On the way to preschool drop-off, I chatted with my 3.5-year-old. After discussing who he hoped to play with on the playground that day, we delved into this conversation.
Him: I’m bigger today.
Me: You are! You’re bigger every day.
Him: I grew when I sleeped.
Me: Yep. When you eat your fruits and vegetables, you’re giving your body fuel to grow. When you sleep, you’re giving your body the energy it needs to grow. What do you think would happen if you didn’t eat healthy foods?
Him: I would get sick. I wouldn’t get bigger.
Me: What if you didn’t sleep?
Him: I would be tired. My body couldn’t get bigger.
Him: When I’m bigger, I’ll be big like Daddy.
Him: When I’m big like Daddy I’ll be a daddy, like Daddy.
Me: Oh, yeah? How many kids do you want?
Him: **pauses to think** Five.
Me: Five, huh? All boys, all girls, or some of each?
Him: **pauses to think** I want five girls. All girls.
Me: That’s a lot of girls! Why do you want just girls?
Him: I’ll have five girls and they all have long, pretty hair. I can help them brush it so it not get tangled.
Me: Will you help them do their hair?
Him: Yes. They won’t sleep.
Him: Because I will love them and will want them to be kids forever. If they sleep, they grow. I want them to be kids because I love them. I love them one hundred. (Translation: he will love them immensely.)
For a quirky kid who is just graduating from speaking like a New Jersey caveman, how does he already understand the parental juxtaposition of wanting to help your child grow and develop but simultaneously wanting to keep your child little? There’s a lot going on in that bobble-head of his. Who knew?