My son and his wife live and teach in Shanghai, China. Chloe was four in July and has some imaginative musings on life. Many of her observations involve her almost three-year-old sibling Paul, also called DiDi, which is Chinese for little brother. Dave has given me permission to share these quotes. Enjoy!
Music Appreciation 101
I’m playing Britten’s ‘Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra’ for the kids, and I’ve cued up a series of pictures from Google Images to accompany. They seemed to like it, though it’s not designed for the attention span of a four-year-old, I’d say. Here are some of Chloe’s thoughts on different sections:
On the oboe: That sounds like a little girl who is lost. It’s so sad …
On the bassoon: It sounds like a war! It’s … it’s too weird! It’s just weeeeeeird! ::runs out of the room, must be coaxed back in::
On the viola: It sounds like … like … like something I can’t remember.
On the double bass: I’m scared! ::genuinely cowering under the covers::
On the trumpets: Oh! Oh, now the prince is coming to see the princess!
On the whole orchestra: Are we done yet, Daddy?
My son is eating a cookie when tragedy strikes — it crumbles in his hand, and a sizable chunk tumbles to the kitchen floor. He eyes the fallen chunk hungrily, so I say, “DiDi, we can’t eat it. It fell on the floor. Can you put it in the trash can?”
Obediently, the boy puts his cookie down *on the floor*, picks up the crumb, takes it over to the trash can, tosses it in, returns, picks up his cookie, and strolls happily off, munching away.
Bring me some triangles!
Chloe: I’m a little mouse, Daddy! ::squeaky voice:: Bring me some triangles!
Desiree is reading ‘The Prince and the Pauper’ to the kids.
Des: “… and members of the Tudor family.”
Chloe: ::giggling:: The *tooter* family?
Des: These are other Tudors.
Chloe: ::disappointed:: Oh.
The more prettier princess
The kids and I are playing ‘monster.’ I’m slain with a foam sword (Chloe) and a dart gun (DiDi). I sprawl convincingly on the bed and give a few death twitches.
Chloe: Daddy, now you be a princess!
Me: OK, I’ll be a prince.
Chloe: Not a PRINCE! You should be a PRINCESS!
Me: What? Why? I’m a boy!
Chloe: [resplendent in one of her satiny dress-up outfits] No, you’re more prettier than me!
Me: [cargo shorts and a grey t-shirt] I don’t really think so. Maybe I’m handsome. How about I’ll be a prince and you can be a princess and you can kiss me and wake me up?
Chloe’s quiet for a minute, so I figure she’s resigning herself to this. I close my eyes and adopt a kiss-me-and-wake-me-up pose. Then Chloe, channeling Tarzan, shrieks, “NOOOOOOOOO! BE A PRINCEEEEEEESSSSS!!” and smashes into my ribcage with a double flying knee.
Kelly: What are we going to play, DiDi?
DiDi: Let’s play school. Let’s play MONSTER school! [the boy is enamored of all things monstrous]
Kelly: OK! Do you want to be a teacher or a student?
DiDi: Um, I wanna be a punkin.
Kelly: A pumpkin?
DiDi: Yep. I will just be a punkin, awright?
Chloe: Look, I ate all my broccoli up! Can I have dessert now?
Desiree: Yes, you can. And when you finish dessert, it’ll be time for bed.
Chloe: [pauses, then gives Des a calculating look] I think this is going to be a pretty long dessert.