She's back at The Little Gym this week, but we're still reeling from last week's Hand, Foot and Mouth sabbatical. So many questions, so many observations.
1. When I said "good boy!" to Cliff, the family dog, she reminded me that "he a dog, not a boy." So I said, "But he's a boy dog, not a girl dog." She said, "He can't be a boy and a dog." Good point, my literal plum pudding. So I said, "What I mean is that he is a male dog. Boys and men are males and girls and women are females; it's what makes boys and girls different." Forgetting for the moment that 3 year-olds have no concept of gender differences (they know that he is a boy and she is a girl, but whatever that means has no relevance to them), I made the mistake of answering her question, "What makes a boy a male?" I should have said, "He just is," but I had to say the P word, didn't I, and take us down a long road from which there seemed to be no recovery. "Males have penises, females have vaginas." Blank stare, then a long list of women's names recited, each with "...has a vagina" at the end. I felt like I'd walked myself into a three-hour table reading with Eve Ensler: "Mama has a vagina. [Grandmother] has a vagina. [Other Grandmother] has a vagina..." Then: "Daddy has a penis, [grandfather] has a penis, [uncle] has a penis..." It went on and on through relatives, friends and former neighbors (as I was pondering pouring acid on my brain to destroy the mental images). I finally got a clue just as she was about to make me picture our former mailman's junk: "Hey! Do you want an ice cream sandwich?!!" Lesson Learned: Ice cream novelties trump genitals every time.
2. Having recently spent some time in Auntie C's pool, Bambina was eager to reenact the event for me. Which meant us both on her bed, with me playing the role of "floatie bed." So I was on my back with my knees up ("me need back support") while she sat facing me, reclining on my knees and thighs. She then started piling stuff on the "bed," like her blanket, her cd player, four books and a comb. I told her that floatie beds sink if piled too high and started pretending to wave around and sink. She said while laughing, "Mama you bugging me! Don't do that!" So of course I kept doing it. :) She then climbed off and said sternly, "Mama! Go away!" I sat up and said, "That wasn't a very nice thing to say. If you want to say something to me about ending the game, I'd like you to say it more politely." Her response? "Mama. Go away--please."
3. Bambina threw us a tea party last week at which we were treated to teeny tiny cups of water that had only had her fingers in it about 8 times. It was really cute, and she was having a really great time. Her [grandfather] said, "You are the hostess with the mostest!" To which she replied with the Gary Coleman-esque scrunched up nose: "Why you say that to me?" "Because it means you're a wonderful hostess and we're having a great time." "You not call me that." "Should I call you the hostess with the leastest?" "Yes!"
4. We were doing a lot of mouth checking last week with a flashlight, first to see if her mouth sores were getting better and second to see if I was growing any. It became a daily game of her letting us look in her mouth and then getting to look in ours. She checked me then checked her grandmother, who said, "why don't you go check [grandfather's]? She replied very nonchalantly in an eerily adolescent tone of "whatever," "Nah. I don't do men."
Her father, a man already planning which part of his living room wall will feature a shotgun for all visiting boyfriends to see, unsurprisingly liked that story the best.