I'm fixing dinner one evening as he chatters on animatedly about the days' adventures from the next room, where he's playing trains. I'm cycling through my usual pattern of responses every few minutes: "Wow!"- "Oh no!" - "Really?"when he suddenly becomes silent. A minute later he's at my elbow...
Oyon: Mamma, you meant "Wow"
Me (still only half listening): Huh?
Oyon: You said "Oh no!' just now but my story needs a "wow!"
Me (shocked that he knew my pattern and a little worried he might be hurt): Oh, Ok. I'm sorry?
Oyon: No problem! I get confused too sometimes.
Me (relieved to have gotten away with it): I'll try to get it right next time, ok? So what happened next?
Oyon (as he walks away to resume playing): I'll tell you but next is an 'Oh no!'. OK Mummum?
It's ALWAYS ok to be around this child.
Chit-chatting about his day in school, Oyon announces that they talked about 'hormones' in 3rd grade today. How they can confuse you. When pressed for details...
Oyon: You know, like the blues?
Me: Ms. N told you hormones can make people sad and blue?!
(This is my first experience with American public school education but I could've sworn that sex education waiting until 5th/6th grade.)
Oyon: What? No, Mamma! Not to be rude but please can I read now?
He dove back into Harry Potter's world and I left things be, feeling more rattled than usual. I was signing his homework agenda later that evening when he came by and gleefully pointed to the weekly spelling words listed on the page. He pointed out the words 'blue' and 'blew' and chuckled.....
Oyon: See the hormones Mamma? The 'blues' sound the same but don't mean the same. Isn't it confusing? GREAT for tricks though.
Darn Homophones. Really SO confusing.
Oyon-isms (2014, 8 yrs old)
O: I don't know when I've used one!
Me: Is this a common problem?
O (whispering): well..... I used the 'd' word by mistake just the other day before I knew it was a swear!
Me (whispering back): and what IS the 'd' word?
Me (straight faced): I see. You make a Good point but I'm still not teaching you to curse.
On the drive back from school....
Me: Hey, I'm trying to write a blog post about our God and Santa conversations. You know, "Are they real?" and all that. I hope I'm remembering it all correctly.
Oyon: Well, it's all about the approach.
Oyon: You've got to first approach it with Belief, then, with Science.
Me: Remind me again, how you do that?
Oyon: Well first you try to believe in something and see if it works. If it does, great. You're done. If it doesn't make sense then you try the Science approach.
Me: So believing doesn't mean you don't ask questions?
Oyon: Yeah! It's got to make sense, right?
Me: Ok. And the Science approach? That's trying to prove things?
Oyon: Yup. Most of the time that's the best way.
Me: And some times?
Oyon: Sometimes, you just Believe.
Me: That's what I thought. Thanks for clarifying.
End of conversation on the week that Santa got outed. I'm learning to leave 'well enough', alone.
When he was between 3 and 4, Oyon first heard of zombies and ghosts at daycare and developed tremendous night terrors about them. He couldn't pronounce 'r' or 'l' until almost 5 so these conversations were particularly memorable for the incongruity of content and delivery.
In the restroom (all his important thoughts seem to unfold on the pot) at Borders one Saturday he asked...
Oyon: Mummum, where do ghosts and monstahs wiv?
Me: Hmm. They aren't real, like I told you, so I guess Ghosts would have to live in your imagination. That's where you think and sometimes, make up pretend stuff.
Oyon: And where does my ima-gin-ay-shun wiv?
Me: Your brain, I suppose. Which is inside your head.
Oyon (horrified): The monstahs are inside my HEAD?!!!
Me: ALL pretend things live in your head! And monsters, ghosts and zombies are just pretend. You know that.
Oyon (sounding rather unconvinced but determined): Yeah. I know THAT!
Later that night in the bath his back is turned to the door (from where I'm checking in on him occasionally) as he puts a little wooden boat and a plastic octopus in the sudsy bathwater. I stop to watch from behind as he does something curious...he slowly reaches inside his left ear and mimes pulling something out. The 'something' then becomes his hand that dives into the water then leaps out towards the boat-riding octopus and...
Oyon: Rrrrrr! Wooooh! I'm going to EAT you! You bettah wun! ROAAAR!
