Thursday, January 17, 2008

Conversations With a Four-Year-Old

I was sitting on the couch with my little girl, just taking some time out of my hectic day to give her my full attention. She usually just calls me mom or mommy, but the last couple of days she's been calling me mama. She says it after almost every sentence. Only, it sounds more like mawmaw (can you tell the difference). So this is what a conversation with a four-year-old sounds like:

4 yo: "There's your chick, mawmaw." She pointed to my chin.

Me: "That's not my chick, that's my chin."

4 yo: "CHIN. Ha, ha! Chick, chicken head!"

Then she gives me 5 kisses. Next she wipes them all off.

Me: "Did you just wipe off my kiss?"

4 yo: "I don't like kisses, only hugs. You have germs, mawmaw."

Then she hugs me.

4 yo: "I feel like I'm going to cry, mawmaw!"

Me: "Why, because you love me so much?"

4 yo: "Because I missed you, mawmaw!"

Me: "But I didn't go anywhere."

4 yo: "You went upstairs and I didn't know where you were! I said, 'Mawmaw! Where are you?' . You're so pretty!"

She goes from one subject right into another one! The mawmaw thing is so funny. Sometimes you just have to stop and take some time to appreciate it. It all ends too fast.

Riding in the car (again), my conversation with my 7-year-old goes like this:

7 yo: "Mom, where does the baby come from when you have a baby?"

Me: (Oh no!) "What do you mean?"

7 yo: "When you have a baby, where does the baby come out?"

Me: "Well... Uh..."

Then my 4 yo interrupted us with something. Thank you!

About 5 minutes later...

7 yo: "So mom, where does the baby come out? Does it come out of you belly button?"

Me: "Well, sometimes. What got you thinking about babies? Oh! Did you see on Full House this morning about Uncle Jesse and Aunt Becky having the twins?"

7 yo: "Yeah."

I didn't think he was mature enough for much more than that. I guess I should be better prepared about what I'm going to say the next time he asks!

Now, a conversation with an 11-year-old is not always so cute. My 11 yo is usually such a good boy. He talks politely (most of the time), gets good grades, and almost never gets in trouble. This is my kid that I worry about the least. So when I went to the mall with him, I got a good understanding of why he drives my 14-year-old crazy sometimes. We go into the mall to get his haircut. He was walking really fast. Innocently, I just thought he wanted to hurry to get it done. I tried to get next to him, but every time I got next to him, he just walked faster ahead of me. Then I realized what he was doing. He was embarrassed to walk next to me! How could this happen? He's suppose to be my easy going kid! I thought he was better than that! Also, how could he be embarrassed of me? I thought I was a cool mom! I consciously try not do that to my kids.

I remember being embarrassed of my mom, when I was young and vowed I would never do that to my kids (sorry mom). I would never kiss them in front of their friends in the school cafeteria! I'd try not to treat them like babies. I remember how it felt! Now I'm disappointed. So what did I do when my son walked ahead of me? Well I ran up to him and grabbed his arm and made him walk arm in arm with me (OK, I guess I did embarrass him now). I told him if he didn't walk with me then he would just have to hold my hand. That didn't work. He's 140lbs. and just wiggled away from me.

When we got home, my daughter was telling my how I have to pick her up from school every Tuesday and Wednesday from her new school club that she's in, and he said, "What? Mom has to pick you up from school Tuesday and Wednesday because you have detention!". My husband only heard this last part and said, "What? You have detention?". "NO!", I said. Now I can understand how he can annoy my overly sensitive 14-year-old!

It must just be the middle school thing. My daughter went through this when she started sixth grade, too. She thought she was all of a sudden big deal. She also got out of that real fast when I stopped letting her do many things. I always tell her that I will let her do a lot of things with her friends if she tells me who she's with, where they are, exactly what they're doing, and talks nice. If I can trust her 100%, she can do most anything. It's really worked. She even told me recently that she doesn't have to hide anything from me because I let her do whatever she wants. I told her it's because I trust her, "So don't EVER disappoint me!". Once she was walking around outside with her friend and they ran into some boys they knew . (It's not as bad as it sounds. She was pretty close to home and I knew the boys and they were just walking down the street.) When it was time for me to pick her up, her friend asked her, "What are you going to tell your mom?". My daughter told her, "I'm going to tell my mom what we did, because I know my mom won't be mad!". Meanwhile her friend concocted a big story to tell her mom.

Take time out to really listen to the little ones. They say the sweetest things. It all ends so quickly. The teenage years will be there before you know it. On the brightside, those middle school "tough" years pass quickly, too, and they soon become your best friends.


OHmommy said...

