I love talking to kids. They’re so real, so refreshing, and so random. Their minds race along at superhuman speeds and every little thought that pops into their minds comes flying out their mouth. You’ve got to be quick when talking with them because conversation topics have a tendency to change at lightening pace.
To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, here’s a real conversation I had with Addy (my two-year-old) a couple days ago (with added commentary in italics):
Addy: Daddy, whatcha doing?
Me: Working on the blog. Do you want to help me with a blog post?
Addy: Yeah! I want to do toys and space!
Translation: Let’s write about toys and space, like last time!
After running over and snuggling up next to me, the conversation continued.
Addy: Ok, Daddy, I’m ready.
Me: Great. What do you want to say about toys and space?
Addy: Ummmmm . . . I like space because I color in my coloring books.
Apparently, coloring and space are fundamentally related.
Addy: Daddy, is you doing coloring right now?
Speaking of coloring, Dad, do you happen to be coloring right now? The best part about this question is that I’m clearly not coloring.
Me: No girl, I’m typing.
A look of intense confusion spreads across her face like she’s thinking, “Wait, we were talking about coloring, so Dad must have been coloring, right?” The confusion doesn’t last long though because her mind jumps to another topic.
Addy: Dad (dramatic pause coupled with a deep sigh as she stares off into the distance) I like zebras. Write that. Dad, are you writing “zebras”?
Translation: Dad, hurry up and write “zebras.”
Addy: Actually, write that I like space with zebras.
And we’re back to space. Well, space with zebras.
My wife, thinking we’re still talking about coloring (that’s so twenty seconds ago) chimes in:
Sam: Addy, what do you like to color?
Addy: Zebras in space (she says with a matter-of-fact tone). See, in space, it’s dark in the whole solar system.
Duh, mom, I like coloring zebras in space because outer space is dark.
And, speaking of the solar system . . .
Addy: I like Neptune. Dad, is you writing “Neptune”?
Me: Yes, I’m writing “Neptune.”
Addy: I like Earth too. And yellow, I like yellow. Dad, is you writing “yellow”?
This is exactly the stuff I love: she jumps from the solar system to Neptune to Earth to . . . yellow? Not only that, but she’s very intent on accurately documenting our journey.
Me: Yes, I’m writing “yellow.”
Addy: Dad this is my right foot.
And we’re done with space and onto feet. But only for a second, because next up is . . .
Addy: Dad, write Mickey. And Mary (Addy’s cousin) because I like Mary. And smiles.
There’s at least a little bit of a logical progression here: we were talking about feet, Mickey has feet, Mary sounds like Mickey, Mary smiles a lot which reminds Addy that she likes smiles. And of course, when you think about smiling, the next thing that comes to mind is . . .
Addy: Dad, sometimes when you’re at work you don’t answer your phone.
This gem is easily my favorite part of the entire conversation. Only a kid would be trucking along talking about things she likes and then suddenly remember, “Oh yeah, when I called Dad at work the other day he didn’t answer. I should tell him that.”
Me: That’s true, sometimes I don’t answer my phone.
Addy: Yeah, but I want to talk about zebras
Enough phone talk, let’s get back to zebras.
Me: Ok, tell me a little about zebras.
Addy: Me (deep breath) I can’t.
Two seconds later
Addy: Ok (you talked me into it), I like zebras. And panda bears.
She says as she starts getting down off the couch. As she trots into the other room, she starts talking to herself.
Addy: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 . . . yeah . . . magical powers, magical powers . . . magical powers.
Magical powers, indeed. The charming, delightful, magical power of talking with a child.