Many fearsome, loud noises later he seems to have scared himself. Starts whimpering and muttering 'mummum!'. I'm about to step into view to help when he suddenly stops and goes very still. I freeze too. He brings up his hand to eye level and....
Oyon: Bad monstah, time-out! Go! Go BACK to my ima-gin-ay-shun!
This time he slowly reaches into his RIGHT ear and mimes placing something INTO it.
Oyon (making his octopus dive and swim around the boat): Yay! Monstah gone! Come on...wets swim!
Me (kneeling in front of his glistening, plump little body): Did that monster scare you, Oyon?
Oyon (dodging the question): I sent Monstah BACK to my ima-gin-ay-shun. He's in a time-out now.
Me: Good for you. But did he scare you?
Oyon (with a slightly derisive laugh as I soap his little back): Don't you know it's all pwe-tend? Monstahs aren't weal!
Other monster related adventures from those early years to stay tuned for:
- The ghost fighting arsenal I discovered under his pillow one day
- Princess bears in Arizona
- His imaginary friend 'Gadeshan', a friendly monster
- The baby tornado that didn't want to destroy stuff
As nasal irrigation washes out very little phlegm.....
Me: Yay! I think this means your'e coming to the end of this viral infection!
O: Aw! I'm going to miss this virus! Even though it hurt my nose when I out-haled.
Me: It also gave you a nasty fever and you're still coughing!
O: But it also let me watch shows at home for 2 days! There's always good and bad, Mummum. You've got to look at the good side. That's what I say.
An article I'm reading on genetically engineering babies to prevent congenital disease leads to questions about congenital traits and the role of DNA. I barely understand this stuff but explain its just that traits pass down to people from their biological parents/ancestors.
O: Like what?
Me: Well, your eyes are shaped just like Baba's and HIS are shaped just like his mothers.
O: Wait, so I got Thammi's DNA too?
Me: Yup. And her ancestors and their ancestors and so on going back, back, back.
O: And I have yours too?
Me: Sure you do.
Me: Like....your fingers are long just like mine though it might not be all mine....you know, fingers are just fingers after all. Did you know though that genetic traits aren't just physical? They affect your personality too. Like how you like to make up stories for instance....
O (excitedly): Oh, I KNOW that's Dadu's DNA!
Oyon's paternal grandfather - his Dadu - was an immensely talented litterateur
Me: Quite possibly. But not everything is from DNA, you know. Plenty of kids who don't have famous writer-grandpas tell wonderful stories too. The cool thing is, some parts of you are from my gene pool and some parts are from your Baba's but there are other huge chunks that are all YOU. You are uniquely yourself too.
O (silently lost in thought for a little while): Mummum, when you went to school, when you were a kid...did you have a bookbag with shoulder straps?
Me (a bit thrown at the topic change): Um, yes.
O (demonstrating): And did you like to hold the straps and push them out like this?
Me: Probably. Many kids do that.
O (triumphantly): Bet I get that from you!
That night when his understandably crowded head wouldn't let him fall asleep, I lay down next to him and counted softly in his ear. I whispered predictable, familiar, gently swelling numbers to him until he gave in to the rhythm and let it carry him away.
O: No! It's a little to the side of a bag of nuts!
In the car, on our way to Holiday party last night...
Me: Sorry to interrupt the programming but COOL LIGHTS ALERT! On your left! They lit their trees and roof! Wow!
Was that a Christmas Fail or Energy Conservation success?
Oyon-ism (7 and a half)
A few weeks into his new school year in Second Grade, we got to chatting about his new class mates. Apparently he 'made friends with' a kid on the playground who was very quiet the entire time they played. I commented on how most kids are usually crazy excited on the playground.
O:Well you can't be bothered by different.
Me (startled at the non-sequitur): Huh?
O: If someone is different there's nothing you can DO about it! So just don't worry.
Me (trying to make sense of it): So, your new friend.....he's 'different' and you like him?
O: Yeah, I do. And I'm not worried.
Me: Ok.Good for you.
I'm intrigued he thought he was expected to 'worry' or be bothered' about someone being 'different'. His world is obviously SO much bigger than us and the things we model for him. He always has marched to his own beat but it's lovely to catch it's rhythm once in a while.
As I scoop and discard the third fish in his aquarium that unexpectedly died:
Oyon (hesitantly): This is kind of bad to say, but when my fish die I don't feel so bad.
