Mad’s Got a Way With Words

Madison had a lot to say during our adventures yesterday.

Unimpressed, obviously.

Unimpressed, obviously.

On dressing up in Polynesian garb: “I don’t like it. I want the grass skirt,” she said. “It’s too long for you,” I said. “Well then, I can wear it up here,” she said, pointing to her armpits. “Um, that would make it a grass dress,” I said. “I like dresses!” she said. “No,” I said. “What else do you want to wear?” I asked. “I don’t want to wear any of them because they don’t look like princess clothes,” she said. Madison makes an exception for WWE Championship belts, however.

Displaying her memory: “We came here before, right?” she said. “Mm-hmm,” I said, trying to close the camera bag. “I think the last time we came was with the two boys,” she said. “What?” I said. It took a few seconds. She was right. In June of 2011, we visited the museum with a friend and her two sons (make note of my prescient caption under the picture of the whale from that entry). “Wow!” I said. “You remember that?” “Yeah, we saw the dinosaurs with them last time. You should call them again!” she said. We should!

As anticipated way back in 2011, she did not appreciate viewing the skeletal structure of the whale.

As anticipated way back in 2011, she did not appreciate viewing the skeletal structure of the whale.

On viewing the whale hanging from the ceiling: “The whale’s smiling, dad!” she said. “Of course he is, he’s happy to see you again after such a long time,” I said. “I’m happy to see him, too!” That wouldn’t last.

On viewing the whale’s bones on the opposite profile: “What do you mean we can see his bones?” she asked. “If we walk to the other side, you’ll be able to see what the whale’s bones look like,” I said. “Is it gross?” she asked. “No,” Lynnette said. “Is it scary?” Madison asked. “No,” I said. *We walked over to the bony side* “What’s that?” Madison asked. “Those are the bones in his flipper,” I said. “It looks like a human hand bones,” she said. “You’re right!” I said. “Why does it need to have a human hand? I’m scared of it,” she asked. “No, it’s not human. He needs strong bones in his flipper so he can swim like this,” I said, imitating a swimming motion as well as a person who doesn’t know how to swim can. “But why does he need to swim strong?” Madison continued. “The ocean is his home,” I said. “That’s why whales get in trouble when they go on the beach. They weigh so much that their bones and internal organs are crushed by gravity if they are on the land for too long. “What’s ‘crushed?'” Madison asked. Phew! That one was easy. If she had asked about internal organs or gravity, that might have taken a little creativity.

When your kid sits through a high school football game without starting a riot, you've won.

When your kid sits through a high school football game without starting a riot, you’ve won.

On fictional characters in popular culture: *puts on Lynnette’s dark blue hooded sweatshirt, lifts the hood over her head* “I look like Belle!” she said. “When she was in the forest trying to go to the castle?” I asked. “Yeah, yeah!” Madison said. “Yeah, you do,” Lynnette said. *pulls top of hood down over her face* “Now I look like Darth Vader,” she said. “Yeah, you do,” I said, palming her covered face and giving it a little push.

On the structure of football games: “Is this the first play?” she asked. “No, this is already- wait, quarter? Yeah, this is the first play,” I said. “There are four plays, right?” she asked. “Yes, there are four plays,” I confirmed. “What about nine plays?” she asked. “No, that’s baseball,” I said. “Can we go see the band and the cheerleaders during the second play?” Of course we did.

Illustrating the effect of advertising on 5-year olds: “C’mon, Captain Philip,” she said. “What?” I asked. “You’re Captain Philip,” she said. *silence* “Ooooh, you mean Captain Phillips? On the boat? On TV?” I asked. “Yeah, they said ‘Captain Philip,'” she said. They did.

Candor and preferences: “Would you rather have a pet bird or a pet rabbit?” I asked. “Bird,” Madison said. “Hmmm, would you rather have a bird or a rabbit that talks?” I asked. “Bird,” Madison said. “Really?” I asked. “I like birds,” she said, matter-of-factly. “Would you rather have a bird or a baby sister?” “Baby sister!” Madison shouted. “Would you rather have a bird or a baby brother?” I asked. “Bird,” Lynnette whispered. “Uhh… a bird,” Madison said. Lynnette was rolling. “What?” I said. “I don’t like boys. The only boy I like is you, dad – Philip Higa.” Really hard to argue with that.


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