Thursday, July 09, 2009

Are you smarter than a kindergartener?

I'd forgotten that a four year old has the capacity to talk non-stop. From the time that the girlie wakes up in the morning, until her head hits the pillow at bedtime, the verbal onslaught is relentless.

The boy was certainly chatty enough at this age; but the girlie takes it to a whole new level. When the L-boy used to verbalize each and every thought that happened to pop into his head, he would still be content even that we let him unravel a soliloquy, with the occasional head nod, or "yes", "really?", "well, that's very special"... to acknowledge that at least our subconscious was still following him. After all, who can respond to each and every single question that comes out of a kindergartener's mouth?

Well, in the world according to the girl, her parents are supposed to. If we just nod an "um-hmmm", she'll yell, "Hey, you weren't listening to me! Listen to my words!"

But there are some glimpses of brilliance hidden amongst the verbal diarrhea. And I'm not just saying that because I'm her mother.

The other day she asked us,"Mommy and Daddy, where was I before I was born?"

Now we initially thought this was an open invitation to launch into the sex talk, but at 4, we thought it a bit premature. We were at a loss, and then before we uttered anything, she pretty much answered it for herself. She was talking spiritually. As in, "Was I with the other babies in heaven, waiting to be born? Like where Gong-Gong is?" Wow. Silent mutual stares of "help" between the parents seemed to have saved the day.

And then yesterday, I inadvertently (well, because it was right on the road being run over by the half a dozen cars in front of me ) ran over an already flattened road pizza formerly known as skunk. As we drove over it, and I sucked in my breath (wishing I knew how to kiss my teeth), bracing myself for the stink that would now envelope the van, my girlie asked what was the matter.

So I told her that I had run over a skunk, and that I wished I had been able to avoid the poor thing. But that it was already dead when I ran over it.

And she asked me this:

"Mommy, why don't they just make sidewalks for animals? Then they can walk on their own sidewalk in a line, and people will know not to run over them. And maybe they can put up a sign to show drivers that there are skunks and other animals on that sidewalk."

Good point. Never mind about the details of having to train the animals to stay on their side of the road. But the sign is a grand idea - look at this:

(image from

At least skunks have legs.

And my son's response when I told him I ran over a skunk? He checked out the tires to see if there were any skunk guts adorning them. No such luck. Boys.

But the best one yet?

As I ran the kids out of the house this morning to drop them to their camps, decked out in my "interview" suit to meet the headhunter (more on that later), the girl looked at me and said,

"Oh, I like your outfit mommy. I like your necklace. You look like you are going to talk at the front of a meeting. You know, the lady who talks to all the people when they come to a meeting, you look like her!"

"Well, Mommy did do something like that before I had you and stayed home. Do you think that might be what you want to be when you grow up, sweetie?"

"You had to stay home to take care of me and Goh-Goh, right Mommy? So we don't get hurt (guilting already!!), right? I can be that lady when I grow up, but only when you're a Grandma."

And then she took one look at my shoes and said, "Oh, but be very careful Mommy. You don't know how to wear heels."

And she was brilliantly right.

My feet are KILLING me.


Tooj said...

The thought processes they go through are simply brilliant. sometimes so thoughtfully SIMPLE we realize how complicated we make things. And I think you should be the entrepreneur of the animal crossing signs.

the BLAH BLAH BLAHger said...

I'm LOVING this post! Hi from SITS!

Kat said...

Hahaha! I love looking through the eyes of a child. They see so much we don't. Love it. :)

April said...

Oh, I love "Listen to my words!" Maybe I should use that phrase with my own girls!

Tara R. said...

The kiddo is brilliant! Love the goldfish sign too.

Natacha said...

Too cute!

Yo Momma said...

oh I am so feeling you on this! I have a five year old and it is non-stop verbal puking and within the vomit there are definite nuggets of wisdom and insight!

imbeingheldhostage said...

wow-- four going on 30 maybe. What a clever girl!
Is this what I have to look forward to in a year and a half? Because you're right about the boys chatting away, but Miss Ky is already doing serious damage to my brain and she hasn't begun the Einstein ponderings you're dealing with.
Heehee, you're going to be in big trouble with that one-- forget the arrogance that comes for most with the teen years (how they know more than their parents), she may be shaking her head at you by 7. :-)

Momisodes said...

The animal sidewalk is so clever. It's so wonderful seeing what goes on through their minds.

My daughter has the same reaction if you don't reply with "yes" "okay", etc when she speaks. Drives me a little nuts.

Dina said...

great post Karen! It is amazing what these little people come out with from time to time (okay-daily!!)
My big boy is only 3 and he amazes us daily with his wisdom and imagination!

Mrs4444 said...

She sounds very precocious! A good response to a question you don't know the answer to is, "What do YOU think?" She'll probably take that and run with it! :)

P.S. Hope the interview went well.

louann said...

Conversations with children can be very profound you know! Love it! Smart Kid =)

Midwest Mommy said...

Wow, I am impressed with her language!

Knatolee said...

I love your kids!! :)

J at said...

Cute shoes always hurt. Crappy fact of life. The cuter they are, the more they hurt. Why is this?


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