Wise words from a toddler

Along with some of my own writing from the past, as I was packing up recently I came across a book in which I recorded things my son said between the ages of three and six. As many have noted, children at this age have such a fresh and surprising approach to language that can help us to wake up to another way of seeing, the wisdom found in innocence.

I don’t know if these will make anybody else smile, as I do when I read them — are children’s words only adorable to their own parents? Here’s a sampling anyway, in case you might enjoy them.

Jack and the Beanstalk by Maxfield Parrish, 1932

[Phone caller] Do you know who this is?
— Yes.
Who is it?
— It’s you!

— Mommy, I’ll be the lightning and you can be the tree and fall down.

— Daddy, I am not going anywhere because you’re so glad I’m here.

— Let’s play robbers. You stay home and I’ll go out and steal things.

— Numbers are for grownups.

— Do mice eat carrots?
Yes, they eat everything.
— Would they eat me?

— Why do I always ask why?

— Don’t take down the Christmas tree!
But if we don’t, then Easter can’t come.
— I want it to be an Easter tree!

— Can you think while you are sleeping?

— How does the sun stay up in the sky without holding onto anything?

— I’m tired of talking.
Why don’t you stop talking?
— Because then I can’t talk.

— Years are much longer than counting.

— When will you send me out to seek my fortune?

Do you recall any similar sayings by children, your own or others of your acquaintance? Have they helped you to look at things in a different way?

Illustration by John D. Batten, from English Fairy Tales by Joseph Jacobs

8 thoughts on “Wise words from a toddler

  1. After we’d had any kind of disagreement, my two-year-old daughter would ask if we could “rewind” the conversation.
    Before he could read, my son would perk up his ears at any conversation about numbers and at some point he would say in a weary manner “mom, you’re rounding.”

    1. I’m always getting in trouble for “rounding” (if I tell the time it has to be to the EXACT MINUTE, no fudging allowed). And if only I could rewind (and erase) some conversations …

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