Toddlers and Psychotics

Today I’m in Toronto doing a reading and signing.  Come?  Until I get back I’m going to share some older posts.  This one was from five years ago… 

I’m oftened haunted by a thought that with all the great writers and thinkers in the world that there is no original thought left, that I’ll never string together a truly innovative series of words or write something that hasn’t already been said in far better ways.  Still, I struggle to string together pretty words in my notebook, always disappointed in the results.  My two-year old looks at me quizzically and and I tell her I’m writing a story.  She looks at my scrawling, carefully studying me, and then says “You’re drawing your ideas?”  And yeah, that’s exactly what I’m doing.  “Drawing my ideas.”  It’s a briliant piece of phrasing really, better than anything I could have come up with.

She does that a lot.

Her little mind is still soft, and logic isn’t a barrier to her like it is to me.  She doesn’t use the crutch of overused phrases because she doesn’t know them.  She’s forced to build her own.  I envy her that.  The last bastian of truly original thought belongs to toddlers and psychotics, a kind of erratic reasoning and creative well-spring that most of us are “cured” of over time.

At night she calls out sometimes, crying about how a witch flies into her room.  I tell her that I’ve put up an anti-broomstick net around the house to keep out any witches and she shakes her head.  “No mommy, the witches are flies.  They sneak in under the doors.  You have to hum them to sleep so they’ll feel better and sleep.”  I hum to invisible witch-flies in the night.  I’m told they all fell asleep on the spiderweb outside her window.  I wouldn’t know.  I can’t see them like she does.

There’s a secret magic moving about our house, visible only to her.  I listen to my two-year old as she pulls an egg from the refrigerator  and delicately holds it up to her ear.

“Hush, mommy.  You’ll wake up the spiders.”

“Spiders?  Those are just chicken eggs, baby.”

“No mommy,” she whispers as she holds it out to me.  “These are spiders eggs.  All spinnely and slippety.  You hear them, mommy?”

No, baby.  I can’t hear them.

God, I wish I still could.

158 thoughts on “Toddlers and Psychotics

Read comments below or add one.

  1. I see stuff all the time and no one believes me. Maybe i’m talking to the wrong audience. Someone point me to the nearest daycare center.

  2. Spider eggs AND Toronto? You’re in for a roller coaster ride, Canadian style – I’m not exactly sure if that involves poutine and Canadian bacon, which is really just ham and Canadians make things so very complicated for me.

    Have fun in the north.

  3. Magic…your daughter is magic…just like her Mom. Wishing you a fabulous reading tonight and for the remainder of the book tour!

  4. This reminds me of hearing Santa’s bell in The Polar Express. Or how sometimes my four year-old will talk about the things she sees, that I know to her are totally real. I think these little people are connected in ways that we have lost. Thankfully, we get a little piece of it again through them.

  5. I love the minds of a toddler. This is a cute post. Other times they scare the crap out of me with their creativity. I’m forced to listen to my twin 2 year olds and sometimes I sleep with the light on after talking to them.

  6. Kids are truly the most amazing, and they are what keep me fighting my fight day in and day out. I don’t know when we all lost the ability to hear the spiders in the eggs, but I miss those days.

    I get them back once in a while though, especially when I switch up my meds 😉

  7. You know how to make the most out of parenthood, don’t you? Rugrats – or if you prefer the more politically correct term “booger eaters” – make for great blog material, don’t they? Great post – even if it is five years old!
    I wish I could attend your Toronto signing – you’ll be an hour-and-a-half from my stomping grounds – but I have to work until 7 pm. Have fun and enjoy the fruits of your wine-slushie-filled labor!

  8. There’s nothing better than a toddler explaining a dream to you. My daughter has a thing about cows, which I blame on Sandra Boynton. We took a video of her explaining this dream (nightmare?) to us:

    Her second verifiable dream/nightmare was just a couple nights ago, when she woke up screaming. I went in to hold her, and she explained that mama had left her hands in her crib. “Mama lost her hands,” she said, sobbing. “Mama not got hands!” It took a while to calm her down. In think of this one as her “Edward Scissorhands dream.” Maybe she’ll grow up to be creepy but love-able like Neil Gaiman or Tim Burton.

