New words, observations, and questions that come out of the mouths of babes often delight us because they show logic that we adults may have missed and might not have expected from such young minds.
New words from the mouths of babes
Our family moved to France when our daughter was barely four years old, and while my husband and I studied French in a formal setting, she learned French at a French preschool. The first phrases she came home with were assiez-toi (sit down), tais-toi (be quiet), and c’est a moi! (it’s mine!) She often tested the last phrase with her older siblings.
After four years in Europe and Africa, we returned to the States. As I recall (and I might be wrong about this) the two older kids helped their their eight-year-old sister learn the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag so she would fit in at her first American school. When you’ve been out of the country for a while, the flag looks so beautiful.
I love it when kids make up new words.
Our four-year-old grandson came out of the bathroom rubbing his hands.
Grandma: Did you wash your hands with soap?
Grandson: No, I used hanitizer.
It was lunch time, and we set the table with still water and fizzy (sparkling) water. At the end of the meal, our three-year-old grandson said, “Could I have some busy water?”
Observations from the mouths of babes
One evening when I was helping our four-year-old daughter get ready for bed, she told me that she was going to be like her two grandmas when she grew up – she’d buy teeth that came out at night and hair that came off. Of course I had to share the story with her grandmas, because they seemed to enjoy hearing their granddaughter’s aspirations as much as I did.
When we were on the way to visit grandparents who lived in Longview, our little daughter asked if we were going to stay with them in their compartment. She’d recently learned the word compartment (in the context of glove compartment) and switched it with apartment, which struck us as humorously appropriate because her grandparents had lived in a spacious house for many years and thought their apartment was on the small side.
4th of July Questions
Years ago, we visited the historic sites in Philadelphia with our young children. As we stood in line to see the Liberty Bell, our three-year-old son asked, “What is liberty?” So we explained it meant freedom. Some people ahead of us reverently touched the bell. When we got close to it, he asked, “If we touch it, will we be free?”
No, but touching the bell and feeling the crack – sensing the size, hardness, weight, yet vulnerability of its metal – makes us appreciate its place at the beginning of our history, a time when our founders fought for a country where they could live, work, worship, express themselves, and move about freely. That our melting pot of people from all over the world has survived over 200 years still shines as a unique phenomenon.
May God bless America, Land of the Free!
Posted on June 30, 2015