Out of the Mouth of Abigail

My daughter, Abigail, at four years old, is truly amazing. She is extremely intelligent, which most of the time delights her mommy and daddy. On almost every occasion, we marvel at and encourage her keen observation skills and her cute ways of expressing herself. Every now and then, however, there are times that we’d rather she simply kept her thoughts to herself.
Like the time at Tumbleweed by the River, one of our favorite places to eat in Louisville. Our keenly observant daughter loudly (and correctly) announced, “Daddy, I see a fat man!” This would not have been so bad if she was looking across the room or out the window. Unfortunately, she was looking at our waiter who was standing quietly waiting to take our order. Or the time she met one of Daddy’s co-workers and exclaimed, “Mom, look at her nose!” I’ve lost count of the times she’s proclaimed, “She has a big belly!”, “Why is he fat?”, or “She can’t walk good ‘cause she’s so fat!” All of these proclamations are quickly followed by frantically whispered lectures on why we shouldn’t say such things out loud because they might hurt the person’s feelings. Apparently, some of this has sunk in, but the desire to declare someone fat must be a strong one, because the other day she decided, “Mom, I’ll just call myself fat because my feelings won’t get hurt.”
She also likes to notice and comment on people’s age. A few weeks ago, as I was trying to get Abigail through the door while holding Catherine, Elisabeth’s car seat, and the pictures we had just picked up at JCPenney, a wonderful elderly lady held the door open for me. She talked to my girls and commented on how cute they were. As we went our separate ways in the parking lot, Catherine called out, “Bye, Grandmama!” As I was telling Catherine that she wasn’t Grandmama, the lady laughed, which hopefully means she missed Abigail’s response to my correction: “Well, she is old!” She is fascinated with knowing how old people are, probably a direct result from the many times she is asked how old she is. She just happens to be a little confused on old vs. young, and also on guessing ages in general. On the way to visits friends in Louisville that we hadn’t seen in awhile, she asked of the teenager who used to babysit her, “Mom, how old is Kasey now? Is she 54 or 55?” (Kasey is 18.) This was quickly followed by, “Is Linda old, or young?” I had an interesting time trying to explain middle age and that it’s neither old nor young. We finally declared Linda “middle.”
Then there are the times that we wholeheartedly agree with what she has said, even felt like saying it ourselves, but have to reluctantly rebuke her anyway. These usually include times when she comments on other kids’ behavior. Times like last week at Applebee’s, when the little girl behind us was standing up backwards in her seat, looking over into our booth. I must confess to some pride when Abigail said—quite loudly–, “Her mommy and daddy need to teach her not to stare!” She has been known to announce things like, “He’s not supposed to climb on that!”, “She went up the slide on her feet!” and “I thought we weren’t supposed to write in books!” All of this was said with the proper degree of shock that anyone would behave in such an atrocious manner.
And of course we can’t leave out her insightful comments about her own family. Comments like, “Hey, belly! Where’s Mommy?” as her very pregnant mommy entered the room. When she was two she developed her own way of categorizing people—those who had hair and those who had heads. At our house, Mommy and Abigail had hair and Daddy and newborn Catherine had heads. This presented quite a dilemma one day when she had a ponytail for one of the first times. Upon seeing her new hairstyle in the mirror, she frantically cried out, “Oh! My hair! I need my curly hair! I have a head! I have a head!” Apparently she thought I had cut all her hair off. When I put a little baseball cap on her new baby sister, she matter-of-factly commented, “Oh, now she’s a brother.” One day, soon after Catherine was born, she was fussing in her infant seat while I was in the shower. Abigail came in and sang to her until she calmed down and fell asleep. After I got out I began heaping praise on her for being such a good helper and good big sister. She was grinning from ear to ear the whole time I was talking, which I thought was due to her pride over my praise until I took a breath, and she said, “You have a towel on your head,” and cracked up laughing.
I must stop somewhere, but I could write pages and pages of the incredible things that have come out of this child’s mouth. She never ceases to amaze us with her childish logic, her insight, and her wit (whether intentional or unintentional.) God has blessed her with an amazing mind. May her observation skills that cause us to cringe at times now be used to His glory later on in her life. May her mind continue to grow and develop and amaze those who love her. But for now, may He grant momentary hearing loss to those at the brunt end of her candor.

This entry was posted in Kids say..., Motherhood and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s