My mother told me many times that she didn’t particularly like me (or my brother, to be fair) when we were babies. She told me that although she loved us, she just didn’t like babies in general and found us to be much more interesting when we were kids (versus drooling, babbling mounds of somewhat ambulatory flesh). That hurt my feelings for a while.
But now I have kids. And I adore them. And they drive me batty. And now that the big one is about to turn five, I understand what she meant.
My almost-five-year-old has been a challenge to us since the day he joined our family. He is stubborn and driven, irrational and extremely loud. Luckily, the closer he’s gotten to five, the more these traits have morphed into confident, motivated, curious and enthusiastic. He wants to know everything, and he’s finally old enough to begin to understand some of the answers to his questions. It is so amazing to watch it happen.
He asks a million questions every day and I’m trying hard to give him good answers. Sometimes I’m just too tired, and sometimes when the questions are: “Mommy, what is the TV made out of? Mommy, what is plastic made out of? Mommy, what are cats made out of?” it gets a bit tedious. But lately, he has asked some questions that have me super jazzed. I guess I should preface – I have never spoken to him like a child. I talk to him like a small intelligent person, which he is. I might limit the topics I cover with him, but otherwise, I talk to him just like I talk to my peers. As a result, half of his questions are: “Mommy, what does ‘optimistic’ mean? Mommy, what does ‘pertinent’ mean?” etc. And I give him a definition and a synonym and then use the word again for him. And then, almost every single time, he uses it for me. In a totally new sentence. Completely contextually correctly!
The other day he skinned his knee. He held it tight and I watched him steel himself against the pain. When he was ready, he stood up and walked back up our hill to where I stood.
“Yeah, buddy. You okay?”
“Yeah. But Mommy, I damaged my knee. I think I’ll need a Band-aid.”
Damaged. hee hee.
Words are my thing. That’s probably not a surprise. So this latest development is fascinating to me. He is learning like five or six words a day through the manner I just described. He may not retain them all immediately, but it’s like I can SEE the foundation that’s getting laid down. It’s SO. Cool.
And I will admit that there is a part of me that cannot wait to witness him drop one of his twenty dollar words on some unsuspecting adult. 🙂