Me: That's okay. You don't really get to bond with fish like you do with a cuddly pet. You're not happy it died though, are you?
Oyon: Of course not! But if they die after a month, that's still like, a really long life, right?
Me: Depends on the species. Some can live for years so a month is.....well, short.
Oyon (looking a bit chastened): Oh. Can I have some screen-time today Mammam, even though it's not Wednesday?
Me (tried to adjust to this rapid change of direction): Why?
Oyon (with an odd expression): I'm going to make some gravestones in Minecraft. You know, for all my fish.
Me: But who'll see it?
Oyon: Pigs, zombie creepers, cows.......Me.
Me (giving him my phone and a hug): Set the timer for 10 minutes. Well done.
Oyon-isms, 7+, July 2014:
As we are exploring the crumbling old ruins of a gunnery by our camp on Peddocks Island:
Me: Do you think those soldiers had imagined that one day there would be families camping at the place where they shot guns and looked for enemy submarines in the harbor?
Oyon: Yeah, it's weird. I mean, there could have been an Asian restaurant here instead and people eating noodles.
Me: This is a mostly deserted island. A restaurant, really ?
Oyon: There it might have been! People want to eat noodles everywhere.
Upon hearing a Bengali folktale where a Raja (king) sentences some wicked women to death by beheading for their ghastly crimes...
Oyon: Executioners should get a different job. Their job is awful.
Me: True. Chopping off heads must be so horrible.
Oyon: No, I mean it must be so boring. There's probably only one head to chop each day so what do they do the rest of the time, just sit around in the dark dungeon?
Me (a little apalled): But, isn't it also awful that they are killing people?
Oyon: Kind of but those jealous sisters deserved it. They tried to kill their sister's babies! If people kept killing babies, who would be left to turn into adults? You'd end up with like, ONE person in the world and one person can't do EVERYthing.
On hearing from his friend that a coyote in the neighborhood had killed a small pet dog...
Oyon: That makes no sense! Coyotes evolved INTO dogs...why would they kill them?!
Me: Dogs aren't coyotes anymore though. Coyotes are still wild and have to eat small animals to survive.
Oyon: That's too bad. I wish we could give them other food so they'd leave the pets alone but that's dangerous.
Me: Correct! Never feed a wild animal or they lose their hunting skills.
Oyon: Yeah, but it would also be really bad because in a few minutes it would evolve into a dog and then we'd have too many DOGS in the neighborhood.
Hi. This is Oyon. Mammam read this to me and this is a thingie I made her put in.
Mamma said that the Coyotes evolve into dogs in many years. But what if a wolf is 17 when it forms into a dog? It would already be dead. So it would die in the middle of evolving right? So when DO they turn into dogs? That's my question.
Oyon-ism, 7+, May 2014
After finding a dead fish in his aquarium one morning......
Oyon: Quick, get it out, or it'll spread toxic in the water and kill the others!
Me: Relax, it doesn't happen that fast. Think of how it works in the ocean. Often other creatures eat up the dead before it even rots. Sometimes even its friends from the same species.
Oyon (a bit horrified): Why?! Why would they DO that? Eat their friend!
Me: As far as we know, fish don't really have feelings so they may not know it's their friend. Also, in the wild, creatures are always looking for nutrition. It's the food chain.
Oyon: Well, I think they eat their friends so they'll become part of them and so they won't miss them.
On being asked if he'd like fried fish tacos for dinner or daal-rice...
Oyon: Shhhh! Not so loud!
Me (in an obliging whisper): Why?
Oyon: I don't want my fish to hear. They might get worried.
Oyon-ism, 7+, May 2014
As I impatiently reacted to his dawdling, nagged him (as usual) to focus and finally got his goat....
Oyon (frustrated): You can't just keep saying 'focus', Mamma. You've got to be pacific!
Me: But I DID just tell you! You'd have heard me if....wait. Did you just ask me to be 'pacific'?
Oyon (tearfully now): Yes! You keep saying 'focus' and 'hurry up' but what about? You've got to be pacific so I know what you want me to DO!
Me: What do you mean by 'be pacific'?
Oyon: Well, like, you don't say 'that ocean', you say the PACIFIC ocean or ATLANTIC ocean. That's being pacific.
Oyon-ism, 7+, April 2014:
Talking about how some kids got in trouble on the playground this week...
