I had front row seats to the most interesting show in town today: the conversations of two 4-year-olds. If you haven’t listened to two 4-year-olds talk lately, you should give it a go. It’s almost as good as watching a re-run of Arrested Development or Seinfeld as every quirky facet of each child’s personality is suddenly revealed in one big dump. In under three minutes, each 4-year-old runs the gamut of dramatics: from bossy to loving to excited to know-it-all to sweet to whiny and back again — and only about 50 percent of it makes any sense at all!
Lydia told a “knock-knock” joke to her cousin Poki today. She prefaced it with a lengthy explanation that this is a different kind of “knock-knock” joke, but that it is important to just do what you’re supposed to do when hearing a “knock-knock” joke. Her gift for gab was revealed in her unnecessary explanation that took more time than the joke, and her cousin’s sweetness was revealed in her willingness to listen to the explanation — and then to continue to participate in the joke.
This was repeated several times, until Lydia finally revealed the punchline — incorrectly.
Poki laughed her heart out at the fabulous joke delivered with such “perfect” comedic timing, and immediately began to tell her own joke.
She was rudely interrupted by my offspring. “NO! That’s not the end of the joke! You’re supposed to say, ‘Who’s there…’”
Both girls were distracted by something shiny, and the conversation immediately traveled in a completely different direction.
Later, I learned it is only important to get one child on board with an idea because the other child will undoubtedly follow the excited lead of the first child. Once they had exhausted all toys and ideas for playing (about 10 minutes into their playdate), they wandered downstairs to whine with boredom and tattle on each other for various infractions. I suggested they go play “store” with the toys they had scattered around the room.
Lydia jumped up and down and shouted, “YAY! Let’s play Walmart!”
While I cringed, Poki followed suit. “Oh, I just LOVE Walmart!” she shouted with an amount of misdirected enthusiasm fit for 10 adult bodies. They raced upstairs, sharing their exciting Walmart plans with each other.
Over lunch, we discussed favorite animals, colors, TV shows, movies and more. Both girls decided their favorite holiday is “Thanks Patrick Day.”
On the way back to Poki’s house, they both yelped with glee when their favorite pop song came on the radio. “Turn it up! Turn it up!” they begged in sweet-voiced unison. I obliged, and together we all shouted incorrect lyrics down the freeway. When my eardrums were blasted, I turned down the radio and listened to the girls giggle and talk to each other in the backseat. Every sentence started with, “I was like…”
These 4-year-olds are acting more and more like 14-year-olds. I desperately want to freeze them as they are right now.
But they aren’t too keen on that idea.