What Do You Do All Day?
(or "Stop Me Before I Volunteer Again")

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Conversations with Alex #3 - Awareness of Hyperbole

As part of the remodeling rearrangements, we've moved some of our snack foods to an open shelf in our dining room, where Alex is sorely tempted by them all day. After asking for and being given several small treats during the day, we had this exchange when I said no to further indulgences:

Alex: But I want some!

Me: No, you've had enough.

Alex: Then I'll take all the snacks and throw them into the garbage. And then I'll throw away all my toys, too.

Me: OK, but if you do that, you won't have them any more.

(He thinks about this. Then...)

Alex: Well, I didn't really mean that. I just wanted to say it. The most important thing, though was that I wanted to throw YOU in the garbage.

Me: That was the most important thing?

Alex: Yes.

Me: Because you were mad at me?

Alex: Yes.

Conversations with Alex #4 - Too Much Information

For several months now, I've been promising Alex a weaning party (complete with chocolate cupcakes - his choice) to celebrate if he ever stops nursing. Well, he finally stopped a week ago, and at his request, we headed out to the store and bought the cupcakes. Before going home, we stopped at the hardware store, and as the security guard was checking our receipt at the exit, this came tumbling out:

"I'm having a weaning party. I haven't nursed for two, three, five whole days and I'm having cupcakes. Chocolate cupcakes with sprinkles!"

The guard just smiled and nodded. (I hope it was because he didn't speak much English.)

Conversations with Alex #5 - When the Crime is/isn't Worth the Punishment

Since our new heating system was installed, Alex has been fascinated by the new grate in the living room, which hasn't been finished off yet and still features a gaping duct opening in its bottom. Yesterday, I saw him feeding cat kibble into the maw of the duct.

Me: Alex, don't do that.

Alex: But I want to.

Me: We don't put cat food into the hole.

Alex: But I want to.

Me: Do you want to go to the naughty chair? If you put the cat food in there, you'll have to go to the naughty chair.

Alex: For two minutes?

Me: For three minutes.

Alex: That sounds OK.

(He deliberately holds the cat food over the vent opening.)

Me: Maybe five minutes.

Alex: Five minutes is OK.

Me: Then maybe you won't get a chocolate cupcake after dinner.

Alex moves his hands away.

Alex: OK, I'll stop.

Conversations Alex #6 - How Things Work

At an ice cream store...

Simone: Alex, see that woman over there? She has a baby in her tummy.

Alex (whispering confidentially): When she eats her ice cream, the baby's going to get very cold.

Conversations with Alex #7 - Helpful Tips

To Simone, who's in the bathroom:

Alex: Be sure to shake off the very last drop!

posted by Elizabeth 11:21 AM

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