Entirely her own self
I'm in.

I know...too!

You know how children change your vocabulary? I'm not talking about how they tend to strip the best cuss words out of your mouth the first time your little cherub lets loose with with a chirpy rendition of what you just called the driver in front of you. I mean the way parents tend to adopt their children's mispronunciations and unique phrases make them into their own family language. For example, I will always think of an egg as "one white one," because that's what Raphael called them. Ha! Little punk! And at bedtime around here you can frequently hear people wish each other "weemies," which is how Max once said "sweet dreams." And you would be surprised how often one can use the phrase "slubby pee head." Truly.

Well, Sophia is simply a wealth of this sort of language these days. We're all saying "date doo" for "thank you," and ice cream has become "I meeen" forever and always, amen. But probably the favorite is how she says "I love you."

The boys in particular love this, and are forever getting in her face and saying, "Sophia? Hey, Sophia?" (Sophia is a busy girl, with many other things to attend to, and doesn't always have time for her brothers' tomfoolery.) "Sophia, I love you." If she feels like it, she croons back, "I know...too." Which MEANS "I love you too," but I swear to you, it sounds exactly like she's telling them DUH, of course you love me. I'm awesome. In a sweet little chirp of a voice, naturally.

So we all go around telling each other "I know!" and responding "I know, too!" and it's a little nauseating, but I discovered today that it also has its advantages.

This afternoon I was taking Tre to meet the rest of the family at the allergist's office. Clay and I were going to do a child shuffle and then on into the rest of the day and a million details that oh I wasn't going to bore you with, but look where we are now. Oops.

Anyhow, there we were, buzzing along, just me and Tre and Sophia, who was contentedly calling hellos at passing cars. Whenever I'm alone with Tre these days, I find myself driven to discuss important issues, just so I can be sure to get all the information to him. So I end up torturing him regularly with talks about sex and drugs and truly seedy things like politics. You can just imagine how much he cherishes this time.

Today he was telling me about a couple at school that broke up, and I was somehow compelled by that to launch into a lecture about relationships.

"You know, you don't HAVE to be dating someone to be normal, honey. You guys are still very young, and there's plenty of time for that." He gave me the sort of eye roll that required his entire head to loll around on his shoulders, so great was his appreciation for my insight.

"I KNOW, Mom."

"Awww, that's sweet, honey. I know too! But as I was saying, relationships are complicated things, and there's no need to rush into one. It's not some sort of trophy you need to get ahold of or something."

"Yes, Mother, I KNOW."

"Aren't you adorable? I know TOO! Just remember that girls aren't just, you know, GIRLS, they're people! And that's one of the fun things about this time in your life, getting to know lots of different people. Eventually you'll recognize the sort of person you like to be around, whether it's a friend or a girlfriend. There really is no rush."

By this point he was making this noise that suggested he might be choking on his tongue, which is a sign of a truly successful talk. I know, kid. I really do.


Amma Always

BUT, you are so wise to hold a conversation like that in the car, for two reasons. First you are not looking directly at each other. You are both looking out at the great wide world, there is no eye contact and they can pretend your voice is a disembodied voice they are not related to. They find that much less threatening.

And second, they are a prisoner in a seat belt in a speeding car, and they can't walk away. Score!


we say "peep" for pee. "Hey! Who peeped without flushing the toilet?" And a boiled egg is "a white egg". "Honey, do you want a white egg?" I'm sure there's more, but these are the two that come to mind :-)

Karen R.

The car is a great place for those conversations.

If your sons love their baby sister as much as my son loved his sisters, an excellent strategy is to request that they always treat females the way they would want their sister treated.

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