Do This: interview your kid

This morning, instead of cleaning the kitchen, I interviewed 3.5 year old Edie.  It was a move stolen directly from Parenting Illustrated with Crappy Pictures.  And I am going to steal it again and again.

My kid says awesome stuff all day long.  The other day, I was dancing to make her brother laugh, and she looked over at me, furrowed her brows and said “Do you need to go potty? I think you need to go potty.”  Or yesterday when we were driving to meet a friend and she said “Go fast. Go really fast so we can hide from the police.”  Or several weeks ago when she told that she wanted to be 30.  I asked why. She said because then she’d be my mommy, and I would be her little girl. Sigh.

Grab a pen and paper and do this when you have a chance.  It will blow your kids mind, and just maybe yours as well.

Here were Edie’s responses, along with some context to give a better window into the mad genius that is the mind of a child:

ME:  How old am I?

EDIE: I don’t know.

M: How old do you think I am?

E: 22. [Very good, small one.]

M: What do I do with my friends?

E: Go to stores and restaurants.

M: Who do you love?

E: Dylan [a friend from preschool]

M: What’s the meaning of life?

E: Hitting

M: What gives you the most happiness?

E: Going to the drum circle.

M: What do you want to be when you grow up?

E: A mail carrier.

M: What’s your favorite thing to do?

E: Go to the park.

M: What do you dream about?

E: Just Dylan.

M: What do you think I dream about?

E: Me. Just me.

M: What does Dad dream about?

E: Me. Just me.

M: Where will you live when you grow up?

E: I wanna live with NOBODY.

M: But where do you want to live?

E: I’m gonna live next to your house.

M: Will you have pets?

E: I am. A kitty cat.  And a dog.  Two dogs. And two cats.

M: What makes you sad?

E: Getting hit. [I thought I was sending her to a Montessori school, but maybe it’s actually a fight club?]

M: What makes you happy?

E: Wearing an owl shirt. [I was wearing an owl shirt during the interview]

The interview was over at this point, because she was bored.  But I only wanted more.  I thought she’s ask constantly for clarification, but instead she just buckled down and gave gut reactions.  I look forward to doing this again in six months or so.  Who wouldn’t want to know what that kid thinks? At a minimum, I need to know what I’m up against….

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A Tale of 9 Years

Once upon a time, in a Buddhist Studies class at the University of Michigan, a girl met a boy.  But, he had a crush on her roommate.  And later,  another one of her roommates.  Maybe one after that too.  Nevertheless, it was all smiles, hanging out, and baby-fat cheeks between them.

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After a couple years, the boy and a girl were a couple.  And even though, as a child, the girl swore she would never get married because she didn’t need the state to tel her who she loved (true story), she yes when the boy proposed.  They were in Spain at the time, while she studied abroad in Sevilla and he was in town visiting after his internship in Switzerland ended.  So European!

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On a beach in Cadiz, she said “I will” and some more years later, on the picturesque lawn of her new in-laws in Indiana, she said “I do.”  Then, they decided to do what they did best: revel in prolonged adolescence and go to grad school.

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It was a glorious time.  The girl thought important-seeming thoughts to herself on the way to law school, toiling over case law and essays.  So many lattes.  So much sleeping.  Oh! And the reading!  Entire books!  Cover to cover.

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In retrospect there were signs of an impending family.  Namely: dogs.  The girl was a non-stop “let’s get a dog” machine.  And since the boy did love her, and since he could tolerate dogs, they got one dog.  And later another.  They loved them.  Unduly.  Probably, they should’ve just had a kid already.  But, they didn’t, and so they anthropomorphized a schnoodle instead.

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These were good times, too.  But things were at a crossroads.  The girl had a job that wasn’t working.  The boy had a job he loved.  But it was three time zones away in California.  Something had to give.  First, though, let’s just take a look in the cleanest, sparsest loft ever, where that girl can hardly believe she lived.

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So, she picked up and left that grown up loft, moved herself to California after they decided happy trumped financial security.  But, long story short, California was where they discovered that, during the  depth of a recession, it was a lot easier for the girl to get pregnant than a job.  So they were all “Yay!” but also “Yikes!”  California ain’t cheap.  And they’d heard babies weren’t exactly gratis either.

Lo and behold, another path opened up and they were off to Germany.  The girl was 8 months pregnant, had just passed the California bar, and found her super-sized preggo self wedged into an international flight seat.  But all that faded away because soon thereafter it was all. about. the baby.

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Oh, she was cute. But she kicked their butts.  The boy and the girl had thought they’d be easy-going parents.  All baby-asleep-in-the-pram while they took in the Bavarian sights.  Ha!  It took about nine months for them to leave the house for more than an afternoon.  They were no longer any shade of cool.  They were not up on current events.  Their apartment could by no stretch be described as “spare.”  And they didn’t talk to each other about much outside that screamy, wonderful, terrible, gorgeous little baby.

IMG_0569 IMG_1788Less then two years later, they moved back to the US, and in spite of a frightening sleep deficit and yet another fresh start, they decided to have another baby.  Then they blinked, and there he was.

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June 18, 2013 will mark nine years since that girl and boy got hitched.  They live in a house that is often loud and more often messy.  Their kids love each other so fiercely it often results in injury.  And the boy and the girl still don’t talk about much more than those kids.  Except for sometimes, like right now, when that girl looks back and can’t believe the time that’s gone by, or how much they’ve grown, and how grateful she is that the boy she met way back when turned out to be such an incredible, loyal, tireless, and loving husband and dad.

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Happy Anniversary, hon.