I love, love this wildly verbal stage my nearly-three-year-old daughter is in.
But it’s sometimes pretty weird. Like the time she asked me, “do you know how much I love you, Ima?” No, how much? “Twenty dollars!”
Uh… okay, then. But let’s not mention it out and about. It sounds like I’m employed in the oldest profession.
[note to the reader: she did not get that from me. Except the “do you know how much I love you part.”]
She did ask me once why I had to go to work and (sob) leave her alone. And I explained we needed money so that we could buy food and clothes.
The next day she asked me if I was going to work to get some money, and when I said yes, she explained, “Ima, we have enough money today. Please don’t go to work.”
So what I’m getting in the verbal torrent is that my daughter is negotiating work and home life. Which isn’t really weird, since that’s what I’m doing now that we have childcare 5 days a week instead of 4.
My daughter’s favorite game is currently “I’m going to the office, I’ll pick you up when you wake up from your nap.” Which is sweet, because I'm an academic, and having "the office" to go to makes me sound like I have a job with lots of power and prestige. She’ll shut the door of whichever room I’m in, take my purse, and disappear. Then she’ll reenter the room and announce, “I’m back!” at which point I’m expected to run into her arms and give her a big hug.
Why is it that a child with such a short attention span can play the same game for, I don’t know, an hour straight?
Sometimes I act like she does when I drop her off from work, and I’ll beg, “don’t leeeeeave me!” and she gets a really concerned look on her face, and, with a tone of voice that mimics mine to a T, she will say, “I don’t want to, baby, but I have to go teach students.”
Of course, this is also the stage at which my daughter considers “why why why why why why why why why, why why why why why why whywhywhywhy” a legitimate conversation. Indeed, I asked her, “Darling, are you trying to drive me crazy?” and she answered “no, Ima, I’m trying to talk to you.”
Thank goodness for the Nobel Book of Answers. If 22 Nobel Prize winners can’t answer the questions my daughter is asking, then I can’t be expected to answer them either. She can answer them herself and get her own Nobel Prize.
Of course, sometimes she is trying to drive me crazy: Ima? Mami? Mima? Ima? Ima!!!!
And I’m like, “what? What? What? What? What? What?”
And she’s “Ima! Mima! Mami!”
So then I go, “light of my eyes, love of my life, my pride and joy, mi vida, mi cielo, mi amor,”
And she laughs and says, I’m not your cielo!”
But if you plan to use humor to derail the mind-boggling repetition, it’s important to get in there before your brain goes numb. Which is always a danger in my house.