Conversations with Toddlers

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Conversations with Toddlers

I have been missing my children even though I see them every day. They want me to make money but do not like it when I am holed up in my office writing. They want their mommy back and I need them as well. I have watched them become needy, sullen and more mischievous because they are not getting my full attention. Axel is slowly turning inward and living more and more in his own dream world and Thumper follows me around the house talking to me as I do my chores.

Yesterday, I put everything down and focused on my little Hootie-Hoo. We sat at the breakfast table with the sun pouring in and watched all the beautiful birds outside. This conversation ensued:

Hootie-Hoo: “Mommy, who lives in the treehouses? I mean bbbird houses? Are the bluebirds still there?”

Mommy: “No, the swallows have moved in”

Hootie-Hoo (wide eyed & teary): “They swallowed the blue birds?”

Mommy: “No, the birds that moved in are called swallows.”

Hootie-Hoo: “So…I’m going to look in the bird house and the birds are going to hit me in the face!”

Mommy: “How are they going to hit you?”

Hootie-Hoo (with arms out like airplane wings): “With their wings and than I’m going to fly in the sky with them.”

Mommy: “Do you know that you are my little Owl?”

Hootie-Hoo: “No I’m not, I’m Tucker. Owls have dirty feet.”

We went up to Aspen and played soccer in a field. How nice it was to have the sun on our faces as we wrestled each other to get the ball. Every few minutes I would tackle him to the ground and play Thumper’s favorite game with him where I ask, “What Day is it Today?” Knowing that he will get a raspberry on his belly he names a fruit. Whichever fruit he says determines where the raspberry will be applied. When he replies, “No day” than the game is over.

Somebody mentioned to Hootie-Hoo that people die when they reach 100 years old. We had to tenderly answer all of his questions as his eyes filled with tears. This has led to at least one question a day about death. I see him thinking with his head cocked to one side and then he will say something like, “When we die the sand will still be at the beach.”

I am very straightforward with my children and try to go into depth about any topic that they are interested in. We are their teachers after all and the deeper I can explain things the more they will understand life. The topic of death always stumps me. How does one tell a four year old that life does not go on forever and that we all die at some point? The other difficult topic is marriage. When Axel first learned that children leave their parents for college and than get married and live with their own family he cried and cried for days and told me that he wanted to marry me so that he would never have to leave me.

Hootie-Hoo rarely gets to watch TV but is somehow obsessed with Teletubbies. At any given moment he will start the Teletubby laugh and his brothers will join in. Inevitably, the laughter will escalate into unstoppable giggles. While skiing the other day Tucker spotted Tinky Winky on skis and he was elated. When we got down from skiing we sat on a bench next to a teenager with green hair.Hootie-Hoo excitedly asked if he was a Teletubby, thankfully he didn’t ask if he was Tinky Winky. Thumper and Axel loved that even though they were thoroughly mortified.

They all get confused by time never really knowing what day it is.Hootie-Hoo asks, “When is it going to be tomorrow? I know, after all the other days it will be tomorrow.” He also gets confused with age and size, “When I was big I’m going to be smaller.” Half the time none of us know what he is talking about although his brothers are usually more clued in then his parents.

He is growing up but he still gets his words confused. He woke up the other morning and asked if we were going to “Fantosco” (Costco) or he tells me to be careful because his art piece is “Very Fragical.” He has just learned about rhyming and excitedly states that “O rhymes with no and X-Games rhymes with the F-word” (we were all stumped by that one). We are just waiting for him to say, “Tucker rhymes with……”

We all think that he is going to be our little comedian but currently we are not allowed to laugh when he is funny or he will cross his arms angrily, stick his tongue out and become very naughty. When he was eating a strawberry he said, “Look it has a butt crack.”

My friend Stephanie has a stunning little girl named Lindsey and she and Hootie-Hoo have become the best of friends. After a play date Tucker walks around the house singing “I feel wonderful as can be.” I think she is his first crush and boy does he get silly around her. She tells her mommy that he is, oh so very chatty!

It is so difficult to try to feed one’s creative side and raise a family. I am determined to better juggle my time between my family and my writing so that everybody is happy. After all, if I don’t tune in I am missing great material. They work together and somehow I must find that balance.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Jillian, do you think that it would be possible for part of Madoff’s punishment would be that he has to read your blogs? Maybe he would have an epiphany and would actually become a better person….
    Your blogs make me laugh AND cry!

  2. I totally get the conflict between ‘career’ and ‘family’ .and the pain that causes..I quit after three years of missing out on my children, and have never regretted that time, which never comes back! So many people are working, both parents, and NOT RAISING their children, for many, far too many the STATE is raising our children, and by all acounts not doing such a great job of it.

    Have you come across the writings of John Holt on how children learn, or a book called ‘Gnys at Work’ by Glenda Bisset about her observations of her own infant, on how children really learn?

    Holt maintains that intelligence cannot be assessed by how much one knows, but more properly by what one does when dealing with the unknown, which is what children are dealing with a lot of the time as they explore. Tests therefore are useless.

    In Holts view, what adults call ‘childrens play’ is truely an earnest and scientific exploration of the world – based on joy, and scientific in the sense that children will manipulate things to see what happens, to ‘learn’, and they will often ‘model’ those things for a while before ‘using them’ – ie: get a picture in their head of the object and it’s dimensons, weights, textures etc.. a sensible thing to do.

    What is intersting about this as an adult is that we can learn (or remember) to learn like children again and that opens a world of possibilities and imaginings, especially for creative stuff, problem solving and so on, not to mention the sheer joy from such explorations and discoveries.

  3. amen! i always struggle w/ that balancing act. i’ve always been career-driven and constantly have to remind myself to STOP and smell the roses, if you will. i guess that’s the best gift my kids have given me…i am forced to meet their needs, give them attention, enjoy the little things in life with them, etc.

    thanks for the post.

    http://chroniclesofmomnia..blogspot.com

  4. I too have a little guy totally confused with the word associations of time. I am often confused on when they will be going on a field trip in preschool, as it is either yesterday or next year. I just nod my head, ruffle his mop of hair, and then try and find the answers in his book bag…

  5. This was too cute! Little Tucker sounds like a hoot! I can relate to the whole balancing act thing. I try to get the writing done when the three older ones are at school. But my son is only 3 and sometimes I too ‘ignore’ him. It kills
    me.
    Aspen is gorgeous, bet you guys had a great time playing.

  6. Aww.. sigh. it is hard juggling act. Kids/Writing. I’m learning. They’re learning. But most importantly my hubby as learned to pick up the slack of having a full time writer in the house. great post..

  7. Hey gorgeous girl – hadn’t visited isdisnormal is ages (since you started it actually) and holy crap – everything you’re writing is so fabulous. You have such a gift. How are we going to get you discovered….rich, famous etc. 🙂 xo p.s. Tucker was correct – strawberries do have butt cracks!!

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