  9. The first time my niece threw up she invented the phrase “spilled out” to describe what had happened. “Why are you crying honey?” “Mama, I spilled out.” Sad and cute at the same time and the the best description ever.

    How come when kids invent words we all coo and think it’s cute, but when I do it people are all like…”that’s not a word”, and I have to defend my word usage with an argument about the evolution of language as a natural process, then the conversation turns religious and all of a sudden I’m a heretic…is it just me?

    Good luck on the reading. I’m trying to convince my husband that a three hour drive from Vancouver to Seattle isn’t so far to hear your reading in Seattle. And, that it would make a kick-ass anniversary present to both of us. Because he would be saying “honey I love you so much I would drive six hours just to make you happy” and I would be saying “honey I love you so much I’m not going to stop at any of the outlet malls along the way”.

  10. I’m amazed everyday by the imagination of my 4 year old. He’s just so INTO everything, you know? Dinosaurs and legos and superheros.

    I’d love to be that excited about something again.

    Great post.

  11. Wow. I love that she not only has such a fantastic imagination (like her mother, really), but that she’s obviously sympathetic even to bugs.

  12. When my daughter was two she came downstairs terrified of the “black baby bunny”. She had a stuffed white bunny she called “Baby Bunny” so I thought she was having a dream. I went into her room, and there was a shadow on the wall which looked like a demon bunny. I almost wet myself.

    Turns out that a plastic bag sitting on a table was throwing the shadow – the ties were the ears, the bag itself was the demon’s bloated, misshapen bunny.

    This is how my daughter learned the phrase “demon bunny”. For months, she told the story to anyone who would listen. I bet she would still remember it (she’s four now).

  13. This piece was beautiful and touching. Tearing up a little here at my desk.

  14. I remember when my nephew was a toddler, and when I’d come to visit, he’s grab a big photo album, bring it over to me, get up onto my lap and say, “Read pictures?”

    Such a great way of putting it. Oh, that and his “Batmanbile.” We’d say, “don’t you mean ‘Batmobile?”

    He’d think for a second, shake his head and say, “No, Batman-bile.”

  15. I wish I could be in Toronto today to meet you because a) I’m also a writer, and b) it’s my birthday and how awesome would that be??? But I’m stuck here. At least I am loving your post today..

  16. Hey, Jenny-

    This was a great post, although I may never crack an egg again!

    Regarding your Tweet today in which you pondered why negative comments are the ones we remember the most, I could not agree more. This phenomenon has always put me in mind of the titular scene in The Color Purple, wherein Nettie tells Celie that God gets pissed if you walk past the color purple in a field and don’t notice it. As a depressive, I take this inattention a step further, however: I can be standing in a field full of beautiful purple flowers, but it will be the one pile of dog shit that I notice instead. Your Tweet reminded me of this today. You are not alone!

  17. 1) awwwwwwwwwwwww
    2) I don’t think logic is much of a barrier for you. Taxidermied Pegasus – exibit A.

  18. Beautifully written and absolutely lovely. Though, as a psychotic, I think you are severely over idealizing it. 🙂

  19. This was really beautifully written, Jenny, and so different than your usual humor posts. I starred it in my Reader, where I collect other pieces of excellent, inspirational writing, like some of Neil Gaiman’s blog posts. On a related note, this seems to be a good enough place to mention that I saw him speak at the University of the Arts commencement ceremony. He mentioned you — not by name, but as a “friend”. Watch his speech if you haven’t already!

  20. The world knows you’re funny, but I love when you write things like this proving what a magnificent writer you are. You’re such a talent, Jen. An extraordinary, revolutionary talent.


