At his grandparents’ house on the Thanksgiving weekend, as I’m putting him in his carseat.
E: “It’s hard to say goodbye.”
Me: “It IS hard to say goodbye. You had a lot of fun with Grannie and Grandpa.
E.: *thoughtful* “It’s hard to say goodbye to the trucks.”
His Grannie had found a used plastic Tonka dump truck. Clearly it had left quite the impression.
At the dinner table.
E.: “Yummy yummy in my tummy! Food goes in my mouf!”
Me: “That’s right, E. The food goes in your mouth, and then it goes down your throat and into your tummy. Then your tummy digests the food and turns it into energy so you can jump and run and sing and laugh.”
E.: “Food goes down my throat and into my tummy! I eat pasta!” *chews and swallows, lifts up shirt to look* “Pasta in my tummy now! Pasta is yummy!”
Watching the roof repair man.
E.: “Man get ladder and climb up on roof. Maybe there’s a hole in the roof! Man look to see if there’s a hole! Man fix roof!”
*Roof repair man finishes up and puts his ladder away.*
E.: “Roof all better now!”
E.: “Annabel was sad yesterday.”
Me: “Annabel WAS sad yesterday. She was having a rough day.”
E.: “She was having a rough day. She no want to say goodbye to her Mummy and Daddy.”
Me: “That’s right. She missed her Mummy and Daddy. But she was ok. She seemed ok when I picked you up.”
E.: *thinks* “She cried a lot in the afternoon, too!”
Stream of consciousness while playing by himself as I cleaned the kitchen.
E: “Today is a Mummy and Ea-mon day! Today is Tuesday! Tomorrow is Wednesday. Wednesday is no Mummy’s duty day. Mummy’s duty day is Monday. Monday Mummy stay for the whole morning. Then Mummy go at lunchtime. It’s hard to say goodbye to Mummy. Mummy come back at three-thirty when I’m in the playground.” *starts singing the nursery school’s song about how Mummies and Daddies always come back* “Friday, Daddy takes Ea-mon to school. Then it’s the weekend! Llama llama didn’t want to eat. He missed his Mummy.” *starts reciting from Llama Llama Misses Mama* “Don’t be sad new little llama; it’s ok to miss your mama. But don’t forget when day is through, she will come right back to you! It’s hard to say goodbye to the trucks. The garbage truck says num num num! Humpty Dumpty!” *shifts into reciting random nursery rhymes, interspersed with the alphabet song on a repetitive feedback loop where he starts over as soon as he hits ‘V’, and the odd burst of counting to twenty*
At a toddler Hallowe’en party at the weekend, about twenty minutes after arriving.
E.: “I no yike it here. I want to go home now.”
Me: “We’re not going home yet. We’re going to stay for a while. We’ll go home a bit later.”
E.: “I no want to go home yater. I want to go home now and pay wif my garbage truck.”
Me: “I don’t want to go home yet. I’m having a nice time talking to my friends, so we’re going to stay for a bit longer.”
E.: “I no want Mummy to be happy!”
Yet strangely enough, when it was time to go, he wasn’t willing to leave.
Me: “Did you have a good day at nursery school, E.?”
E: “Yah! In circle sang the train song!”
Me: “What did you eat at lunchtime?”
E.: “Egg! And bwead!”
Me: “Did you have a quiet time in the sleep room?”
E: “NO! Got up from my cot! I made noise!”
Turns out the nap last Monday with his sleepsack and his special bunny’s cousin was entirely due to novelty value. He’s been getting worse and worse in the sleep room ever since and yesterday had to be removed early because he was keeping the other children awake. As one of the teachers said to me, “If the other children don’t nap, you can always tell when they come out. They are a bit sleepy, a bit drowsy. They have a quiet afternoon. E. isn’t like that at all. He’s ready to go all afternoon!”