Books and conversations

Several of Laurel’s favorite books right now are ones I loved when I was a kid, including “When the Sky is Like Lace,” “A Flower Pot is Not a Hat” (which is so out of print there’s not even a cover image on Amazon, so nevermind), “My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes,” and “A Special Trade.” It’s so sweet to revisit these stories as an adult, and see her enjoy them so much. The latter, particularly, is great to see her take in — it’s the story of a little girl who becomes best friends with an elderly neighbor; at first he takes care of her, and then she takes care of him.

We try to go to the library every few weeks. Together we pick out a big stack of books, sit down, and read. We check out the ones we like the best out of that batch and bring them home. Some of the winners have included Cynthia Rylant’s Poppleton and Brownie and Pearl series.

Laurel has very little patience for sitting still and paying close attention to most things, but she pretty much never gets tired of reading with us.

Probably not coincidentally, her imagination is really taking off. Having a conversation with her these days can be really interesting. Or, just listening to her: the other day, she sat on the kitchen floor while I cooked, and scripted an entire conversation taking place between her two feet.

Here are a few other favorites:

After hearing a bird in the trees:
Laurel: “Did you hear that bird? It said, ‘Oink-chirp.'”
Me: “What kind of bird says ‘Oink-chirp?'”
Laurel: “A pig-bird.”
Me: “A pig-bird? What’s a pig-bird?”
Laurel: “A pig inside of a bird.”
Me: “Huh. How does the pig fit inside the bird?”
Laurel: “It’s a small pig.”
Me: “And a big bird?”
Laurel: “No, but the bird has a button that keeps it closed so the pig doesn’t come out.”

One night, after refusing to brush her teeth (but having them brushed anyway):
Me: “Do you want all your teeth to fall out?”
Laurel: “Yes.”
Me: “Then what would you eat?”
Laurel: “Nothing. BLOOD.”

At the grocery store:
Laurel: “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!”
Me: “If you need something, please use your words.”
Laurel: “Mommy, you’re OLD.”

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