  21. Your magic is still there, you just write it out now instead of listen to eggs. Pegasus FTW!

    I live just outside of Toronto so I’ll be making the trip in to see you with my housemates. If you wonder why some crazy bright red headed fat chick stammers out “NECROPHILIA IS BAD!” that’s just me. I do the awkward outburst thing too in social situations and that not only made me laugh my ass off but also made me smile ’cause I know what that feels like.

    You rock.

  22. God I miss my kids being little. Now they are all old, and crotchety teenagers..blech. All snide, and sullen. blech again! That was beuatiful, and sweet, and precious!

  23. Very touching and all too true. Kids are amazingly perceptive little creatures. I often find myself jotting down whatever my toddler decides to throw at me. In our house, rain is known as the “scratchy monster”. I was also asked to close his bedroom door so that the robot couldn’t come in – they say that darnedest things!

  24. I’m reminded of the classic science fiction short story “Mimsy Were the Borogoves” by Lewis Padgett.

    Warning: not a particularly warm & fuzzy tale.

  25. I’m not psychotic often anymore, but I will still hear odd things. Door slamming sounds in my head and electric shock feelings from the drug I was on to get rid of suicidal ideation. I get weird fears, like that my nipples will somehow get yanked off or the black hole on the front of the tampon dispenser at work is an eye staring at me. Maybe madness is a kind of magic. Who knows? People long ago who were different and saw/heard things no one else could were considered shamans instead of loonies. Maybe we’re both. I don’t know. I’m glad you can appreciate your daughter’s experiences!

  26. I left the fertility clinic in good time. My husband said ‘go see the bloggess, you deserve it’

    I am on my way to Toronto! This cycle feel less wasted now.

  27. I think you still hear them…you are too creative not to. It’s just the older we get, the more static there is.

    And, I absolutely agree with you about having original thoughts. I consistently do that, and when you are completely self conscious, it can drive you nuts!

  28. Completely touching and a little bit creepy-crawly. She is growing up to be as amazing as her mother. I can’t wait to see what life has in store for her.

  29. Oh, Jenny Babe. Anyone who can write “Anyone can have a dead pony, but it takes a specially fucked up kind of birthday wish to end up with a dead pegasus” does NOT need to worry about lack of original thought. I love you forever and always.

  30. I can not tell you how sad I am that I am not in Toronto. I considered leaving at 9pm last night to drive down there just to see you, but my GF informed me that it wasn’t very responsible. Enjoy Toronto!

  31. This post made me realize exactly what it is I’m frightened about when it comes to my girls getting older. Age and Time might one day sneak into their room while they sleep and steal The Magic from their heart.
    I swear, this grown-up shit is overrated.
    And, OMG, you’re going to be in AZ this Saturday. I’m going to meet the hell out of you.

  32. Gorgeous. Thank you. These are the things I try to remember and hold onto on the days when I want to unscrew my little one’s noggin’ because I cannot stand the whining and no-napping any longer. Then, she’ll say something like, “Go to acupuncture store. Get fresh green peppers” (She’s only 20 months, so her sentences are a bit incomplete still), and I’ll crack up and smooch her squishy cheeks and feel thankful for the fleeting, creative, emotional chaos that is toddlerhood. I really needed that reminder today. Again, thank you.

  33. Jenny, if anyone hasn’t lost that magic of childhood imagination and magic, it’s you! You got Victor a rental sloth for your anniversary!

    Your next project should seriously be a children’s book. “How unicorns came to be.” It would be epic.

  34. I have the same problem with my artwork. I always feel that the photo/painting/drawing idea I just had will be seen as a copy of someone else’s. Love this post. I swear my son (14 months) helps me get back to that time if only a little bit. Just the look in his eyes you can see his imagination running wild and he doesn’t get caught up in why things shouldn’t work. <3

  35. I am in a bit of a funk today and turned to you to brighten my day. Though not hysterical, zany or down right WTF as most of you posts, your words were a balm to my aching heart. Thank you, Jenny, for sharing yourself with us. My life is better for having you (well, your words anyway) in it.

  36. This post kind of makes me tear up. It did the first time too. I’ve been dealing with a lot of losing what I had as a child.

