Matthew will turn 5 at the end of this month. To avoid thinking about how swiftly these years have whooshed by, I will share five recent conversational tidbits with my fiery firstborn:
1. On Being Cool
Matthew: "Mummy, can I have a mohawk?"
Matthew: "Mummy, there's this kid in my school with a mohawk and he's so cool. I want a mohawk, too. Can I?"
Matthew: "You never let me do anything cool."
Me: "I know. I'm just cool like that."
2. On Being (Almost) Five
Matthew: I'm really gonna miss my guckies when I'm five, Mummy.
Me: Well, yes, you probably will. But you'll get used to it.
Matthew: Are you sure?
Me: I'm sure. Mummy sucked her thumb when she was a little girl and I was sad for a bit when I stopped*, but I got used to it.
Matthew: Guckies aren't the same as thumbs, Mummy.
Me: True, but the feeling you get from sucking on them is.
Matthew: Did your thumb taste like spray, Mummy?
Matthew: Did your thumb taste like cleaning spray?
Me: Why would it taste like cleaning spray?
Matthew: Because you clean so much.
* I was 11. There. I admit it. And it was HARD, damn it. *
3. On Being
Matthew: Mummy, why is the sky in space so black?
Me: Uh...well, it's because the black bits have no light.
Matthew: What about the stars?
Me: Well, the stars are SUPER bright because the black bit is so black. So they sort of...well, they help each other be better - the black gets blacker because of the white stars and the stars shine brighter because of the black.
Matthew: Hmmm...like when I help Luke brush his teeth and he helps me find my shoes?
4. On Life and Death
Matthew: Mummy, will Granny and Haha and Nanny and Papa still be alive when Luke and I are teenagers?
Me: Well, I sure hope so, Matthew. I know they'd love it, too.
Matthew: It's not far away, right Mummy?
Me: Nope. Not far away now. What makes you ask?
Matthew: You said that Luke and I could buy a truck when we're teenagers and I wanted to take Granny and Haha and Nanny and Papa for a ride in it.
Me: That's lovely Matthew, to be thinking of them so kindly.
Matthew: Yeah. I'm gonna get a Honda Truck. Or maybe a Dodge Ram, like Papa. I like the smell of it when it's going.
5. On Doing the Right Thing
Matthew: Mummy! That car just parked in the wrong spot!
Me: What do you mean, the wrong spot?
Matthew: He parked in the handercapp-ed spot, Mummy but he doesn't have a special sign in his window like you said he should. That's why we can't park there, you said. You said it's for people who have trouble walking from far away.
Me: I did and you're right, Matthew. That man doesn't have a handicapped sticker on his car. Let's wait and see if maybe his hip or leg are hurting him though. Maybe that's why he parked there, even though he doesn't usually have trouble walking from far away. Let's wait here and see, ok?
Matthew: Mummy! That man can walk. He's NAUGHTY, Mummy! Go tell him!
Me: You want me to tell him that he's naughty for parking there?
Me: You wanna come with me?
Matthew: I'll come with you, Mummy.
Me to Man: Sir? Just having a little lesson in ethics here. My son has been taught that only people who have a special sign in their window can park in the handicapped spot and he noticed that you don't have one. We thought that maybe you'd parked here because your leg is hurting you? (This last in pleading tone, as in, "Please, plllleasssee say your back hurts or something. Anything!")
Man: My leg is fine. I'm in a hurry, that's all. Is that ok with you, little man?
Matthew: Shakes head, shifting behind my right leg. No.
Man: Oh, well, eh? (Hops in truck, drives away)
Matthew: He's a naughty man, right Mummy?
Me: Well, it was naughty of him to have parked here when he didn't really need it, that's for sure.
Matthew: Will God give him a time-out, Mummy?
Me: I don't know, Matthew. But I have a feeling that he won't be parking in a handicapped spot again without thinking of you.