Friday, September 25, 2009

Anatomy of a cow

Alex enjoys long conversations in the car. Maybe question and answer sessions is more accurate - him questioning, me trying to think of a plausible answer while negotiating afternoon traffic. He could be the next Kerry O'Brien.

Here's an excerpt:

Alex: 'Mum, where are a cow's boobs?

Me: Well, they're called udders and they're underneath their body...

Alex: They're near their bum aren't they? (giggles)

Me: Well, yes I suppose so...

Alex: Do they have two boobs near their bum or one?

Me (feeling a bit ddefensive about the use of the term 'boobs' to describe a cow, especially as I am currently breastfeeding Maya): Well, they're called udders Alex and they only have one

Alex: If they only have one why did you say UDDERS and not UDDER?

Me (thinking, is it because there is more than one teat, how do I explain that???): Well I suppose I was describing more than one cow

Alex (apparently satisfied with this, discontinues questioning and decides to issue a summation): SO, the cow's udders are near its bum, and if they had them up here (I suppose he gesturing to his chest but since I'm making a left turn I can't see) and then they stood up straight the baby cow wouldn't be able to reach them to get any milk so they have to have them down near their bum so the baby cow can reach them I want to go to a farm and see a baby cow drinking milk from its mum's boob can I mum?

Listen with your ears

Alex and Maya were happily sitting in the trolley as we cruised the supermarket aisles. This was a triumph in itself. Suddenly, Alex called out, "Apple juice!" and pointed...immediately I responded, "No, Alex, we've got some apple juice at home, we're not getting any more."

Alex looked at me and gave an exasperated sigh, "Mum! Listen with your ears! I didn't ask for you to buy any apple juice, I just said 'apple juice' because I love it."

Point taken.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Numero Uno

The vagaries of the English language are difficult to explain to a three-year-old. Alex has started racing to places (ie, the car, the kitchen) before declaring, "I'm one!" after which I say, "You won!" and he corrects me, "No, I AM one, you're two and maya's three." He seems to get that he's actually three (as in, years old) and Maya's actually one, but when it comes to racing, number order is all there is, he's not grasping the winning and losing part of it yet.

Due concern

This is a sweet, rather than funny, anecdote. Yesterday Alex became concerned that I was thinking of putting Maya into child care - maybe he'd overheard the tail end of a conversation I'd been having with some one else and mis-interpreted it.

"Mum, why do the babies at day care don't matter?" he asked me. It took me a minute to figure out what he meant - sometimes he substitutes mind for matter (maybe confusing 'never mind' with 'it doesn't matter'? I find kids language development fascinating, but I digress...) - he meant why don't the babies at day care mind being left there (because Maya protests every time I leave the room). I explained that they were used to being there and that the teachers took care of them while their mums and dads were at work. "But I don't want you to do that to Maya, she's too little," he said, "she would cry too much. I'm a bigger boy so I like being at school and playing with my friends. Babies shouldn't leave their mums for that long. If we left her there, she'd cry so we'd have to go back and get her straight away."

I thought the empathy was really sweet. Perhaps he's been reading Steve Biddulph?

High Five?

Recently Alex picked up a picture book called 'A Bug's Life' (based on the animated film) for 50 cents at a garage sale. Since it's mainly about ants, Alex has re-named it 'An Ant's Life' which hasn't caused a problem until I told him that there was a DVD of the book, and he wanted to watch it.

Today it was time for a treat, so I phoned JB Hi-Fi to check whether they had any in stock. Alex asked to be put on the phone. "Hello? Do you have an Ant's Life?" the sales assistant obviously tried to explain that the movie was either Antz or A Bug's Life, and they are two separate movies. Alex became frustrated so I took over the conversation. Once I'd established that they did have A Bug's Life (only $12.95, movies have gotten cheaper since back in my day), we set off to the shop.

On the way, Alex mused, "What happens to JB Hi-Fives when they run out of Hi-Fives?"