding and showing some other things don’t quite make sense either, sometimes in humorous ways.
Here are 8 amusing times learning was hard for Hannah, my 4.5 year old, first born of three…
Not Everything Is Literal
Reading her the “Bug Book”…
“Why is it called a dung beetle?” she asks.
“Because they are beetles and they roll dung which is another word for poop,” I respond.
“What is that one called?” she points to the above (left) picture.
“…Cockchafer beetle,” I reluctantly answer.
“Are they called cockchafer beetles because they cock chafes or because they chafe cocks?” she asks in beautiful childhood ignorance.
“This one might not be a literal name…”
Boyfriends, Girlfriends, Words Meaning What They Mean (Part I)
Hannah and I are having one of our more, if not the most seamless, ‘getting up and out for school’ mornings…
No battles to wake her up nor battles getting her dressed.
No telling her 17 times in 15 minutes to not yell because the rest of the family is still sleeping.
She doesn’t even chastise me about the grave error she had previously let me know I’d made last school day of packing the same water cup that we’ve packed for the past 2+ months in her backpack instead of an old one.
“I hope my boyfriend [Jonah] is at school today. He wasn’t last time,” she says. (Boyfriend = friend who is a boy)
“Hopefully he will be. So we’re clear, you want this water cup packed today, right?” I say.
“Yes, please. But my girlfriend has juice in her water cup, so can you put some of your drink in it?” (Girlfriend = friend who is a girl)
“I can do that. My drink is half water anyway.” I reply.
I attempt and once again fail at attempting to explain that we don’t have to specify the gender of a friend and doing so makes it confusing.
We may not have actually woken up the whole house in the process of leaving…
Giving a silent kiss goodbye to Ginny, Gavin (#2) and Lydia (#3)… Han leans over, gives Gav and Lid a kiss.
And as she descends from the bed, rips a giant, echoing fart.
“Oh! Um, excuse me!” she embarrassedly squeaks as Lid’s head pops up.
I believe we escape before she is too awake.
Since there were no struggles in our “wake up and get ready for school” routine, we arrive at school too early.
Parked, sitting in the driver’s seat with Han perched on the center console and my shoulder…
“Can we look at funny pictures and workouts on your phone?” she asks.
I pull up Instagram and the first post on the feed is a female friend deadlifting.
“Whoa! She is strong! Who is that?” Han asks.
“She is one of Daddy’s friends that he was in a marketing group with. She actually doesn’t live that far away from Nanny,” I say.
“What?! I didn’t know you had a girlfriend who lives near Nanny!” she shouts.
“No, no. No, I do not. See that’s the confusing part we talked about earlier. She is a girl who is a friend but she isn’t a girlfriend.”
“But a girlfriend is a girl who is a friend. A friend who is a girl.”
“Even though that makes sense, it isn’t what it means. Remember, girlfriend means more like a wife than it does a girl that is a friend even though that doesn’t make too much sense. Just like boyfriend means more like a husband than it does a boy who is a friend.” I do my best for the second time inside an hour.
“Ew, what?! Jonah is NOT like my husband.”
“I know. That is what I’ve been saying.”
“Ugh! Why cant words just mean what they mean!?”
“That is a fair question, Hannah…”
The Difference Between Liking and Understanding
Driving to our sitter’s house, Gavin and Hannah fighting over a toy giraffe…
“Guys, please stop fighting,” I beg.
“But he is trying to take my giraffe that is mine and I’m playing with,” Hannah replies.
“That giraffe is his. You got the lion and he got the giraffe. I know you were playing with it, but it is still his.”
“But Clint (cousin) broke my lion, remember? So this is mine,” she lawyers.
“Just because Clint broke yours doesn’t mean that Gavin’s giraffe becomes yours. They have nothing to do with each other except that they were bought at the same time. Just like if Clint broke Gav’s giraffe, the lion doesn’t become his.”
“Well… well that makes sense. But I still don’t like it!”
“That’s okay. Understanding something and liking something aren’t the same.”
“So when do I get a new lion!?”
“We will have to work on that understanding.”
Boyfriends, Girlfriends, Words Meaning What They Mean (Part II)
Feeding Lydia as she and Han are both in my lap in the recliner. “How was school today, Han?” I ask.
“It was good,” she says.
“Can you tell me more? What kind of things did you do or learn?”
“Well, I met Charlie. He’s my boyfriend’s boyfriend. Can you believe that my boyfriend has a boyfriend that I didn’t know!?”
“That’s pretty crazy. But remember, that’s like saying ‘your husband has a husband’ more than ‘your friend that is a boy has a friend that is a boy’ that you didn’t know.”
“I remember. I decided I don’t like that...” She says, hopping off of my lap.
“Boy. Friend. Friend that is a boy. Girl. Friend. Friend that is a girl...” Her hands wildly animated as she rants. “Nowhere is husband and wife.”
“That makes sense. I understand it is confusing. But I didn’t make the “rules”. It just isn’t how the words are used. We don’t have to like it, we just have to understand it,” I attempt.
“This again?! There are so many silly rules in life!
Liking, not liking. Understanding, not understanding.
