“Mom, where do kids come from?”
My curious 4-year old daughter was looming over my head while I was checking out my Facebook messages in bed.
I was unsure how to answer for a moment. A part of me wanted to tell a nice and simple story, but my biology training got in the way:
“You see, kiddo: there was one cell. It then it started turning into…”
“I get it!” she brusquely interrupted me at the get go: “I was a mouse! Cool.” And she retreated into her bedroom, appearing satisfied with my answer.
In my previous post (here it is in case you have missed it: https://customlongevity.com/2015/10/your-2-6-years-old-kids-are-walking-around-in-a-hypnotic-trance/) I was sharing my thoughts on how fragile the toddler’s brain is. Indeed, it is like an open book in which everyone can write a permanent story.
However, thanks to the fact that a child’s brain is developing and making new connections and associations, she also starts asking you all the “Why’s and How’s” and says the funniest darndest things.
I highly recommend that you should keep a pen and a little diary with you at all times, in case you need to write down your child’s verbal pearls. Pure and unadulterated, young children’s thoughts and imagination are like a morning dew reflecting heaven. Capture these moments, for they are brief and precious.
Here are some samples from the diary I kept for my daughter’s verbal expressions:
“Are you a bambina?” I am asking my 2 year-old playfully. “No! I am a Jew!” she answers seriously.
Holding on to the babysitter’s necklace with a cross, my 2-½ year-old asks: “Can I touch your G-d?”
2 ½ years old, handing me the Pinocchio toy: “Be!”
Watching the violinist play on TV: “Mom! There is a guy sawing his guitar in half over there!”
3 yrs old, telling me Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Snow Queen’ story and ending thus: “Gerda kissed Kai and his heart thawed and all six of them lived happily ever after.”
3yrs old, crying at her Russian-American daycare. “Why are you crying? Tell the teacher in Russian please.” “I am crying in English and in Russian”, my daughter says.
Having learned to follow my daughter around with the diary in my bag, I did the same thing for my son when he arrived – and he is still gifting me with these awesome sayings every day.
Like when he was 2, he picked up a wooden stick from the ground in Central Park and asked me: “ Which end do I mow the grass with and which end do I sing with?”
At 3 years of age he saw me in my Ferragamo heels and asked: “Mom, where did you buy these stilts?”
That same year he and I were shopping for food in the supermarket and I complained to him that all the veggies seemed rotten that day. He thought for a moment and pronounced authoritatively: “ I guess you should only buy batteries here today”.
At his pediatrician’s office last year (4 years old) pointing to his tush and demanding: “No injections over here, and no wooden sticks in my throat, OK?”
Last month my 5 year old son filled me in on the book the babysitter had been reading to him: “You know mom, those Jews who adopted the Greek customs were called “Hellentits”.
I am sure that all of you have quotes from your children and grandchildren. Make us all smile – share them with us!
Knowing what we know about the development of children’s brain up to date, we cannot help it but wish them to be exposed only to Goodness and Kindness during these unique formative years. In the next post, I will focus on the 6-10 years olds brain development and the challenges we face as parents at that time.