Speaking their minds

Amy Condon is a mum to 3 kids, who are all under 3! Yes, you heard us right. Each week she tells us all about the ups and downs of bringing up 3 children so close in age. This week Amy talks about the hilarious conversations her kids have…

‘This is a zebra,’ G informed me yesterday. ‘A baby one. A baby zebra is called a Petit Filous.’

Sometimes, your kids manage to leave you speechless, don’t they? Unable to think of the actual name of a baby zebra (Foal? Cub? Kitten??) fast enough, I merely smiled. ‘Is it? That’s interesting.’

A cop out, I know. Yes, yes, it’s my job to educate them. But sometimes, their answers are just better. You try calling a baby zebra anything else now.

The conversations my girls have absolutely slay me. My mum relayed another cracker after she’d been watching them the other day. She served up some crusty bread for lunch.

‘Don’t you want your crusts?’ she asked T, who was carefully scooping out the middle of each slice.
‘No,’ T replied. ‘I only like crusts on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.’
‘Today is Friday,’G piped up helpfully.
‘Ah, that’s why I don’t like my crusts,’ T said, as G nodded sagely.

They are priceless. In fact, T never eats her crusts. They just love concocting these little tales. And I love seeing how cheeky they’ve grown.

They were playing a game earlier that involved going to the ‘doctor’ to get their teeth checked. They were taking it in turns to poke about the other’s mouth with a peg and count the teeth, when G decided the situation needed formalising. She carefully manoeuvred a chair in front of her sister, but then realised her doctor’s kit was in the other room. She placed the peg on the chair and turned to T:
‘Don’t touch anything,’ she ordered. ‘Otherwise I’ll come back, and I’ll know.’
‘OK,’ her sister replied.
G looked dubious. ‘Stay still, don’t touch,’ she repeated.
Even as she left the room, she looked back at her perfectly stationary sister.
‘Don’t touch.’
‘OK, I won’t touch,’ smiled T dutifully.

The second G turned the corner, T, leapt forward, touched one finger to the peg, grinned manically, then popped straight back into position. I honestly nearly wet myself. What was even funnier was when the scenario played out in reverse just a few minutes later and when T left the room, G did exactly the same thing. They are such little comedians. It’s wonderful to see their grasp of language grow to include sarcasm and irony. It’s no longer about getting what they want when they want it. It’s about growing relationships and expressing who they are. I’m even getting to see it emerge in M now too.

I was handing out slices of pear one night after dinner when M waved me away.
‘Hold that! Hold that!’ she demanded, pointing to the uncut fruit in my hand.
‘But you can’t really eat it that way, honey,’ I said, handing over the pear so she could see for herself.
‘Thank you, Mummy,’ she grinned, delightedly examining the pear.
‘OK, do you want Mummy to cut it now,’ I asked, holding out my hand.
‘No, she frowned, hugging it close. ‘Hold this.’
‘But you can’t eat it. Let Mummy cut it,’ I persisted.
She merely held the pear closer than ever, turned to me and said, in a voice dripping with sarcasm, ‘Thank. You. Mummy.’

I’d just been dressed down by a 17-month-old. Head dipped, eyes narrowed, her meaning was obvious. I had been put in my place. I’d handed over the pear. My work was done. She said: ‘Thank you Mummy,’ but it was quite obvious she meant, ‘Now go away’! Sarcasm before she’s a-year-and-a-half. Not sure if that makes me a terrible mother, or a great one.

Either way, she and her sisters are nothing if not amusing. I used to complain a lot about a lack of adult company, about all my conversations being about building blocks or poop or having to rhyme. But I find these days, the girls are full of wonderful ideas and speak with such excitement, I just can’t help being swept along by their enthusiasm. I picked the twins up from dance class last week to be instantly bombarded with in-depth explanations of how everyone had joined up to be a centipede. They were so full of delight, that I couldn’t stop smiling. We’ve been a centipede more times than I can count this week, and I’m having just as much fun as the girls are. Who needs adult company when you have three cheeky, chatty bundles of fun around? Maybe I’ll start refusing foods based on the day of the week too. I mean, no cake Mondays would be good for the figure, after all. Probably should find out what a baby zebra is called though. Anyone?’

Have any of your kids’ conversations made you chuckle? Tell us about your experiences in our comments section below or on Facebook.

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