Saturday, October 13, 2007

Conversations with a Three-Year-Old

Conversation One:

Clearly I Have Not Been Teaching Him Enough About Limiting Impulse Purchases

CHILD: [Pointing to a recently borrowed library book with a picture of a girl riding a horse on the cover] Does that girl like riding that horse?

MOTHER: Yes, I think that girl does like riding horses.

CHILD: And is the horse nice, and friendly?

MOTHER: The horse does look nice and friendly, doesn't it? I don't think he would let that girl ride him if he weren't nice and friendly.

CHILD: And is the horse happy?

MOTHER: He looks happy to me. What do you think?

CHILD: I would like to buy a horse at the store. Let's buy one tomorrow.

MOTHER: [Laughing a little] You would like to buy a horse at the store tomorrow?

CHILD: [Slightly subdued by mother's laughter] Well, just a plain one.

MOTHER: [More serious now] Well, you see, there is nothing wrong with wanting a horse, plain or otherwise, but horses need a lot of things that we don't have right now. Horses need a big, big grassy yard to run around in. And they need a barn to sleep in--

CHILD: I know! We could get a barn at the store, too. We can check the grocery store.

MOTHER: I don't think they sell barns at the grocery store.

CHILD: They might have barns at Home Depot.

MOTHER: Even if we could buy a barn, where could we put one?

CHILD: I don't know.

MOTHER: There's not enough space in the back yard for a barn, is there?


MOTHER: We could try to visit a horse someday soon, if you'd like. We could visit a horse on a farm. Would you like to do that?

CHILD: Yes. What do horses eat?

MOTHER: Well, horses need to eat grass, and hay, and oats, and things like that. And when people want to give a horse a special treat, sometimes they will give the horse a carrot, or an apple.

CHILD: When I have a horse, I will give him carrots.

MOTHER: That would be nice of you. Maybe you can have a horse someday, but right now, we just don't have room for a barn.

CHILD: Well, we can wait to buy a horse.


CHILD: We can wait until Wednesday.


Conversation Two:

Even Though I Am Failing at Teaching Him Basic Economics, He Is Apparently Somehow Learning Environmental Science Behind My Back

CHILD: Mommy, pretend you are a baby and I am your Mommy.

MOTHER: Okay. Waaaaaah! Mommy! I'm hungry! I'm bored! I want a toy! I want you to sit next to me!

CHILD: Actually, pretend you are five.

MOTHER: Okay. Wait, Mommy, if I am five years old, does that mean I can go to school?

CHILD: Yes! And you will have fun at school!

MOTHER: But will I have homework?

CHILD: Yes! You will have homework, and it will be fun, and I will help you.

MOTHER: So, Mommy, what is my homework today?

CHILD: Your homework is to fix everything.

MOTHER: My homework is to fix everything?


MOTHER: Everything? That is a lot of responsibility for a five-year-old.

CHILD: Don't worry. You can do it.

MOTHER: So I have to fix everything, everything? Like, everything? Like, for instance, global warming?

CHILD: Global warming?

MOTHER: Yes, global warming.

CHILD: You can fix global warming.

MOTHER: And how do I do that? Can you help me?

CHILD: [Patiently] First you fix all the things with leaves. Then, you fix the cars.

MOTHER: [Silence.]

MOTHER: [Silence.]

MOTHER: Well, gee, that is the way to fix global warming, isn't it?

CHILD: See? You can do it.


I know I have been neglecting you, internets. I have no good excuses. So instead of making excuses, I will attempt to placate you by exploiting the cuteness of my child.

See, now? There? Don't you like me better, now?