When her new brother was born, my 4-year-old daughter was reluctant to relinquish her “only child” throne. She frequently attempted to give her brother away to his numerous and very vocal admirers.
Once, when he was a few months old and the three of us were in a hair salon, the ladies were all gushing over his adorableness. Olivia was obviously feeling left out and perhaps a little jealous. She told one of the ladies that if she needed a crying bbay at her house, she could have Turner. The woman picked up my son in his baby carrier and pretended she was going to leave with him.
When she reached the door, my daughter jumped up and yelled, “Wait!” The woman stopped, smirking because she thought that she had called Olivia’s bluff; surely now she would be able to tease Olivia about how she truly loved her baby brother. “What?” she asked, with eyebrows raised. Olivia replied, “You forgot his diaper bag!”
Children are uniquely brilliant in their non sequiters. When my eldest was 6 years old and grappling with the concept of time, she asked, lisping through the new gap in her teeth, “If Grammy and Pop Pop were born in the olden days, and I was born in the new days, does that mean that you and Daddy are from the Middle Ages?”
–J. C. Elkin,
Overheard from the stall next to mine in a restaurant ladies’ room:
Preschooler: “How long ‘til we see Grandma?” Mother: ” Nine days. Here, let’s count it on your fingers.” Preschooler: “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine!” Mother: Yes! And when you get bigger, you won’t use your fingers.” Preschooler: “But how can I pick things up?”
“Nana,” 5-year-old Brent said, “my friend Tommy’s Mommy and Daddy are getting divorced. Does that mean his Mommy has to go to church and walk down the aisle backwards?”
Milton Mills, New Hampshire
I was pregnant with Child Number Three when I took two sons, John, 7, and Jim, 5, to the pediatrician for their regular checkup. As we were ready to leave, the pediatrician said, “I understand you are going to get a new brother or sister.” Son John asked, “When the new one comes out, can we put Jimmy back in?”
–Willma C. Gore,
When my daughter was young, she spent most Saturday nights at Grandma’s house. One evening, as they were getting ready for bed, my daughter watched as my mother applied her face cream, a ritual of Mom’s for as long as I can remember.
“What is that stuff?” my daughter asked. “Oh, just wrinkle cream,” Mom said. After several moments of intense study, my daughter declared, “It works good, Gram. You’ve got lots of wrinkles.”
As many youth groups or schools do, my son’s was selling candy bars. I followed my son along one day as he pulled his little red wagon with a couple of boxes of candy bars and his envelope.
As he peddled, he came upon a fellow working under his car in his driveway. Only his feet were sticking out. This did not deter Matthew.
He quietly walked up with his squeaky wagon, stooped down as if investigating, and asked, “Mister, would you like to buy a candy bar?” “Not right now—maybe later,” the man replied. Matthew peered on and replied, “OK, I’ll wait.” At that, the man chuckled, rolled out from the car with a big grin on his face, and bought two bars from the little salesman.