Duh moment #243

Ella and I were discussing the progress of our veggie patch project (in English as we had an English speaking guest):

Me – It will be so exciting to see the veggies appear on the plants, won’t it?
Ella – Disappear.
Me – No, appear.
Ella – No, disappear.
Me – Appear. Disappear means to go away. Appear means we can start seeing them.
Ella – Appear is not a real word!
Me – Yes it is, miss dictionary. Do you want me to go get the dictionary?
Ella – What’s a dictionary?
Me – “Woordenboek” (Dutch translation)
Ella – I can’t read.



Wanting to be little miss popular

When I took Ella to school on Monday morning, we were 20 minutes late. Her two best friends were having their morning tea at the outside table and started calling her name as we walked through the gate.

I had asked Ella to hold my car keys, as I had my hands full. When we reached her friends and I had off-loaded all her stuff, I went to get the car key out of her hand and she pulled it away from me. Her friends laughed and immediately started egging her on: “Run Ella, run!”. So she ran… Away from me and up the play equipment, where she started dodging me when I came near.

Needless to say that I was not particularly in the mood to play games, being 20 minutes late already, and I am not known for my patience. So after she dodged me a few times – her friends still yelling “Run! Run!” – I threatened with taking some of her morning tea snacks away if she would not listen to me and give me the key. It was enough for me to start heading in the direction of her schoolbag to make her give in to me.

Very reluctantly though. I told her:

Me – You don’t have to do everything your friends tell you to do, you know.
Ella [teary] – But mu-um, I want to be funny to my friends!
Me – Everbody wants to be funny to their friends, sweetie. But not if it is going to annoy other people.

From a very early age, Ella showed great loyalty towards her friends. I have always found it very cute, but I know there are going to be downsides to this trait. And this little snapshot was a perfect demonstration of what I might expect in that area. I can only hope that her common sense will override this strong urge to entertain and appease her friends at some point!


I have been trying to explain to Ella what sarcasm means. Not sure why. Probably because I thoroughly enjoy using it on her sometimes. It calms me down when my blood pressure starts shooting up. Anyway, so I suppose I thought it was only fair to explain to her what sarcasm meant. And I enjoy explaining difficult concepts to her. It’s challenging and often very funny too.

For the sake of simplicity, I’d told her that sarcasm is when you say the opposite of what you mean. That resulted in this conversation in our hostel room in Sydney last week (of which I can only remember a small part):

Ella – There’s NO pictures on the wall. Sarcasm!
Me – No, that’s not sarcasm.
Ella – I’m NOT wearing a t-shirt. Sarcasm!
Me – Err, no.
Ella – There’s NO bed. Sarcasm!
Me – No, I think sarcasm is usually a bit mean actually.
Ella – You’re going to die soon. Sarcasm!
Me – No, that’s just mean, but not funny.
Ella – A dinosaur is going to eat you. Sarcasm!
Me – No.
Ella – Oh, but I want to do sarcasm! What is it then, mum?
Me – Err, I really don’t know how to explain it. I’ll have to look it up in the dictionary when we get home.

I had a friend text me the dictionary definition later that day, and explained to Ella that sarcasm involved mocking someone, but by then she was a bit over it. And I had also started wondering if it was at all appropriate for four year olds to be using sarcasm anyway.


Eating pork for dinner:

Ella – I’m going to eat some fat.
Me – That’s ok, you can use some more fat.
Ella – Is fat good for you?
Me – I heard that kids need some fat to make their brains grow. But if you eat too much fat, you’ll just get fat.
Ella – Fat like in The Biggest Loser?
Me – Yes, and then you’ll have to go on The Biggest Loser to become slim again!

Did I ever mention she loved that show when it was on? I still don’t know why…

I also have a video somewhere, filmed last summer I think, of her explaining that her fairy barbie has magic that makes fat come off people so they can eat what they want. We’re going to be rich, rich! Though I think that might have been the fairy barbie that accidentally lost it’s wings at a friend’s place the other day. Just my luck!

The long answer

Tonight as I said goodnight to Ella, she was looking at me with a sort of blank expression.

Me – Why are you looking so serious?
Ella – Mum, this is actually how my face is. Because if I smile that’s not how it is. If I smile, see [flashes a quick smile]… and then it goes like this [looking serious again]. And this is actually my normal face.
Me – That’s fair enough, sweetie. Goodnight.