I’ve been neck-deep in motherhood of late, feeling at times as though it simply isn’t possible to do more than keep us all alive until the end of the day (with bonus points thrown in for clean dishes and washed – though not folded or put away – laundry). As such, I haven’t written much this summer. I haven’t journaled, I haven’t worked on my half-finished novel, I haven’t blogged.
I’m learning – I think – to be okay with this, to recognize the fits and spurts that fuel my creativity, to give myself the space and the grace to let things lie dormant for a bit.
And yet, even when the words aren’t flowing, I have this itch to record our days, to mark the small moments, to choose to be present. My days, while ordinary, are full of discovery. Of wonder. Of laughter. How could they not be, with an almost-one-year-old (how did that happen?) and a three-year-old as my constant companions?
My words aren’t flowing at the moment, but Katie has more than enough for the two of us. (When we’re at home, anyway. When we’re out in public, she’s too busy observing and introverting to have space for talking.) Her thoughts and observations are an apt commentary on our lives here, today, in July 2017. So, without further ado, I present Katie-Speak, Vol. 1.
After I turned down her offer to share her chips with me: “My tummy all full from lunch, but it say, ‘I want chips!'”
After dessert, when Jonathan encouraged her to take a drink of water: “No, honey. I no want wash taste of yummy cookie out of my mouth.” [Ed. note: “Honey” is a moniker given to her parents whenever she is explaining something, often offered with a tone of patient condescension.]
As we were eating couscous: “Hey Mama, why we call this stuff ‘goose poop’?
As I was making dessert, and sharing bits of crushed cookies with her:
K: I can have another one of those Mama?
Me: Not right now, sweetie. These are for later.
K: I can have one, Mama?
Me: What did I say, sweetheart?
K: I can have one cuz you love me, Mama?
On growing up/marriage:
“When I get married and Abby gets married, we wear rings. And I drive, and Abby sits in my seat. And I get my own food.” [Ed. note: highlights of marriage, according to this kid, appear to be driving and grocery shopping.]
“When you get married, then Jesus say, ‘OK. You all done now. Time for you to have kids. That what Jesus say.'”
On the perfect gift:
Me: What should we get for Daddy?
K: A doggy treat. [Ed. note: for her birthday, Katie got a large chocolate dog – a doggy treat – from her Aunt Fats.]
Me: Hmm. He might like that. What do you think Daddy likes to do?
K: He like blow bubbles with me … and play with Legos … and that about it.
Later, as we were driving into town, she saw a chicken coop.
K: Oh! I fink Daddy want a chicken! Yes. Daddy want a chicken, Mama. I ask him if I can hold it. Chickens like to be held, mom?
As she was making a card for Daddy, which she wouldn’t let me write on because she’d already done it: “It say, ‘Fank you for the bike cup and for giving it to me. And fank you for our friends coming over. And fank you for paints and our food. And fank you for our family.'”]
As Jonathan leaves for work each morning, regardless of weather: “I love you, Dad, and drive safe in the rain!”
After I kiss her goodnight: “I love you, ham!” [Ed. note: this started a few months back, after she heard us refer to her as a ham, and has been repeated every night since then without fail.]
After recovering from reaching into an interesting looking tube and being stung by a wasp:
“Maybe they scared of me. Maybe they having party and they say, ‘Oh no, Katie, please no come our party!'”
About how she spends her time:
“I play in my room with all my friends and ‘lations for days and days and nights and nights.” [Ed. note: can you tell we’ve been reading Pooh-bear books around here?]
On nap time:
“Ok. You go put Abby in her bed, and I go in my room and lock the door and hide behind the tre-ill [treadmill], and you come in and say, ‘Oh! How this door lock?’ and then say, ‘Oh, where Katie could be?’ Ok, Mama?” [Ed note: These instructions are given every day.]
Me: When Mommy or Daddy asks you to do something, you need to listen.
K: I don’t believe that.
Me: Why did you push your sister over?
K: Jesus make me do it.
Me: No, Jesus did not make you do it.
K: Um … Satan make me do it?
Finally, an interview, inspired by a similar conversation between her cousin Marie and Aunt Sarah:
What’s your favorite color?
“Umm. What your favorite color, Mom? …. I like purple.”
What’s your favorite song?
“I like ‘Joy to the World.’ And lots and lots and lots and LOTS of Christmas songs.”
What’s your favorite food?
“I like chicken.” [Ed note: she was eating chicken at the time. When asked earlier, the answer was grapes.]
What do you like to do?
“I like swim in the pool. That about it.”
What’s your favorite book?
“That hard question, Mama. I have fink what my favorite book … oh. I know. I like Llama Llama, Red Pajama In the Dark Without He Mama. That my favorite book.”
What do you want to be when you grow up?
“Um. I want be a daddy. Oh. And a llama.”
I’m writing a story about you and telling our friends about things you say and things you like to do. What should I say?
“I love to play with Legos and my chichen [kitchen] and I love to play outside. I like to … swim in the pool. Ok. That good.
Who is your best friend?
And, since nothing can top that, that is where we’ll leave you.