Three-year-olds, am I right?

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Winter butterfly

[Winter butterfly] This totally looks like a cold, possibly wet butterfly. Or is it really a pear? They’re so much alike!

Today my three-year-old took a pear from the fridge and said, “Oooh, it’s cold like a cold butterfly.”

Then I rinsed it off for her, and she said, “Now it’s wet like a wet, cold butterfly.”

She’s really good with those similes, isn’t she?

But her best comment was when I was helping her get her leggings on. Those suckers can be tough sometimes. She was slowly pushing her leg through. When she was nearly at the end, she said, “You’re about to discover a foot!”

Indeed because then her foot appeared!

The kid cracks me up.

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42 responses »

  1. it sounds like you have a winner there! I hope she continues to delight you! My 5yr old received $15 for thanksgiving. Wondering what to do with it I told her 3 things, spend it, save it, or give it to someone who needs it. What ever you chose make sure you feel good about what you did with your money. Two days later she brought the money up again. She was talking about giving some to her best friend in school (who has recently gone through her parents divorce and so a little withdrawn) proud of my girl I asked, “How would that make you feel about what you did with your money.?” She replies, “Sad”. I won’t have it any more.” ~ they never cease to delight! Congrats!

  2. Come to think of it, a coronal section thru a pear reveals a core that looks like a butterfly. Maybe she’d seen someone show her that, and put it together with the experience of a whole pear, so that now pears & butterflies are connected in her mind.

  3. Aw, those were truly precious :) One thing I really love about kids’ sense of humor is that often they don’t even know they have it. They’re just so cute and funny the way they are.

    • That’s so true. I don’t know how many times I’ve laughed at my kids and they’ve simply looked at me like, “What did I say?” Or more often, they smile and psuedo-laugh as though they get the joke too, but you can tell they have no clue. Poor kids. :)

      • Oh, yeah, I know that response. It’s a look, a pause, and then a laugh. They’re not laughing at what you’re laughing at, they’re laughing possibly at the fact that you found it funny, or posibly just at the fact you’re laughing at anything. Reminds me of when my niece was 3 YO and came to talk to me, and I asked whether I should turn off the TV or its sound to listen to her. She said, “He [the narrator] could talk…,” and I laughed, and she gave one of those.

        Thinking about that later, I mused about (and still muse about) whether we find kids cute because they’re a walking moron joke. AFAICT, they ARE a moron joke, but we don’t feel sorry for the kids because we expect them to outgrow that, while the poor moron is stuck for life. And then when people enter “second childhood”, they can be just as funny, but the situation then tends to be much more awkward for the family than with actual children, and we don’t often joke about it until after the demented die.

  4. Hi there! It’s Valerie from Nikitaland. I just popped on over to check out your blog and it is awesome! I SUBSCRIBED IMMEDIATELY! I loved this post and that “foot discovery” thingy was hilarious. I wonder what my Mom’s blog would have said about me if she had got the chance back in 1965 to write the tales of Val down? I shudder to think about those chronicles! :-)

  5. I’ve often wanted to keep a book of all the things my kids said growing up. My son was infamous for creating his own words. To this day I tell him I’m going to write a dictionary filled with the words he used. lol. She sounds adorable!! :)

    • The odd thing is that I’ve started to spontaneously make up words late in life, starting around when I hit my 50s, maybe an early sign of “2nd childhood”. I do it under circumstances where a grunt or curse would be expected; a friend referred to the latter as “cursing in tongues”. The grunts would be for instance if I were pedaling my 1 speed bike uphill, the curses for instance if I were dropping something or stubbed my toe. At 1st they seemed like random vocaliz’ns, but then I noticed certain recurring phonemes, sounding vaguely Russian, German, or Chinese, e.g. “Yavootz!” in the case of the curses, although I was told that one of my grunts meant something bad in Spanish. I’m wondering if this is how spoken language originated.

      • Spoken language originating from a stubbed toe! Ha! What an intriguing idea. Though I’m sure our earliest predecessors undoubtedly vocalized some sign of frustration over dropping their club on their foot, it may not have been the first word formalized. Probably they couldn’t all agree on the proper response in those situations. They probably had their own individual flair for the colorful.
        “Yavootz!” That’s funny. I often find myself making up words when my brain and mouth can’t agree on which word to say. Usually it comes out as half of one and half of the other. Then bingo! “Cranting”–craving and wanting in one!

      • Some of those blends like “cranting”, where you’re hung up between words of similar meaning, are so common they’re on their way to making it into the language. One that comes to mind because I hear it a lot is “lacksadaisic”, from lax + lackadaisic.

        The sounds that I seem to favor when grunting or cursing in tongues are:
        “ah”
        “b”
        “ch” (more in grunts than curses)
        “d”
        “f”
        hard “g”
        “h”
        “m”
        “n”
        “oo” as in “book”
        “oo” as in “boot”
        “uoy” as in “buoy” (but mine’s more like “boy” with a Russian accent)
        initial, but strangely enough not intervocalic,”r”
        “ts”/”tz”
        “v”
        consonant “y”

        One of my particularly florid curses was “Radabadoomha!”

      • The thing that strikes me in all this is that you curse so often as to remember your most predominant sound choices, of which there are many! One suspects you could benefit from a spa day! ;)

      • Another sound I often make at those times is a terminal “sk”, as in Popeye-speak.

        These tendencies may not be mine alone. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that some conventional curses were chosen for their sound rather than their meaning. That reminds me of a recent visit to the new home of a couple I’m acquainted with. On the mantle was a crest emblazoned in runes: fehu-uruz-kenaz. I had to ask, and they explained that a friend had given it to them as a fertility charm. Their daughter is a little young yet to read, let alone in Elder Futhark, but looks like she’s growing up in a home where that will NOT be a curse word.

      • Futhark is an old runic alphabet, of which there were a few versions. Its name comes from the 1st 8 letters in it, just as “alphabet” comes from alpha, beta. It’s popular among people trying to revive “that old time religion”. Fehu, uruz, kenaz would transliterate to FUK. The runes come from a time & place where paper & parchment were scarce, so they’re adapted to carving, as opposed for instance to Hebrew or Chinese, which were adapted to painting.

      • I’m not sure of all the places Elder Futhark carvings have been found, but generally they were distributed over northern Europe. Some ancient runes, not exactly Elder Futhark but related, have been found in the Americas; some were, shall we say, “antiqued”, but others are authentically ancient.

  6. Maybe I should ask Noam Chomsky if he thinks curse words are sound-derived. There just are certain sounds I tend to make when caught off guard and exhaling rapidly. As to the grunts, they are apparently Valsalva maneuver-related, like sneezes; I guess an extreme version would be exhibited by someone with Tourette’s syndrome. The so-called “coprolalia” (duty-tongue condition) they are sometimes said to have may be phonations that are mistaken for curse words, or it may be that they catch themselves making these sounds with just enough control to turn them into curse words because they resemble them to begin with.

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