Good people

Sempi and I read bedtime books together and discuss the story before he goes to sleep.

The story we read had a mention of illegal drugs. Apparently he didn't know what drugs were. So we discussed what drugs were and how some bad guys can sell drugs to victims and why it is illegal.

Suddenly Sempi drops this nugget of wisdom.

People are always born to be strong and good. No one is born to be weak or evil.

Friends who know me well, know that I strongly believe "people are generally good". I guess that belief is a genetic trait.

Got Problems?

Sempi (my 6yo son) and I have this tradition of sharing our problems and asking each other's opinion on how to solve it. We do this while we walk to his school. We've been doing this since he was 3. Here's an example from Portland.

Me: When I bike to work, I have to wait a long time for the elevator.

Sempi (3yo): You should just build a ramp to your 28th floor, so you can just bike all the way up.

Me: Alrighty then.

Back to present day, I was discussing a problem with him about my work.

Me: I have this big presentation coming up and I'm nervous.

Sempi: Why?

Me: There's going to be VPs and an Executive attending this presentation. So I'm anxious about it.

(Sempi thinks for a while)

Sempi: There is a fire pole at the playground and I get nervous about going down that pole. What helps me is, I don't think about it, I just do it. So you should do the same. Don't think about it, just do it.

Me: Whoa! You know that's actually pretty good advice.

I'm happy to report that I took his advice and I kicked butt.

Relatives

Some nights I read a book about Gandhi to Sempi for bedtime. There is an incident in Gandhi's life when he's thrown out of a first-class couch in South Africa because he is not white. I told Sempi that it was an injustice and it doesn't happen anymore.  He listened intently and nodded approvingly. The next night I'm reading a comic about superheros and he asks me, "How come everyone in Justice League is white?".

I stuttered to come up with an answer at that moment, cursing myself for introducing him to the concept of race.

Since then he's asked me to read the Gandhi book many times and we talk about the struggles, non-violence and civil disobedience.

Recently, his elementary school teacher did a fantastic job of introducing the struggles of Martin Luther King Jr. He was excited to learn about MLK and how he learned some of the techniques from Gandhi and Thoreau. So naturally, we bought a new bedtime book about MLK.

One night we had this exchange.

Sempi: Appa, how did the first person came into existence.

Me: (I was gearing up to talk about evolution, Adam and Genesis).

Sempi: Appa, if there was a single person in the beginning, then we all came from that person.

Me: (excitedly) That's true. Everyone in the world is related. You're probably related to Ms. Cochran (his elementary shcool teacher).

Sempi: (giggles) Hehe. It also means that Martin Luther King could be my relative. Hehe.

Me: Absolutely!! You know MLK and Gandhi were probably your great great grandfathers.


That's my son. :D

Nice try, dad

Vian is still having trouble pronouncing the sound 'ka'. He uses the sound 'ta' when he tries to say 'ka'. See previous post for some examples. 

We're reading a picture book on the couch. 

Vian: What is this?

Me: That is a farm.

Vian: Farm!?

Vian: What is this?

Me: That's a chicken.

Vian: A Tciten? 

Me: Yeah a chicken. 

I noticed that his pronunciation of "Tciten" is suspiciously close to how he would pronounce "Kitchen". 

So I figured I'll take this opportunity to troll him using cognitive dissonance.

Me: Where is Amma?

Vian: Over there (points to Kitchen).

Me: What is that room called.

Vian: That's a "Titen".

Me: What is this called? (pointing to the chicken in a book). 

Vian stares at me a second while he figures out my trap.

Vian: It's a dut (duck). 

Once again I'm outsmarted by a two-year-old. Never been prouder. 

Conversations with a 3yo

We're visiting India and the kids are playing with my brother's son, Thiralon (the 3yo protagonist). He's a matter of fact guy who is unintentionally hilarious. 

---

The phone rings at home and Thiralon picks up the phone. It's his grandpa calling. 

Grandpa: Hi Thiralon, how are you? 

Thiralon: I'm fine.

Grandpa: What are you doing? 

Thiralon: Right now I'm talking to you on the phone. 

---

He's a rambunctious kid who loves to smash things. He has just smashed down a pillow fort. I'm trying to get him to admit he smashed it.

Me: Thiralon, what happened to the fort? 

Thiralon: It broke down.

Me: How did it break?

Thiralon: It broke with a kaboom! 

Me: LOL! Of course, it did. 

---

Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is

Vian is quite eloquent these days. But he still can't pronounce the sounds 'Ka' and 'Ga'. Instead, he replaces them with the sounds 'Ta' and 'Da' respectively.

Here are some choice selections: 

Vian: Appa, where is my tar (car)?

Vian: Tan I have a tootie (cookie)? 

Vian: Amma, gone to yoda (yoga) class. 


I always had a nagging suspicion that my wife is a Jedi. The way she can change my mind in one sentence....

Zen master or a troll?

My 2-year old (Vian) is getting eloquent by the day. He is not afraid to try out his new vocabulary.

Yesterday we were playing in the backyard. The kids want me to find them a rake. I walk around trying to find it, muttering to myself. 

Vian comes over and says, "I help you".

I accept graciously and tell him that I'm looking for the rake. 

Me: I wonder where it is. (muttering to myself). 

Vian walks over to me and pulls my hand. In all seriousness he says, 

Vian: Appa, it is somewhere. 

And walks away with the satisfaction of having just helped his clueless dad. 

Conversations with a 1 yo

Vian has more than a few words in his vocabulary now and he's not afraid to show off.

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I'm having breakfast with Vian. 

We hear the bathroom flush. 

Vian gets all animated and yells "Poop!" and points to the restroom.

-----

Another day, the same setup. I'm having breakfast with Vian.

Yoshi joins us with a cup of tea. 

Vian points to the steam rising from the cup and yells "HOT". 

Yoshi acknowledges, yes. It is hot tea. 

Vian: "Hot Tea"  (sounds more like hottie). 

Me: Yes Vian, you're a hottie. 

Vian (yells): NO!

Me: You're not a hottie?

Vian: Amma hottie. 

Who am I to argue. ;)


Conversations with a 1 year old

Vian is picking up new words. His new addition is "Yeah". It is pronounced with an emphatic "EYAH!" (imagine a Karate yell).

I like asking him random questions that are at the edge of his understanding and watch him say "Yeah!".

But sometimes he uses his "Yeah!" with such precision it catches us off guard. Such as last night when we were getting him ready for bed.

Yoshi: Vian, would you like to hold a toy? You can pick either Pandie (stuffed panda) or the fire engine.

Vian: Yeah!