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Thursday, June 4, 2009

That's Just How Dogs' Lifes Are

"Ahh-ha-ha-ha-ha!" Daughter forced a laugh, pointing at Dog, who was comfortably curled up in the old arm-chair this morning. "She licking her leg!! Ha-hahahahaha!"

Son looked at her slightly condescendingly. "That's just how dogs' lifes are," he said, with heavy emphasis on the "f" in "lifes."

Daughter didn't respond.

So he tried again. "That's just how dogs' lifes are." "Do you know what 'life' means?"

No answer.

"Do you know what 'life' means?"

Still no answer

"Okay, you don't. You don't know what 'life' means. 'Life' means how you live." He waited a moment for that to sink in. "Do you know what 'how you live' means? 'How you live' means how you are." He looked in her face to see if she was comprehending all of this. "Everyone is different," he added helpfully. He allowed for another pregnant pause.

Then, satisfied that he'd explained with some useful precision why dogs lick their paws, he began clamoring for some breakfast.

Daughter still said nothing.

I pondered: paw-licking isn't funny because that's just what dogs do. Their lives are made up of little oddities like that. They lick all kinds of weird stuff. That's just how their lifes are. Of course, everyone is different, which neatly negates that generalization about dogs lifes.

But it doesn't change the patience with which he tried to explain what he assumed were difficult concepts for a three-year-old to grasp. Given that yesterday was a festival of willful not listening at our house, I'll take kind disquisitions on a dog's life quite happily as a start for the morning.

14 comments:

Marinka said...

so sweet! And I was all ready to tell you that that's not how you spell 'lives'!

Don Mills Diva said...

I think you've got a budding philosopher on your hands!

Momisodes said...

That is incredibly sweet. My guess is he's learned how to explain things patiently by your excellent example!

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

Yes, I definitely think you have the next brainiac philospher in your family too! Talk about sweet!

Audubon Ron said...

Neat.

bernthis said...

Nobody ended up in tears. Great day as far as I'm concerned

Sarah@Momalom said...

My six year old has actively expanded my two year old's vocabulary over the past year. He'll say a word that he knows Max does not know and then get him to say it. "Maxie, can you say lifes?" Max attempts to say it. Big kid does that three more times and then launches into the meaning of [blank] word and I sit by with a sweet smile. This scenario that you describe is a daily function of my life: in the car, at the dining room table, in front of the tv, on the bunk beds. Thanks for the sweet reminder of that sibling thing that isn't always hits and kicks and pulling and pushing and whining and crying and....

anymommy said...

I agree - it's so nice when my kids try to help each other with anything, even the details of how dogs are.

Mouthy Housewife said...

Your son is very bright. If he ever decides to become a lawyer he'll be a darn good one

BusyDad said...

The Socratic method is strong with this one.

Red Flashlight said...

"Willful Not Listening" makes me cross.

Chandra said...

What a gentle and patient "lecture" your son gave your daughter. Perhaps he has a future as a philosophy professor?

So sweet.

Jaina said...

Haha, that is too cute. :)

Heather of the EO said...

I love this post.

He's teaching tolerance at such a young age :)

And also...what Momisodes said!

 

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