It started because I said I had a sore throat.
“Where’s your throat?” she asked. So I showed her. And told her to swallow and feel what moved in her neck. And explained that when she eats food she puts it in her mouth and it goes down her throat to her tummy.
“And then out as POO!” she screamed in delight. Ah yes, her favorite part. This kid, she gets the digestive system.
But she seemed so interested and was in such a quiet, sit-still mood that I decided to move on to the circulatory system and tell her about her heart and what it did. She insisted that hers wasn’t beating right now, so we felt my heart. We felt her heart. We talked about what blood and veins do. She’s fascinated with veins, has been for a while now. She kept asking things like this:
- “But why doesn’t the blood come out of your body?”
- “What color is blood?”
- “What are your veins made of?”
- “What are eyebrows for?”
And always returning to the central, most interesting fact for her – if you fall and get hurt sometimes blood comes out. But overall she seemed to get it. And then she asked about bones, so we talked a little about bones/muscles/skin/hair.
“Is there anything else you want to know about your body?” I asked her.
"Do bunnies have blood?” Yes, all animals have blood and skin and bones and muscles.
“All animals?” Yes, just about all of them.
“Stuffed animals too?”
So sweet. All these grownup topics, but at heart she doesn’t really know the difference between a live animal and a stuffed animal. She knows they’re different, but to her they’re both ALIVE. Why shouldn’t they have bones and blood and skin and hair like everyone else does?
An hour later, I put her to bed, curling up in her little toddler bed with her to tell her two stories about Phoenix the cat and sing her one song and then read my book next to her until she fell asleep, and just before she dozed off, she slid her arm over and put her hand on my heart, patting me gently like I pat her sometimes, then off into dreamland.
This mixture of whimsy and serious is a killer combination. I love watching her turn into such an fascinating little person, watching her learn new things and think deep toddler thoughts, and still getting those hugs and pats and kisses. Three is just about perfect.