So nice to have a range of conversations to appreciate each one of them.

"You are so pretty" Did you melt? I live for those conversations!

Jennifer said...

I love conversations in the car. I just posted one not to long ago. My 12 yr old told me he would never put me in a nursing home when I was old. He told me I could live with him and he would take care of me. But he would not change my diapers if I ever needed to wear them. LOL

You can have the best conversations in the car.


Amy said...

thanks for you insight!

Kitty said...

My youngest said to me the other day "I extremely love you ... that's more than just ordinary love you" :-D x

Lizzy in the Burbs said...

Your "baby" is so sweet! (Happy birthday to the big 4 yr. old!) Your post just cracked me up! I think you described those stages to perfection, all special, some more agrravating than others, but all special just the same! My youngest who is 12 going on 30 does the same thing to me when we're at the mall, he makes me feel like I have cooties sometimes! On the other hand, my 17 yr. old now holds doors open for his "old" mom, so it does get better, you're right!

Have a great weekend!


Amy said...

I love these conversations.

My almost four year old cracks me up. She recently started calling me mama too. Everything she said was followed by Mama. It's very cute.

Leah said...

I love the little conversations! Especially with the younger kids. My 3.5 year old has the most hilarious things to say!

I'm sad at the thought my kids will someday (soon!) be embarrassed to be seen with me. SIGH...

And I've had the "where do babies come out" conversation with Emily when she was almost four (and Connor was about to be born). I'd WAY rather have the "where to babies come out" conversation than the "How do babies get in there" conversation. LOL Thankfully, that one hasn't come up yet!!

Thanks for the reminders to really take the time listen and enjoy the things our children have to say!

Magirk said...

You're such an awesome mom! :)

Bia said...

You are so right! Yesterday I was getting frustrated because my toddler kept following me and hanging all over me...I couldn't get anything done. Then it dawned on me: what needed to be done? laundry? beds? Nothing earth-shattering, to be sure. Instead I sat down with my toddler and played trains (much, much more fun that folding laundry).

Thanks for a great post! God bless.

Dawn said...

You've got so much wisdom and I will definitely take your advice to heart. I want my kids to be able to tell me anything when they're teenagers. I absolutely love it when my kids call me Mama instead of Mom or Mommy- it just sounds so sweet.

Nap Warden said...

So sweet! Thanks for the reminder to slow down and listen to them:)

Deb in OPKS said...

My middle daughter calls me mama sometimes. I love it. Her older sister tries to correct her. Argh.

My oldest asked me where the baby comes out when I was pregnant with my youngest. I tried to avoid, especially since I have c-sections. She's sensitive and I don't want to freak her out. Then she came up one day and said she new how the baby came out because she was it on Milo and Otis! I didn't even remember that. They show either the dog or cat have babies. That solved the problem, though. Maybe you can let your 7 year old watch that movie. She was 7 at the time. :)

Lester R.N. said...

I love to hear about your family! They all seem so very sweet! I look forward to when Owen starts to talk more!! I haven't done so well with my diet either and I know I can do so much better. We can just start to support each other more!! Have a great weekend!

Kila said...

Great post :)

Oh, to answer the baby question, I said, "God made it", and that worked.

Flea said...

Your children sound so sweet. :) Mine never said darling things like that. Only, "Mommy, what would happen if I never stopped growing?" "Well, you'd be 27 feet tall and would have to fold up like an accordion to get in the car." Where do they come up with this stuff?

Mary said...

Such sweet conversations :)
I can not wait to hear what my little guy will come up with when he starts to talk! He already has full conversations I just don't know what he's saying! ha ha ha
You are so right about slowing down and really listening to them :)
Have a great weekend!!

GrandmaK said...

I must say that reading this entry is like reliving part of my life...Marianne, when she was 4, asked me why I had to go back to work. I didn't work when the others were 4. It was difficult to explain to her that she had the better part of the bargain, for the daycare was right next to the Dr's office and I took her to lunch every day. She didn't understand that day care was no different than the preschool she had been attending and indeed I was able to spend more quality time with her everyday because I had a two hour lunch hour. She eventually understood that I didn't go back to work because I didn't love her (the whole gist of the problem). And at 29 she still says "I love you, Mama!!) Have a glorious day!!!! And Thanks for the memories. Cathy

Kellan said...

So cute - your kids! They do have lots to say and to offer the world - don't they!! I loved hearing about your older kids - reminds me of mine. Take care and have a good weekend Maria. See ya. Kellan

Jen said...

LOL. My 6 year old has known where babies "come out" since he was 3. When I was pg with DD he used to watch Baby Story with me.