Five states and 750 miles can’t keep me away from four of the cutest and funnest kids in the Midwest. I’m privileged to be their Great Aunt, emphasis on GREAT, and they range from one to eleven years old. After visiting my niece’s family in the arctic north twice, I decided to keep a record of conversations with preschool-aged Hunter during another Thanksgiving visit with them. He had already provided a plethora of quips that only a preschooler could give, so I had no choice but to keep track of them. The 3- to 5-year-old range has always been my favorite age of kids, because of their silly sayings, behaviors, and honesty. They don’t intend to be funny; they just can’t help it. It comes naturally to them. So the following is a collection of conversations that I have had or observed with Hunter over the past year.
We had just finished dinner, but Hunter was still working on his. Out of nowhere, Hunter said something ineligible followed by “is a mess.”
So I asked for clarification, “What’s a mess?”
He simply replied, “Our house.”
I looked at my niece and said, “Well, there you have it!”
Hunter was sitting by himself at the table with a tablet next to his lunch, learning to multi-task at an early age. Because he has trouble eating all his food, I checked in on him.
“Hunter, did you eat all your mac and cheese?”
We had celebrated our family Christmas since we were all together for Thanksgiving, and I realized Hunter hadn’t been seen in a while, so I went on the hunt. I found him in his room with toys hiding the carpet.
I asked and stated the obvious, “What’re you doing? Looks like you’re making a mess.”
“Looks like a tornado went through here. Are you the tornado?”
Daddy was getting Hunter ready for bed and was goofing around with him. As an observer and the silly great aunt that I am, I joined in the fun. “Hunter, you’re a silly butt.”
Hands on his stomach, he proclaimed, “No! No silly butt. Hunter butt!”
We were basking in the summer evening around the fire pit after celebrating my niece’s 40th birthday when I saw a gaggle of geese fly overhead.
“Hunter, look at the geese up there.”
“Those aren’t geese. Those are birds!”
“Oh, I stand corrected.”
Breakfast Big Boy
We were sitting at the table for breakfast, and I noticed he was devouring his food. “You’re doing a really good job eating all your food this morning.”
Matter-of-factly, he said, “Yeah, I’m a big boy.”
At his mom’s 40th birthday party, Hunter was jumping on a small trampoline while firing a squirt gun. (A skill of coordination I wish I had.) He left for a little while, only to return to find a few older kids sitting on it. Instead of telling them to get off because he had been playing on it, he yelled, “Get off the trampoline, PLEASE!!” At least he was polite about it.
Hunter and I have the same birthday, but we only celebrate his birthday. He turned four, after all, so it’s more important for him to celebrate. We were getting the cake ready with the candles when his daddy started this conversation with him.
Daddy: Who’s birthday is it?
Daddy: Who else’s?
Daddy: It’s Pam’s too.
Hunter: No, it’s mine!
Daddy: You share your birthday.
Hunter: (With an incredulous voice) No. You can’t share a birthday.
Sometimes the logic of a preschooler just can’t be argued with. All you can do is either laugh or walk away, shaking your head in awe. During my waitressing days, I once had a little girl get indignant with me when I cautioned her to be careful since her hot chocolate was really hot. “Well, of course it is. It’s hot chocolate!” I laughed while her mom apologized for her being “fresh.” A preschooler’s logic just makes sense sometimes. These conversations bring a smile to my face every time I read them, and I am so glad I recorded them. Because one day soon this young boy will be grown up and his little boy’s logic will be grown up with him.