I explained the lyrics, even fired up an MP3 on the Mac so she could hear the whole song – but no use. I want to have a good day!
I am having the best time keeping track of Thalia’s toddler misunderstandings about the world. I’m pretty sure that she thinks her nickname was Little Bean when she was in my belly because human embryos start out as actual beans. And she thinks foods “full of vitamins” have little purple Dora-imprinted chewables buried in there somewhere.
Along the same lines as the misheard song lyrics, she mismatches nursery rhymes in the cutest way: Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater, eating his curds and whey. Why not? I mean, pumpkin is probably good with a little ricotta.
But my favorite so far: Last week Nate turned a game of Got Your Nose into Got Your Belly Button and Thalia insisted she needed her belly button back right away.
“Why? It doesn’t actually do anything.”
“But I need it!” she cried.
“What do you need it for?”
“I need it to fart.”
Neither of us taught her this. (Shockingly.) She just somehow came to it on her own.
Suddenly I’m reminded of all the misinformation that filled my head in my younger days.
-When I was a kid we had a cleaning woman from Jamaica. She used to describe this beautiful far away island with palm trees and miles of sandy beaches. And yet when I used to hear the local traffic report on 1010WINS describing backups along the BQE to Jamaica, I couldn’t imagine how this spectacular island was somewhere hidden right in Queens.
-That old chestnut: Little men inside the television.
-After third grade one day, I ran home indignant about a song we had learned music class. “It was a CHURCH SONG, mommy,” I said, the junior liberal in me busting with pride in my ability to bust the proselytizing music teacher.
-The local library gave out sticker maps and we’d get a new state sticker for every book a child took out. The map hung at eye level on our kitchen wall, and is the very reason I thought Alaska and Hawaii were right next to each other, just West of Texas.
-I never entirely understood that classic BeeGee’s lyric We can try to understand the New York Times’ old anchor man but I sang it that way.
The sad part is, I still sing it that way. It just comes out.
-I have an Aunt Fredda. I thought there was another Fredda out there, a really famous dancer. Her name was Fredda Stare.
-I was certain God was the spitting image of the Lucky Charms Guy.
So what do your kids get wrong now? What did you get wrong as a kid? I’m feeling a little alone in my abject cluelessness here.