Me: So do you and your friends ever get in trouble?
Oyon: Not hardly very often and sometimes.
Me: Uh, what?
Oyon: You know! We do sometimes but not ALL the time.
Oyon-ism, 7+, April 2014:
Around bedtime, after being busted for using his electric toothbrush on just ONE tooth for his entire brushing time...
Me (yelling): You must have been daydreaming again....this is ridiculous!
Oyon (yelling back tearfully): That's so mean! I was NOT day dreaming! I just forgot!
Me (incredulously): You forgot what?
Oyon: How to brush!
Me: How is that possible?!
Oyon: Well, there are so many things in my head that some of them have to go out. Sometimes you HAVE to forget, Mamma! Don't you KNOW that?!
Me (sobered by his frustration AND logic): I know you have lots to hold in your head these days. Sorry I yelled. What do you think I should I do next time you're ruining your teeth by not brushing right?
Oyon: Teach me again,
A few minutes later as he's reading a funny story to me and comments in mid-guffaw...
Oyon: You know, it's hard to laugh right after you've been crying very badly
Me: Why? Are you still sad?
Oyon: Not really. It's just that all that panting makes my throat go funny and the laugh kind of gets stuck. I want to laugh harder but it just won't come out.
Me: Are you sure there are no tears stuck in there?
Oyon: I'm sure. They all came out already. Like lava.
Me: Like lava?
Reading an Enid Blyton book out loud to Oyon. A boy disappears suddenly in a snowy landscape…
Oyon: Maybe he was taken by the Abdominable Snowman! See the chapter title? Magic Snowman.
(It’s a tough word PLUS Oyon recently had some stomach pain. If the shoe fits...)
Later in the book, when the kids enlist the help of Goldilocks and the 3 bears to rescue their brother….
Oyon: Wait a minute! So Goldilocks and the 3 bears didn’t know their own story?!!
Me: Yup. For them, it was just their life. But the other characters in this story had read ‘Goldilocks’.
Oyon: That is SO weird. And cool! So, do these other guys know that THEY’RE in a story?
Me: What do YOU think?
Folks, you've just GOT to read ‘The Enchanted Wood’ with/to your kids. The sugariness will make you want to tear out your hair but fight that urge…. there are gems scattered everywhere. Like the above little mind warp. TIP: If you need to end the overlong read-out-loud session and silence the begging kid who’s trying to wheedle out a 7th chapter, switch to a plummy English accent. Don’t stop even when he BEGS you to ‘STOP being so weird!’ Goodnights, tuck-ins and lights-off will be just minutes away. Ju
Oyon-ism (7+) , March 2014
On hearing about the crowd sourced search for the missing Malaysian flight:
Oyon: Can we also see the radar map of where the plane last was? We could work out where it is in the ocean.
Oyon: I can look near there and where the currents go and see if there's any pieces of trash in the sea with letters like 'Mal..' because it could be a part of the plane with the logo, like the tail fin!
Me: What else would help find the plane?
Oyon: A floating sandwich from the flight lunch. If it was cut in half I'd know the roof of the plane collapsed and chopped it. Then we'd know how to stop it from happening again.
Me: Would'nt it get soggy and sink?
Oyon: It might. Then I'd look for pieces of paper that the lifeboat people cut up and threw in the water, like a trail. Wait - they'd sink too. Maybe they would think of using plastic instead?
Me: All good ideas.
Oyon: We definitely need to find that black box: though that would sink for sure. So why aren't they using submarines to look UNDER water? Never mind, I'm pretty sure that by now a sea monster or a giant squid has eaten it up. Hey why not use satellites that can see THROUGH water? And the oceans connect you know, so why don't they search them ALL ? Like the Indian ocean and the Pacific and Atlantic?
We reached school and he carried on into the cafeteria where early care is staged before school officially starts. Can't wait to hear what other plans he's come up with and hope we can spend a few minutes searching the web-site to do our little part.
A few days later, he finished homework in good time and found himself with some spare playing time. Usually it's a sacred time of the day and comes at a premium. Sometimes his playtime agenda is serious enough that I'm not even allowed to chat with him because it would derail his plans. Other times he's happy to hang out and chill. This night he asked me if he could trade his 'screen time' for the next day (he's allowed to play on the iPhone on Monday and Wednesday during the drive to and from Karate class) for a chance to search for the missing flight. It's a trade I was happy to make. We fired up the computer, pored over all the Google images on offer of flight paths and search areas and then scanned a few tiles of the Malacca Straits on the DigiGlove TomNod photographs. Couldn't really tell surf-caps apart from potential debris so I didn't feel that we'd added any value.
