Kids do say the darnedest things. Here I offer some recent gems from one girl in particular: Beloved. Beloved recently joined us as one of our older kids at the ripe old age of four and a half. She is spoiled like you would not believe, but she's so polite about it, that it becomes more eerie than annoying. She reminds me a lot of that girl from The Bad Seed, with her pretty dresses and perfect manners and blatant expectation that she will get whatever she wants. I'm trying not to turn my back on her for too long at a stretch, because I do not want to end up at the bottom of the river purely because she wants my new headband.
Here's a transcript of our very first exchange:
Me: Hi, I'm Miss Lara. What's your name?
Beloved: Beloved. Who are you?
Me: I'm one of the teachers, like Boss Lady.
Beloved: Oh. [pause] Are you anybody's mother?
Me: [surprised pause] Um, no. Are you anybody's mother?
Beloved [laughing]: No, silly - I'm too little! But you're big.
Me [now laughing]: You're right - I'm big enough to be somebody's mother, but I'm not.
Last week, while sitting at the lunch table, she told me a joke that just made my head hurt with confusion:
Beloved: Knock, knock.
Me: Who's there?
Me: Who who?
Beloved: There's someone outside the door!
Beloved: Don't cry, it's only a joke!
Somehow, I think her knock-knock jokes have all gotten mixed up in her head, because while that punchline is familiar, I'm pretty sure it goes with a different opening. But hey, at least she wasn't trying to hurt me.
Beloved often wants to play "family" with the other kids, which basically means she wants to pretend she's their mother and/or wife and then boss them around a lot while calling them "Sweetie." It's precious to watch, really, and quite telling of her home life. Of course, most of the other kids don't like this game very much, not really because she's mean to them, but because they find the whole scenario rather boring. She came up to me on the side of the playground a few days ago and we had this brief exchange:
Beloved: Excuse me, Miss Lara.
Me: Yes, Beloved, what do you need?
Beloved: I need one girl and one boy to play with me.
Me [struggling not to laugh]: You'll have to work that out with the other students, Beloved. It's not my job to make them play with you.
But today, she found a willing playmate in Princess, another little girl at the school, and taught me a little something about the modern family:
Beloved: Do you want to play with me?
Beloved: Do you want to play "family"?
Beloved: Okay, I'll be the mommy, and you can be the mommy, and we have a baby.
And what was my first thought? "Maybe there's hope for her yet..."
Of course, after about two minutes, Princess got bored and wandered over to the sandbox, and Beloved did that creepy narrowing-of-eyes that she does right before she kills someone.
Well, that's what it looks like anyway.