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Thursday, March 31, 2011

WHAT Grandpa Say???

My nephew (commonly referred to as the Nephew Monster) provides me with no small amount of amusement these days. He's three-and-a-half, so he can carry on a conversation now. It may not all come out exactly right, but he can get his point across if he wants to--leaving everyone in the general vicinity in stitches, no doubt.

At this lovely age, he has developed selective hearing. One day, for example, he was visiting me. He'd left the empty box from his snack of raisins on the floor instead of taking it to the trash can, and I was trying to get his attention to remind him of his responsibility. He was happily entertaining himself in the corner by the window sill, racing cars and making all the appropriate sounds, and was therefore incapable of hearing me calling his name repeatedly. My father was in another room at the time, and he dropped something, muttering a choice expletive beneath his breath. The Nephew Monster immediately turned to me with huge eyes and said, "WHAT Grandpa say?" Needless to say, that earned him quite a chuckle from me.

Another time, we were driving down the road and we passed a city bus. He got all excited. "Look, Aunt Cat! There's a school bus. I sure do love school buses." Every bus is a school bus, you know. Later in that trip, an ambulance passed us with lights spinning and siren wailing. "Woah," he said, with reverence running wild in his tone. "An am-blee-ance school bus." Those might be his favorite of them all, because of the lights and sirens. Or should I say his fravrite? He wants to ride in one someday. Maybe that's why he's always telling us to "Crash and burn!"

The Monster has a very active imagination. He knows that a lot of toys operate because batteries power them. Anytime something stops working, he wants the batteries to be changed--whether the batteries are the source of the problem or not. But he takes it to the next level. He'll be going along, playing at full speed in the way only a toddler can do. Then all of a sudden, he'll slump forward, hanging his head and closing his eyes. He'll peek up at you through his lashes and say in a strained voice, "My batteries are dead." They go in his back, so you then have to use your high-powered battery operated tools (your fingers and tool sounds) to remove the battery cover, put in fresh ones, and replace the cover. Once that's done, he pops back to life, eyes huge and blinking. This can happen multiple times an hour. I suppose the Nephew Monster is a high-drain device. Makes sense, considering how drained I am by the time he goes home.

Perhaps my favorite recent development with him, though, is a story told by my father. They were driving to visit one of my sisters, and a police car had another motorist pulled over at the side of the road. The Nephew Monster said, "Look, Grandpa! A pleece (rhymes with fleece) car. Are they gonna check us?" I guess he's been with his Mommy or Daddy sometime when the pleece have "checked" them. Not sure where else that comes from. Just a few days ago, he added to this particular scenario. We were shopping at the local Kroger, where they have shopping carts with cars on the front for the kids to "drive." He was driving his car and telling everyone we passed that he was a pleeceman and was going to check them and cost them lots of money and tickets. Mmm hmm. Daddy still claims to know nothing about why the Monster knows about the pleecemen checking people and costing lots of money and tickets.

These things that kids say are things you just can't make up, no matter how hard you try. They have a way of looking at the world that adults have long since forgotten. I don't know about you, but I try to find ways to bring some of that into my writing, by looking at things from a different angle than I usually would.

Have you ever tried to look at the world through someone else's eyes? And what's the best thing you ever heard a child say?


  1. Catherine,

    Your nephew is adorable. My son was also very focused on the police, but he called them babos. We couldn't figure it out until one evening at the dinner table he started singing, "Babos, babos, whacha gonna do?" The channel that showed his cartoons always advertised for the show Cops. To this day, our family uses that word to refer to someone in trouble.

  2. Two of my sons favorites from when he was 4:
    "Dad, can I marry a toy?" and "Mom, sometimes my animals tell me not to listen to my mother."

  3. Samantha, I'm a little bit biased, but I agree-he's adorable. And the first thing I thought when I read that the police were babos was the theme song from Cops. Too cute.

    Too funny--the animals tell him not to listen to his mother. Kids have great imaginations.

  4. He definitely sounds all boy! My favorite thing from when my girls were little came when my younger daughter was about 5. She was brushing my hair as we sat on the couch and suddenly stopped and pressed her head against mine. A moment later she went back to brushing without a word. I asked what was up. She said, "I just wanted to see if I could hear what you were thinking."

  5. All boy? What gave him away? LOL. (Just kidding, Aileen. He's definitely his Daddy's boy.) Your daughter likely wouldn't have had to put her head against mine to hear what I'm thinking. I have a bad habit of talking to myself out loud.

  6. When my daughter was three she told us that she was sick. When we asked what was wrong, she explained that she had the "Country ass".

    After my husband and I looked at each other a couple times (and somehow managed NOT to laugh, our daughter put her hand on her hip and said, "You know, daddy. What you say mommy has."

    It was then we realized that she meant hypochondriac. Lord, that was funny. And we didn't correct her until we got her on video saying it first!

  7. Driving home from being out for dinner one night we passed the local Church. I said to my husband, "wow, it's busy there tonight, just look at all the cars. My grandson (who was 7 at the time) piped up "is Jesus in town for the weekend". How does one answer that?

  8. Marquita, that is hilarious! The way kids hear things is priceless. That made me think of my Nephew Monster telling me he had mice in his butt during a bath. We still haven't figured out what that one meant, but he was adamant.

    Oh, Diane, that is priceless. I'm sure, if Jesus WAS in town for the weekend, it would definitely explain a crowded parking lot wherever he was. Thanks for sharing that one.

  9. These are so funny! I love the animals telling children not to listen to their moms, Country ass, mind-reading, Jesus in town... I love them all.

    Another funny from our son: We had the ear thermometer when he was little, so he would tell us to check if he had a beaver in his ear. :)

  10. LOL I am having a blast reading all of these and going down memory lane to when my oldest children were small. My last one is three and I plan to enjoy every single second of craziness.

  11. Aw, I loved reading this! My kids say funny stuff every day. I wish I'd write them down because I tend to forget. My favorite has to be the logic they come up with on why things are the way they are. Those scenario's usually leave me in stitches, too.