But a few minutes later this is what I find:
He had recreated the radar map of the last known location of Flight 370. Later at dinner that he solemnly announced to me, his dad and his Uncle Mark what he had a theory for what had really happened.
A giant, unknown sea monster had arisen from the ocean and yawned very wide, inadvertently swallowing the airplane.
He wasn't being flippant or funny. He seriously thinks we ought to consider ALL possibilities and we're not arguing with him.
Oyon-ism (7+), March 2014
Oyon: Why's the shadow of my hand longer than my hand Mamma? Wait I know! Some of the suns light waves thingies get blocked by my hand and they squiggle around my hand and team up to make bigger shadows! Right?
Me: Isn't a shadow a place where there's NO light? How do light waves make shadows then?
Oyon: The 'no light' adds up.
Me: Well reasoned. Now finish your oatmeal please.
Oyon-isms (almost 7), October 2013
After crying over a broken toy car for a few minutes -
Oyon: Hey! You can see the gears and stuff now. This is what makes it go.....Cool!
Me (relieved he won't be asking for a replacement): That IS cool. I'm glad you see it that way.
Oyon (wiping away his tears): I'm going to go smash the other toys to see how THEY work.
Oyon-isms (7+), February 2014
Fiercely hugging his beloved Penguino after returning from school. (Penguino is a starry-sky projecting pillow pet recently acquired at Christmas)
Oyon: I'm not being mean to you Mammam, but I think I love Penguino more than you.
Me: I understand Oyon. It's kind of how Baba and I feel about you.
Oyon (now on the couch, on his back, legs up in the air, holding the Penguin nose-to-nose and staring into his glass eyes): But WHY does he have to be so cute?!!
Me (struggling to keep my hands off HIM): Dunno kiddo. He just is.
Oyon-isms (7+), February 2014
On discussing a billionaires opulent, 22 storied home in Mumbai (that houses a family of only 4):
Oyon: Why did he need such a big house?
Me: I'm not sure he needed it but he could afford to build it. So he did.
Oyon: Maybe he had SO much money it was over-flowing so he had to use it up.
Me: I can think of others ways he could have used it. Can't you?
Oyon: Yeah. I know! Maybe he had so much furniture they couldn't even move. So he built another home to store it.
Me (giving up on explaining ostentation and really, not quite wanting to anyway): You might be right.
Oyon-isms (7+), February 2014
Some of the creative usages of 'past' and 'past continuous' of late. Maybe he's trying to form more intricate thoughts?
* You had bought-en this LEGO set on my 4th birthday
* This straw is not able-ing to suck up any more water. I need to top up the cup.
* I turned off-ed the light.
Surgeons (7+), February 2014:
After repeating something his dad and I had discussed amongst ourselves (or so we thought) in the car ages ago...
Me: How did YOU know that?!
Oyon: Oh, I have ears all over my body.
He'd read/heard somewhere that some people leave their body to science after death. After last nights shower, as I'm clipping his big toenail..
Oyon: You know how people leave their bodies to science?
Oyon: Scientist should cut those dead bodies and see what's inside.
Me: They do. But why do you ask?
Oyon: Then they'd be able to tell me what it looks like under my toe nail.
Same convo, 5 minutes of discussing medical research later (still naked and still getting nails clipped in the bathroom)...
Oyon: I think I'd like to be one of those people who cut bodies
Me: A Surgeon? Cool. That's a kind of doctor so you'd go to medical school to learn that. Oooh, what fun that'd be!!
Oyon: I know! And I would have SO many questions!
Me: You'd know so many ANSWERS too though. I'D be the one asking you questions then!
Oyon: No. I'd still have a lot of questions to ask you.
Same convo, 10 minutes (of discussing medical reserach later but still naked and getting nails clipped in the bathroom)...
Oyon: I think I'd like to be one of theose people who cut bodies
Me: A Surgeon? Cool. That's a kind of doctor though so you'd go to medical school to learn that. Oooh, what fun that'd be!!
Oyon: I know! And I would have SO many questions!