Words that don’t mean what they mean?!” This diatribe coming as she throws her hands in the air and stomps off to her room.
I finish feeding Lid a couple of minutes later and go check on Han. She is on her bed, it would seem pretending to be a feline animal.
“Are you okay, Han? I didn’t mean to upset you. I just wanted to make sure you knew because you say you like to know,” I say. (She does NOT like when she is wrong. I have no idea where she got that from…)
“I’m not mad. But I am a lion though. The world is less confusing for lions.”
Her Son’s Sister
Han has been referring to her new toy as “her son.” Which is a blue puppy of sorts that is from one of those series of toys where you buy it not knowing what it is and going through rigmarole to “unravel” and see which one you got. She is looking at the insert to see the other kinds…
“I want this one. She is my son’s sister. And he needs a sister,” she says.
“Your son’s sister would just be your daughter,” I reply.
“Gavin is my son and you are my daughter. But you are also brother and sister. My son’s sister is my daughter.”
“Well I’m too busy and don’t have time to have my son AND a daughter, so he is just going to have to get a sister that isn’t my daughter.”
Seasons and Astronomy (Part I)
We step outside into the dreary rain to head to school and Hannah, making a complete 180 from the ADHD not wanting to wake up, get ready, or go to school tornado she was every minute awake prior to this says…
“Aw man, it’s raining! Why does it have to be Fall?! I hate seasons!”
“Well, Fall is the transition to winter so it rains more and starts to get cooler,” I reply.
“But why are there seasons and transitions? And WHY does it have to be Fall right now?!” Clearly annoyed at my inadequate answer, she asks with an ardent authority askew for a question that doesn’t really have a non-existential answer.
“I feel like I don’t know how to answer that simply and the full answer is too complicated for you to understand or actually care about if I even could.”
“I go to school now and learn things and you teach me things. You can teach me this too!” Her switch flipped from critical to supportive and excited.
Motivated by the newfound support I’m receiving, I butcher an attempt at explaining how the Earth’s orbit around the sun isn’t a circle and how its axis is tilted which means different areas have to be closer or further from the sun, etc.
Coming to grips with how old I am getting because of how long ago it was that I actually learned anything about that yet impressed I remembered as much as I did, even though I completely fail in this moment.
“Hmm. I think YOU need to go to school more and learn more because I could understand if you could tell me better,” is her critical with a slight hint of support, reply.
“Okay. I’ll try, Han.”
“Oh, I’ll be asking again later,” she promises.
Seasons and Astronomy (Part II)
Shouts of “I hate FALL!” and “I DONT like Fall!” wake me from a sound sleep… Coming from a still sound asleep, Hannah.
No accompanied hammer fists or ground and pound as a couple nights before, thankfully. (Another story for another time)
I take this as an increased likelihood for her to follow up on her promise from the other day on her car ride to school later this morning.
Upon exiting the house, not needing the coat she is wearing because of the increased temperature in addition to seeing the sun for the first time this week…
“Why is it nice out now?! Maybe we will be able to play outside at school!” she says.
“Remember Fall is the transition from Summer to Winter, which doesn’t mean it is always going to be rainy or really cold. There can be nice ones too,” I reply.
“There should be more nice days than not nice days then.”
“That is the transition. The closer to Summer that Fall is, the nicer. The closer to Winter that Fall is, the not as nice, cold, and rainy,” I say as the pause in conversation causes me to look in the rear view mirror, a scrunched up thinking face looking back at me.
“You should have just said that instead of the earth spinning around the sun. I only hate closer to winter Fall now. Good job, Dad!”
Ignoring that that would have in no way been an acceptable answer the other day, I graciously accept my compliment.
Being “Stinkin Adorable”
After Han waking me up at 6:15am, it is about 6:30 and I’m currently in the bathroom, regretting our takeout order from last night.
She bursts into the bathroom like the house is on fire and I owe her money.
“Dad! Dad! I can’t find my stop sign I made at school!” she screams at the top of her lungs.
“Babe, please be quieter. Gav and Lid are still sleeping. Your stop sign is on the kitchen table.” I reply.
She sprints out of the bathroom to the kitchen where she spends roughly 7 seconds looking. I hear her sprinting back.
“It’s not on the kitchen table!” she screams at the top of her lungs.
“Hannah, please don’t be so loud. Gav and Lid are sleeping.” I reply. “Your stop sign is on the corner of the kitchen table, on top of a container of cereal. It is the corner next to the window and where Daddy’s Gatorades are.”
She sprints out of the bathroom to the kitchen where she spends roughly 9 seconds looking. I hear her sprinting back.
“It’s not there! It’s gone! Lost forever!” she screams at the top of her lungs, throwing in a ‘back of the hand to the forehead, weak in the knees’ damsel in distress gesture.
“I’m not going to tell you again to not be so loud.” I reply as I’m finishing up in the bathroom.
Seconds later we enter the kitchen together. Her stop sign sits… on top of a container of cereal on the corner of the kitchen table next to my drink shelf.
“Aw man… Is it okay because I’m lucky I’m so stinkin adorable?” as she bats her eyelashes, tilts back and throws her heel in the air for good measure.