Kids say the . . .
Sunday night was bath night for the kid. As I stood in the doorway, she gave me a serious sort of look and repeated what she had heard me say so many times.
"I'm taking a bath and I need to be alone." She jutted out her chin for emphasis. I should add that she was not exactly lounging in the warm water and reading a novel. Instead, she was sitting on Uniqua from the Backyardigans, wearing her Little Mermaid washcloth on her head, and feeding purple foam soap to Gretchen.
"I can't leave you alone," I replied. "You could slip and hit your head and then you might fall into the water. I don't want you to die, I want to keep you safe."
I hadn't intended to pull out the big guns quite like that (I even startled myself a bit when I said it), but I did want her to know that bath time isn't just about flooding the tile floor and drinking murky bathwater (why why why do kids do that?) Water, as we know all too well, is far from innocuous in so many ways. [Insert Hurricane Katrina flashback here.]
She frowned. "I'm not going to die, Mama."
"Of course not," I reassured her, smiling. "Not until you are an old, old lady."
She, apparently mishearing me, replied, "Yeah, you are a old, old, old, old, old lady."
There were so many "olds" in there that I lost count. Now, my mom was only 18 when I was born, but she seemed pretty old to me when I was a kid. My sister once asked our mother, "Did they have pens and pencils when you were a kid?" That went over about as well as you are thinking it did. Nonetheless, I can imagine that in a three-year-old's mind, anyone older than she is, well, old.
I may be a little long in the tooth, but I am not as mentally infirm as my daughter seems to think, however.
When I picked her up from Kindercare on Monday, her teacher informed me that my little buttercup had a) poked a kid in the eye with a marker and b) pinched another classmate during storytime. I pulled A aside to have A TALK with her.
Me: "Did you pinch someone?"
Me: "Really? You didn't pinch anyone?"
Me (realizing my interrogation techniques were failing miserably): "Who did you pinch?"
I learned this one through my years as a volunteer for Boxer rescue. When someone surrenders a dog, we've learned to ask questions several different ways in order to get accurate responses. Has your dog ever bitten anyone? No! Has your dog ever nipped at anyone? No! Has your dog ever snapped at anyone? Well, there was this one time . . .
I never did get a confession on the other crime. When I pressed her about it, she just kept saying, "Because I said I was sorry!" Her circular logic confused me after a while, so I gave up.