Teenagers are famous for thinking they know everything about everything, or at least that they know more than their idiotic, lame-o parents.
I would like to formally apologize to teenagers on behalf of, well, everyone, I guess, for this negative stereotype.
Teenagers ain’t got nothin’ on three-year-olds.
If you think you know something, about anything, just tell it to a three-year-old. I promise you will discover, in no uncertain terms, how stupid and ill-informed you actually are.
So without further ado, I give you this list of reasons my three-year-old has corrected me, just this week. (I’m sure she has more wisdom to impart over the coming weeks and months. Stay tuned.):
1. I called a vessel one would use to drink coffee a “mug.” She said, “It’s called a cup.” And she looked me in the eyes and said “cuuup” really slowly to make sure I understood. She takes her job as my life-coach seriously.
2. Me: Finish up your egg salad if you want to have more cantaloupe.
Three-Year-Old: Egg salad sandwiches. They’re called egg salad sandwiches.
Me (but only in my head, because, duh): I don’t care what the hell you call it, just fucking eat it so you can have more fruit and be done with it and go. to. nap.
3. Me (holding out a plastic toy asparagus bunch): Here you go! Here’s a vegetable for your soup!
Three-Year-Old (Stops stirring her pretend soup. Sighs.): It’s not a vegetable; it’s spagarius.
Right. Because “spagarius” is totally a thing. Silly me.
4. Three-Year-Old, examining contents of a shopping bag: What are these things, Mommy?
Me: They’re candles, to keep the mosquitoes away on the porch.
Three-Year-Old (shakes head, shrugs, and laughs a small, condescending laugh): Spageetoes? There are no spageetoes on the porch. (Walks away, marveling at my ineptitude) Heh, heh. Spageetoes.
5. It was a nice day, so I rolled the windows in the car down a little, but not too much, because I didn’t want to hear it about too much wind blowing their hair around. We turned off our street, and I was going about 25 mph.
Three-Year-Old: Are we goin’ fast?
Me: Not really. Just a tiny bit fast.
Three-Year-Old: Well, my hair is blowin’ so we ARE goin’ fast.
Which begs the question, “Why the hell are you asking me, then?!?” But obviously, you can’t say that to a three-year-old. Unfortunately.
6. The Baby points to a picture of a bicycle and says, “bi-cle.”
Me: “Yes! That’s a bicycle!”
Three-Year-Old: I think she’s sayin’ “pretzel,” not “bicycle.” Yeah, she’s sayin’ “pretzel.”
Me (but again, only in my head, because, you know, appropriateness): Right. It obviously makes way more sense to point to a picture OF A GODDAMN BICYCLE AND SAY “PRETZEL” THAN TO SAY “BICYCLE.” I don’t know how I’ve survived this long without your wise counsel, young genius.
7. I have a coffee mug, oh wait, excuse me, coffee cup, that has a design with the name “Montague” on one side and “Capulet” on the other. I got it at the Globe Theater gift shop in London, and it’s one of my favorite things. The other day, I was drinking coffee from it when,
Three-Year-Old: What do those words say, on your cup?
Me: This side says “Montague” and this side says “Capulet.” They’re family names from a play. The names of the characters in the play are Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet.
Three-Year-Old: No they’re not. (Walks away.)
8. My husband’s birthday is coming up, and he and the twins and I were all on the couch talking about what food he’d like to have for his birthday. The girls obviously suggested “CAKE!” and “ICE CREAM ICE CREAM ICE CREAM!!”
Hubs: Well, you know what I really like, that we could have, is: ice cream cake!
Three-Year-Old: (Closes her eyes. Flaps both hands up and down at her sides in the international signal for “calm down”): Whoa, whoa, whoa. Everybody calm down. (side note: no one wasn’t calm.) There is no “ice cream cake.” There’s “ice cream,” and there’s “cake,” but there’s no “ice cream cake.” (other side note: if she’d known about air quotes, she totally would have been doing them.)
She couldn’t handle it. The idea of a cake, made out of ice cream, completely blew her mind. It did not compute. For her, ice cream cake is in the same category as ghosts and monsters and the days before she had a little sister: things that aren’t real. I still don’t think she’s going to believe in ice cream cake until she sees (and tastes) it.
So there you have it. A list of things about which I know nothing, (You know nothing, Jon Snow) but that my three-year-old is “helping” me with. This week. Who knows what sorts of wise expertise she’ll have to share next week, or, oh dear god, for the rest of my life.