Out of the Mouths of My Children

“I’m not a robot.” So said the three-year-old. Her older brother wrote her words on the kitchen white board; the next day, I copied them onto a piece of red scrap paper along with a list of other quotations waiting to be transferred into her journal.

Sometimes it’s a grocery receipt. Other times, a yellow Post-It or a napkin. I grab what I can because I want to remember what she said. How she said it. The nuance and wisdom of her young mind.

I’m so thankful for the idea passed on to me by a wise, older mother, to keep a journal for each of my children. These journals provide a landing place for yearly birthday letters and favorite memories. They also memorialize the voices of my children, capturing pieces of their personal history, often in a humorous way.

Here is a collection of my children’s thoughts and questions, spoken between ages two and five years old.

On Money:

“I think Daddy’s saving money in his drawer to buy me a backhoe and an excavator.”

Referring to the bank: “You give them a lot of money, and you get a lollipop.”

“Mommy, I need more money. If you give me your money, I’ll give you my money.”

On Food:

“There are no more pancakes in the [solar] system…”

“I don’t like that kind of pancake. I want the kind without the straw.” (So much for whole wheat pancakes!)

About pepperoni: “It tickles my heart!”

“When I first tasted hot chocolate, it wasn’t just like a sip of soda, but bubbly, juicy waterfalls of soda.”

“Peanut butter sandwiches make me happy.”

“Is this a four-donut day?”

“I don’t want to eat my eggs. They will make me feel grumpy.”

On Relationships:

Mom: “Someday, maybe you will marry a little girl and you will have your own family. What do you think about that?”

Son: “I don’t think about that. I think about firemen.”

“Wherever you live, I will live. Wherever you go, I will go. Wherever you read comic books, I will read comic books.”

“I think I want to marry [Grandma] when I grow up. That’s so [Grandpa] can have a man in the house. And I will eat up all the wedding cake.”

On Health:

“I have to watch a movie to make me healthy.”

“May I have a diaper man?” (vitamin)

On Clothes:

While wearing a hand-me-down shirt from an older brother: “It even smells like him, so I don’t have to follow him around!”

“My pants are losing me!”

“These [pajamas] are the always ones I ever wanted!”

On Theology:

Child: “Does Jesus ever change?”

Daddy: “No, Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

Child: “But what about the Mount of Transfiguration?”

To a sibling: “Don’t put your fingers in your mouth. The Bible says not to do that!”

“On the sixth day, God made trucks.”

I love Jesus. You love God. I love Mommy. You love Daddy.”

How Things Work:

“Daddy, when you stop, do the front wheels go down and your back wheels go up?”

“Mommy, when you fit the cups together, it pushes all the air out the sides. Is that how an engine works?”

While coloring: “When it’s easy to do something, it’s not very good, but when it’s hard to do something, it’s very good.”

Just Wondering:

“Daddy, do you keep giant squid in the basement?”

“Aren’t you my Mommy? Why are you going to read a book? You have kids to take care of!”

Just So You Know:

“I’m tired of being a kid. I’ve already been a kid for more than one hundred days.”

“Don’t be ashamed if you’re not tall; there’s only one you, so be happy to be who you are.”

“I like laughing, playing tea party, going [to] the beach, picking flowers, and playing with balloons.”

“Daddy, I want you to remember what I say now when I am big and go away from home.”

“Mommy is OUR woman!”