  37. You couldn’t have posted this at a better time. My six month is growing too fast and I want a snuggly baby forever. It’s good to be reminded about how much fun there is to come!

    When is the Australian leg of the tour? We’ll show you real spiders here…

  38. I think you have covered the whole issue “that you will never string together a truly innovative series of words or write something that hasn’t already been said in far better ways”. Why just yesterday had to be the first time I read anything like:
    “Remember last week when I was trying to buy that dead pony I wanted?”
    “Anyone can have a dead pony, but it takes a specially fucked up kind of birthday wish to end up with a dead Pegasus.”
    AND THAT WAS JUST YESTERDAY! Actually most of you blog entries are “truly innovative serious of words that haven’t already been said in far better ways.” Thanks for always leaving me with something new.

  39. That is absolutely amazing. Just a few days ago my three year old said something so profound, it stunned both me and my husband. It was very spiritual and personal so I feel kinda funny sharing it with the world, but it was very much along the same lines.

    I also have this funny thing I do where I see faces in everything. The grass, the clouds, the popcorn ceiling, a tree trunk… I see face shapes and eyes and noses and beautiful mouths and I want to draw them, but I never have. I’m not an artist. I just doodle. But maybe one day, I’ll see a face in something and be able to sit down and draw what I see. I’m grateful I still have atleast some form of an imagination. Even if it is a bit weird.

  40. This made me cry. Either I’m really hormonal right now or I’m really hormonal right now. My baby is 18, my middle child just turned 21. I miss the mommy years. I never want to do it again, but I do miss that magical age.

    Each age has it’s own magic, but the imagination of a young child is so amazing. Sigh.

  41. In our family, we have a long history of items that disappear going into the spacewarp, which my daughter discovered when she was 18 months old, toddling off with my keys. I completely emptied the only place they could be in, a closet, and they weren’t there; but a couple of months later, she toddled back out with them one day. So to this day we blame the spacewarp for things. Unfortunately, only pre- or early-verbal children have instant access to that particular twist in the space/time continuum; my daughter regularly apologizes to me these days for no longer knowing how to get into it so easily.

    There are only a few magical people, like you, who still have the right kind of mind to see around those strange twists and curves that the rest of us no longer can. Thank you for sharing yourself with us, and for sharing your daughter’s lovely mind twists as well! There’s nothing better than the imagination of a small child, is there?

  42. This is so sweet, it made me cry. You hummed the witch flies to sleep. I want to be that kind of mom.

  43. Spider eggs and quietly flying witches (and zombies and Batman and Barbies who want to be cops instead of princesses and Lego rocket ships) are EXACTLY why I teach kindergarten 🙂 Love this post, thanks for sharing!

    See you in Tempe!

  44. wow, this is very different from the stuff I am used to reading (I didn’t know about you 5 years ago…) loved it. so true

  45. Wow, thank you for sharing your daughter’s magical words. Normally I say that I’m not ready to have a child, but reading this just made me a little more ready. 🙂

  46. As a mother of a toddler, I could really relate to this. I loved this and am glad you shared it today.

    My 12-yr old did, indeed LOVE the baby Pegasus. He says you should try to find a Rabbit of Caerbannog (?) in Toronto.

  47. This has to be one of my favorite posts ever! Thank you for sharing your daughter’s beautiful view of the world.

  48. Karen Blixen (aka Isak Dinesen) would sit at her dining room table in Kenya, every day, writing. One of her servants would watch, usually with a quizzical look. Finally, after her sheaf of loose paper had grown several hundred pages thick, he asked what she was doing. She said, “I’m writing a book.” He stared, then found a bible, held it by its spine and said, “This is a book.” She wondered; then he walked over to her stack of paper, picked it up and dropped it. The papers, unnumbered, scattered everywhere. “This cannot be a book – see?”

  49. Usually I find myself laughing my butt off as I read your posts. Right now I sit here with a few tears rolling down my cheeks because this reminds me of my daughter when she was that age. She is 11 now and while she is amazing and says things sometimes that are so full of insight and wisdom that they just amaze me, I miss that age and the wonderfully innocent things that come out of their mouths.

