This last May, on the way to school one day, my oldest was deep in sharing his future business plans with me, ones involving a video game design empire. Midway through his description of his employee incentives program, Baby-Girl interrupted from the back seat.
“I’ve lived for a whole decade!”
I acknowledged the milestone. My son resumed describing his plans, only to be interrupted by her again: “Or wait. Maybe it’s a century. I always get those two mixed up.”
As soon as we got to school, I stopped and wrote her words down on the back of a receipt, wanting to remember what she said. I’ve been, for the most part, negligent about this, about writing down all of the wonderfully fun things she says, despite the hundreds of times I’ve thought of doing it. That morning, I decided to be more intentional about recording these gems of hers.
In the weeks since, I’ve still mostly failed at gem preservation, but I have managed to write down five more of them.
I. Baby-Girl: “Dad, did you know that Solomon had seven hundred wives?”
LCB: “Yeah, pretty wild, huh?”
Baby-Girl: “What’s with that? I mean, did he even read the Ten Commandments?” Righteous indignation and attention to detail are specialties of hers.
LCB, holding his expression steady as best he could: “Plus, he had three hundred girlfriends.”
Baby-Girl: “Oh, yeah, you mean Samaritans. That’s right.”
LCB: “I think they were actually called concubines.”
Baby-Girl: “Oh, yeah. That’s the word. I knew it started with an ‘S.’”
II. This one came out while she brainstormed for names for a business she wants to start. She realized she had written the same name twice on her list, reflected for a moment, and said, “I think alike a lot. (Pause.) With myself. (Pause). My brain is weird that way.”
III. During a discussion LCB and I had on adult obesity rates, Baby-Girl sat nearby drawing quietly. At one point, however, she looked up, wide-eyed and serious, to announce, “I don’t want to get to the age where I can’t eat Cheez-Its!”
IV. Last night, when Baby-Girl was going to bed, she whipped out her typical stalling maneuvers. After three or four of her attempts at engaging me in philosophical discourse, I got up to leave. She was sprawled out on her bed atop blankets and forty-seven stuffed animals, and as I walked toward her door, telling her we were finished with discussions for the evening, she pointed to her blankets and said, “Mom, c’mon! Can’t I at least have a proper tuck in?”
V. Finally, this is my personal favorite. As she was packing for a sleepover one afternoon, I looked in her bag and noticed she had packed three socks. I don’t mean she packed three pairs of socks; I mean three individual socks.
“Why did you pack three socks?” I asked, and she answered, “Well, you said to pack extra, so I packed one pair for tomorrow plus one extra sock.”
She said this in all seriousness, as if it explained everything, so I asked, “What in the world kind of good is one extra sock going to do you?”
“Oh, you know,” she said casually, “in case I step in poop with one foot or something.”