3-year-olds are a special kind of human being. They're starting to get the world, you know? They try really hard to talk and act just like their big sisters and brothers and parents.
We try to be good examples.
But sometimes, it comes out all wrong.
And it is the most hilarious thing you hear all day.
Here are a few examples from our last couple of weeks:
At Christmas Dinner:
Nana (my mother-in-law): "Allie, eat your carrots."
Allie: "YOU ARE NOT THE MOMMA! Momma, she is not the Momma!"
Me: "Allie, you're right. Nana is not the Momma, but she is the Nana, and you still have to do what she says."
A few minutes later:
Nana: "Allie, aren't you going to eat those carrots?"
Allie (really frustrated now): "NANA! Mommy, Nana is not the Momma AGAIN!"
Me: "Allie, I know Nana is not the Momma, but you are still supposed to listen to her when she asks you to do something."
Allie: "Me not eating those carrots."
It doesn't help that we laugh. Everyone at the table laughed. Allie and Grace are little mothers, and they hear You are not the Momma. Let the Momma take care of -----. at least once a day.
One night, I was working in the living room while Joe and the girls sat at the dining room table. I'm not sure what they were doing, maybe crafting? Or finishing their supper? I don't remember.
Allie: "Grace, you are not the momma. Daddy's the momma and Momma's the momma."
Grace: "Allie, Daddy's not the momma. Only Momma's the momma."
Allie: "YES HIM IS! Daddy's the momma!"
Joe: "Grace, Allie is right. Daddy's the momma, and Momma's the momma."
Allie: "That right! Gracie, you NOT the momma."
Another thing they hear almost every day is Who are you supposed to be worrying about? The correct answer is Myself.
Me: "Allie, do you need to use the potty?"
Allie (holding her bottom): "No."
Me: "Allie. You need to sit on the potty."
Allie: "No me don't! You worry about yourself!"
And sometimes, it all comes together at once.
At the dinner table
Allie (whispering): "Daddy, Gracie being bad."
Joe: "Allie, worry about yourself. Let Momma take care of Gracie."
Allie (leaning over to me): "Momma, Gracie being bad."
Me: "Allie. Worry about yourself. You are not the Momma."
Allie (whispering to herself): "Her is still being bad!"
And then there are the bodily functions and excretions that infatuate and amaze every 3-year-old I've ever met.
Again at the dinner table
Allie: "Daddy, you eat my pizza." (as she slides her half-slice of homemade pizza onto his plate)
Allie: "It's yucky." (which really sounds more like yutty)
Joe (eyeing the pizza): "What's yucky about it?"
Allie: "It has a boogie on it."
Then bedtime, the bane of every 3-year-old parent's existence. Is there any task more frustrating and complex than bedtime? I'm pretty sure there is not.
Allie has already gone upstairs to bed and returned to the living room three times. By now, her 6-year-old sister is asleep in the bed they share (with me). I am working on the computer in the living room, and Allie climbed up in the chair, sitting on the arm, and has her arms firmly around my neck.
Joe (coming down the stairs from the bedroom): "Allie, it's time for bed."
Allie: "Leave me alone, Daddy."
Joe reaches out to pick her up, and her grip around my neck tightens.
Allie: "Daddy, I SAID LEAVE ME ALONE."
He continues to hold out his arms to pick her up and takes a step closer.
She holds her hands up in the air like claws and HISSES.
Like a cat.
I am trying unsuccessfully to stifle my intense laughter as she sounds exactly like our old, cantankerous cat who hisses when provoked.
Joe (unmoved by her hissing and my laughter): "Allie, it is time for bed."
Allie: "Daddy! You go sit in your seat over there and leave me alone!"
Joe pried her fingers from my neck and took her back to bed. Again.
A few weeks ago, a stomach bug passed through our home. First me, then Allie, Grace, and lastly Joe.
Me, to Grace: "Where does your belly hurt?"
She showed me.
Allie, walking by: "My butt hurts right here."
My mother, who passed away six months ago, said, "Well my a-- hurts right here." all. the. time. It was one of those moments when I got chills and goosebumps.
We've been potty training for a year, I swear. It's mostly my fault because I don't force the issue at all. Following my pediatrician's advice (which would have been my own advice to another parent), I let Allie lead the process. I do encourage her to sit on the potty (and sometimes even tell her that she has to), and she gets it most of the time.
Except when she doesn't want to.
Me: "Allie, why do you always poop in your pull-up at the church?"
Allie: "Because there's no potty at the church."
Me: "There are toilets at the church. Toilets are just big potties. You can use a toilet, and then Sarah won't have to change your diaper."
Allie: "Mommy. Do you want to see something?"
Me: "Allie. Why won't you use the toilet at church?"
Allie (finger pointing at me): "I am going to show you something."
Me: "Are you ignoring me?"
End of conversation. Because really, what else is there to say?
While we're on the subject of church, let's talk about praying and heaven.
One morning while we were still in bed, Allie spontaneously bowed her head, closed her eyes, and began to pray.
I was quick to mentally pat myself on the back. I am an awesome Christian Momma.
Allie: "Dear Santa, please take care of Grandma and Gracie-cat, and bring me some more presents."
Clearly, I've gone awry somewhere.
So that's just a few of our recent gems. 3-year-old sayings are just so funny, and I hope someday to be able to remind her of the ridiculousness she came up with on a daily basis.