Thanks to Mary, I have a new vocabulary word: acute-able. Not just cute: cute and adorable.
The great thing about having older siblings is having so many people who can explain things to you. Who needs Mom or Dad for the facts of life when you can just talk to your big sisters?
Mary needed a bath and I needed to read a new book I intend to use with school to remediate spelling for those who know how to read and teach phonics to those who struggle in this area. Normally I delegate bath supervision to older children, but it was no trouble for me to sit with her with a book.
Instead of reading, I got to listen to a biology lesson about how when babies are in their mommy’s tummies they get food and drink through their belly buttons. She wasn’t quite sure how that worked, so I explained about the umbilical cord which I likened to a “hose.” She wanted to know what had happened to the hose. I informed her that it was thrown away. This greatly upset her. She wanted me to call the doctor and get it back. (I guess we’ll talk about home birthing with no doctors some other time.)
What about your umbilical cord? she wanted to know. Perhaps Grandma was more considerate and saved it? Thrown away! I told her. How about Katie’s? Jenny’s? Peter’s? Fritz’s? Billy’s? Greta’s?
Dogs don’t have belly buttons! she insisted. Having never noticed one, I couldn’t be positive, but I couldn’t imagine that they wouldn’t…and, yes, in fact, they do.
We then moved on, somehow, to the fact that the umbilical cord was cut. The barbary! But that hurts! she objected. I told her it did not. She insisted it did. Wait until she learns about circumcision. I know my boys have gotten all squeamish when learning what that entails. There are times I question the wisdom of reading the Bible to children, although I have taken advantage of Solomon’s downfall to point out the folly of getting involved with women who aren’t of your religion. But the whole Dinah love affair and how her brothers had the entire tribe of men circumcise themselves…clever ruse, or just plain cheating?
Back to Mary. For weeks, everything was “cute” (cuuuuuuuuuuuuute!!!!!!!!!!!!!! – only little girls can pronounce this correctly). Then she moved onto “adorable.” Now it is acute-able.
Another favorite word is “polite,” as in, frequently, “Peter is not being polite.” I wasn’t sure she knew what it meant, but today (in the bathtub) she told me about how her friend, Lillie, was being polite and saying “excuse me” to some man. I think the man and polite words are a fictitious event, but at least she has some notion of what the word means.
Also, in the bathtub, she was pointing at the tub and asking what it was. I am not sure exactly what word she was searching for, but it wasn’t tub. I finally used the word “porcelain.” She really liked that word and repeated it, very correctly, several times, pointing to different parts of the tub: “This is porcelain…and this is porcelain…and this is porcelain.” I told her the tiles were porcelain, too.
It was quite fun for both of us.