Me: You'd know so many ANSWERS too though. I'D be the one asking you questions then!
Oyon: No. I'd still have a lot of questions to ask you.
Sentences, December '13 (7):
Insights into Oyon's recent experiences based on some of the 'sentences' he has written for home work assignments (using a list of assigned words). Rorschach Ink Blot test for kids, if you ask me.
1. Let's go! We will be late!
(Every. Single. Morning.)
2. What has he got in his pocket?
(After watching a play of 'The Hobbit', including Bilbo's riddle scene with Gollum)
3. I like the red car.
(Just opened a new set of Birthday Hotwheel cars)
4. He has too many toys.
(Heard frequently around our home accompanied by the sound of adult teeth, gnashing)
5. I like that green door.
(Recent request to paint each wall of his room a different primary color. I nixed his door and ceiling paint schemes.)
6. I ate up all my candy.
(After his Halloween stash been rationed out @ 1 piece per day)
Cheeses, September-ish, 2013 (almost 7)
The following conversation is para-phrased but the key elements are true.
Oyon (when his Bey blade spinning top topples over): Aw, cheese! That didn't even spin 2 minutes!
Me (wondering about offending Christian sensibilities): Did you just say 'Oh Jeez?'
Oyon (laser-focus on his malfunctioning toy): Chees-es! Only 5 seonds this time!
Me (deciding to face it head on): Oyon are you saying 'Jesus'? That's rude to some people, you know.
Oyon (finally looking up): Why is it rude?
Me: Because Jesus is the Christian God. Kind of.
Oyon (frustrated): But we said Grace the other day at the Spoerings, we said "Thank you Cheeses for this food". Cheese isn't rude - its' yummy!
On cooking, November '13 (almost 7):
Helping me scramble eggs one unusually cheerful morning-
Oyon: Can I help please? I'm really good of cooking.
Me: Sure. Here, stir this.
Oyon (chest puffed out, superior look on face): You can give me more to do, you know. I can cook, like EVERYTHING! Lobsters, egg, rice, soda.
Me: You can cook soda?
Oyon: Yeah. It's easy. You just put some candy in a bottle of water and then shake. I can make you some spicy soda, if you'd like. I'll just add some spicy.
Me: And how would you do that?
Oyon: I'm not sure yet, but I'll figure it out.
Gulf of Mexico, October '13, (almost 7):
As we drive past a gas station: Gulf is 100 year old now, you know
Me: Huh? Who?
Oyon: Gulf. You know, like the 'Gulf of Mexico'?
Me: I'm pretty sure the Gulf of Mexico is older than that. Do you mean the gas station?
Oyon: Of course, I mean the gas station! 'Gulf of Mexico' is how they like you to pronounce their name.
Q&A , July '13(6 + yrs old):
Asked over the course of last Saturday:
1. How fast can a centipede run?
2. How many minutes in a year?
3. Can I grow a strawberry plant by planting a strawberry?
4. When was the first date? When the earth was formed was that the year 1? (On being told our calendar started with the birth of JC: That can’t be right. He has parents. He wasn’t, like, the FIRST person!)
5. I heard we have veins inside us that carry blood. Are they in my legs too?
6. What is 200 + 200? (this one about 10 times, with variations, though he knows the answer full well. Completely mystifying.)
7. Has there been more than Pi minutes in the history of the earth? (he has been trying to wrap his head around the decimal places in Pi being infinite vs. the integer actually being between 3 and 4……without understanding fractions and decimals! He is no longer allowed to speak with 2nd graders: they ruin my life. Why can’t they just be happy teaching him swear words? J)
8. How many hours in a season?
9. What is Pain + Pain? TWO much pain! Hahahaha! (has been intrigued by algebra and letters standing in for numbers)
Today – in the 1 hour from awakening to drop-off at summer camp:
1. My throat hurts. Do you think a virus crawled in to sleep there last night?
2. Who discovered space?
3. Would water float in space?
4. This year is 100 yrs since the Titanic sunk: next year will be 101 yrs. Will it just go on forever?
5. How many hours do we live? (asked for the umpteenth time)
6. Has there already been 260 minutes in the history of the earth? (260 is his favorite number…pops up everywhere)
7. What is 2 + 2?
Painkiller, May '13, (6+ yrs old):
I was massaging my forehead in the car as he buckled in for the drive to school...
