I think Art Linkletter had it right. Kids do say the darndest things. Ever since my daughter, who I lovingly refer to as Sweetpea, began to speak in full sentences , she has continued to delight, amaze and amuse me. Sweetpea shows signs of being a very intelligent child. I know what you're thinking, and you're right. I am biased. But that doesn't change the fact that she's smart. She will be four in February, and already she knows all of her numbers through at least 35 (that's about the time she starts getting bored with the counting), all of her alphabet, colors, shapes, seasons, months, days of the week (usually she can tell you what day of the week today is, what month it is and what day of the month), and I'm sure some stuff I haven't even thought to ask her if she knows. She has begun to connect words with the letters they start with, and can usually name five or six words per letter. She has not yet begun to read, but if I miss a word, or even say the wrong word, when reading to her she will quickly correct my error for me. She can operate her game on the laptop, the TV, VCR and DVD player with no help, the surround sound with just a little help and her CD player in her room as long as someone helps her reach it. She knows the name of every movie she owns (as well as a few of the ones I own), where they go on the shelf and can quote most of them by heart (which may be a sign of entirely too much movie watching, but I won't go there). She can identify songs on the radio or on TV as being part of one of her movies, and can usually sing the words right along with it. She still asks about toys I've thrown or put away months ago. She astonishes me on a daily basis, and believe me, I wouldn't have it any other way.
But, much as it appears that way, my reason for writing today is not to brag. It is, instead, to highlight the humor my daughter has brought to my life in just the things she says, many of which I believe can be attributed to her intelligence. Unfortunately there are times that the humor is at my expense, but so goes the way of parenthood. A wise sole once said "Children seldom misquote you. More often than not, they repeat word-for-word what you shouldn't have said." So I discovered recently when, while shopping in my favorite store to hate, Wal-Mart, I yelled at my daughter to stop misbehaving, only to have her retort with tearful eyes "mama, don't kill me!" Several passers by found that fantastically funny. As did my mother-in-law, when Sweetpea dropped something and then uttered "damn" under her breath. Apparently that Sweetpea swore was not the funny part. It was that she knew the appropriate use of the word that was so amusing.
In her early days of full sentences, I recall doing my best not to laugh when one evening Sweetpea came running to me all in tears, as if her poor little heart had just been shattered. I realized that was probably the case when I asked her what was the matter, and she replied "Daddy said no". She is daddy's little girl, after all.
In recent months the humerous comments have become more and more frequent. While visiting my family in Wyoming not too long ago, we were having dinner at my grandparents house. Most of the family had finished the meal and left the table, with the remaining few of us just sitting and talking. My sister, Jenni, has two children. The youngest child, a now one-year-old girl, is affectionately referred to by my grandma as "Cupcake". I had not realized until that moment just how often grandma must have referred to her that way. Cupcake was in her high chair at the end of the table, Jenni sitting next to her preparing to give her some baby food. Sweetpea, who was standing up on the chair next to Jenni, suddenly scooted up beside Jenni, draped her arm around Jenni's shoulders, leaned forward and peaked around my sister at Cupcake, and then, with her head cocked to one side, looked Jenni square in the face and said "What's that little cupcake doing?" Jenni was not able to answer, nor was anyone else sitting at the table.
At dinner a few weeks ago, Sweetpea had milk in a sippy cup. The cup had come straight out of the clean dishwasher. Apparently there had been a little water in the rim of the lid that became trapped there when I had snapped it on the cup. Everytime Sweetpea took a drink, the water would drip on her. Though I had explained to her that it was just water, and why it was dripping, I did not fix the problem for her. With every drip, she became more and more annoyed. Finally my husband and I were quite surprised when she suddenly slammed the cup down on the table and announced "Mom, dad, this thing is dripping on me. It's ridiculous." Needless to say it was quite a few minutes before we could eat again. Not too long after that I was forced to stop reading to her in the middle of one of her books when she, out of nowhere, announced to me that her daddy and I needed to buy her a baby sister. Sometimes I wonder where she could possibly get these ideas. A few nights ago, when my husband was digging through the cabinet looking for cold medicine, he asked me if we were out. When I answered yes, Sweetpea piped up and said "What about hot medicine?" It was all I could do to tell her I didn't think we had any of that, either.
It was what she said this morning that finally made me decide I needed to write all of this down, even though my mom has been telling me that for the last two years. Sweetpea tends to get frenquent nose bleeds in the fall and winter months. As a child, my husband did as well. It seems to be connected with the drier weather that occurs in those seasons. This morning, as I was brushing her hair, she suddenly developed a relatively strong nose bleed. After we had managed to get it slowed down, I had finished her hair, and we had gotten her shirt changed, (all the while with her holding a kleenex to her nose), I pointed out to her that she had had a pretty good nose bleed, and to look at all that red on the kleenex. She looked at the kleenex, shrugged her shoulders and said in an utterly non-chalant way "Well, it's not green." Now how can you argue with that?