Oyon: Are you angry at me Mummum?
Me: No kiddo. My head hurts, that's all. Allergies, I think.
Oyon: Oh. The best thing is to think of something. Your brain is very close to your forehead so it will distract you from the pain.
Me: Good idea. Thanks.
Oyon: Yeah, but don't do it if your tummy aches. Your stomach is too far from the brain for it to work. I've tried.
Star Wars, April '13, (6+ yrs old):
A weekend marathon of the Star Wars trilogy produced these interesting reactions:
Friday night = Star Wars:
Me (on first sight of the bad-guy Imperial star fighter): Wow! That is SO cool!
Oyon: Why did you say that?! Thaty's the bad guy! Yo'ure not supposed to say 'wow' to the baddies!
Me: But I think the space craft is cool, not the bad guys.
Oyon (a bit puzzled): Oh.
Saturday night = The Empire Strikes Back
Oyon's reaction to Yoda's age: "Yoda got 900 Christmases?!!"
After watching Chewbacca and the Ewok's bring down a bad-guy Imperial tank: That's easy! When I was at Fun World (an arcade), I defeated SO many of these!
Sunday night = The Return of the Jedi
Oyon: So Mammam, is 'the force' good or bad? Darth Vader was a bad guy and had it but so did Luke and he was a good guy!
Me: That's a tough one. What do YOU think?
Oyon: Maybe it's both? When Darth Vader hurt people it was the Dark Side, when Luke helped, it was good. So it's the stuff they DO with the force, I think..
Me: You know, I think I agree. Thanks for clarifying.
Oyon: You're welcome, Mammam.
Just a word, March '13, (6 yrs):
Upon finding a nasty little scrape on his knee at shower time....
Me: When did you get this?
Oyon: During gym class, I think.
Me: It's kind of deep. Didn't it hurt?
Oyon: It did but I disturbed myself and it felt better.
Oyon: you know, I kept playing so my brain would not think about the pain.
Me: I see. I distract my brain too sometimes when i'm in pain. Would you like some ointment on that?
Oyon: That would be fine, thanks.
Brain, March '13, (6 yrs):
On replying to a question after claiming to not know the answer the first time he was asked:
Oyon: I thought so. The show looks very, very old.
Me (thinking it's a trick question): 17?
Oyon (not rising to the bait): 9. Do you know why?
Me (intrigued by his gravity now): Why is it 9 Oyon?
Oyon: Because 5 plus 5 is 10 and 4 is 5 minus 1. So it adds up to 10 minus 1. Super-shmooper cool, huh?!
The conversation that followed this one - but only after a respectful 2 minutes silence to mull over the awesomeness of Math - revolved around how we could protect corn crops without using insecticides. He was excited about a new machine he'd build that would extract the bugs one by one (instead of crop-dusting them to death) and store them in a large warehouse where we would feed them Pop Tarts we bought from the store. Why Pop Tarts? So they would leave the corn alone for people to eat.
But that one's for another day.
When I grow up I want to invent a machine that lets people walk inside hot lava without melting.
When I grow up, after I make the Lava Machine, I'm going to build an instrument that listens to what animals say and then tells it in people language. It will be called the 'Listener'.
Mummum, how many days until I grow up?
Oyon: That's delicate Mummum. Be careful please. It's also fragile you know.
Me: Isn't that the same thing?
Oyon: No! (with a condescending snigger) Fragile means it's shiny.
Me: (laughing quietly to myself)
Oyon (with dawning self-doubt): Or maybe not. Anyway, I KNOW it's delicate. I know THAT.
Grow-up, Februaruy '13, (6 yrs):
Then to 200.
At 131 (or so), Oyon pauses and wonders out loud what comes after 1000.
I ask him to guess.
"Thousandty-one. Thousandty- two...."
Anyone who's shocked that an almost 6 yr old can't count past 1000: he can't do buttons either. But boy, does he have a great grin. :-)
Oyon clasps his hands, squeezes his eyes shut and says
"I hope there is more good news in the news because the bad news is just bad. Um, what's that word you say at the end again, Mummum?"
To his Uncle Mark as he walked through the door, "Hi Uncle Mark. I just had a tantrum. I cried, yelled and whined for things that were not right. It's called a tantrum and it's not good .Want to see my new 'Lion King' book
Ans so the pet campaign begins...