  50. Yes, yes yes! (toddlers and psychotics as the last bastion of truly original thought)…I’ve often thought that there’s only a fine line between authentic and criminally insane. Thank you for a beautiful post.

  51. I read your book a while back and you crack me up……out loud!!
    I had to share your book and website on my blog, it’s just too good not to!
    Congrats on all your ass kicking success!!!

  52. You know at the end of The Polar Express movie when the kid gets the bell and the parents can’t hear it? It makes me cry.

    Fuck that bell.



  53. Just got back from your book signing! So amazing to finally see you in person! Thanks again for everything!

  54. That’s fantastic. My 3-yr-old nephew comes up with things like that sometimes and we all get all squishy with the thought of how awesome the world must look through his eyes. At that age, the world is just a big ball of magicalness.

    Jenny, you were beyond awesome at the Toronto reading tonight. We all had a fantastic time. Canada loves you!

  55. Today a little black butterfly was circling around my two year old daughter’s head. She was convinced it was a dragon. Who am I to tell her otherwise? I love this age.

  56. You did a great job tonight at the reading! Honestly, the Bloggess is one of the most genuinely nice writers you’d ever hope to meet. If you get the chance to see her, by all means go.

  57. Thank you so much for coming to Toronto today! It was awesome meeting you and you TOTALLY TOLD ME I HAVE AWESOME HAIR! And you even humoured me by signing my book with “necrophilia is bad”. Hahaha!

    Thank you Jenny.

    Thanks for making me laugh and getting me through some tough times. You rock.

  58. I found this page when you and Beyonce went viral last year, and I immediately began reading each of your posts from the very first one you ever wrote (as The Boggess at least). The Beyonce post make me laugh out loud and made me want to read more, but this post, probably more so than any others, convinced me to stay. Thank you for reposting. Your writing here feels like poetry… it feels like magic to me.

  59. great post! i call this “mary poppins syndrome”. in the book (not the movie) there are actually 4 children. the 2 we know from the movie, and a set of boy/girl twins who are under a year old when it starts. there is a crow or blackbird (it’s been a while since i read it) who talks to the babies and they understand him, as does mary poppins. then one day it is their first birthday, and the bird shows up, and they can’t understand or talk to him anymore. mary tells him “you knew this day was coming, it always does” and the bird replies something along the lines of “yeah, but that doesn’t make it any easier” and then wipes away a tear as he flies away. that’s the thing i think of every time my 2-year-old says something awesome like this.

  60. I recently read a book called The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Boat Of Her Own Making. It was so extravagantly beautiful, so delicately crafted that I started reading it again as soon as I finished it. I would love to be a child again, and be able to believe in the whimsies that the world blinds us to.

  61. I was so planning to see you in Toronto today, but had an anxiety moment, and ended up cuddling my kitten and watching Doctor Who instead. Hoping you come back to TO again someday!

  62. Ohmygosh. This is beautiful. I totally agree with Amanda’s comment above. I also found your blog right about the time of the Beyonce post and have followed you since. I love your honesty and your humor. But this . . . this post is just as Amanda said – magic. Your daughter is a very lucky kid.

  63. Your daughter is adorable. I used to get asked random questions like “Where are my aunt and uncle going on their ‘honeysun’?” (“Honeymoon” was only for night time. Then there was the time I was about to drop her off at kindergarten after a long discussion about how Jesus could have a father in Heaven and a daddy on earth. I told her that God sent the Holy Spirit to make Jesus start growing in Mary’s tummy. Then, as I was pulling up to the front door, she demanded to know if the Holy Spirit was God’s sperm. Ummmm….

    Kids are the BEST.

  64. What a beautiful post – glad you re-shared. No danger of running out of words anytime soon, me thinks

  65. I love children. I wonder why so many of us forget what it was like to be that age? I hope I haven’t – which would explain some of the weird looks I get.

  66. I feel my sense of wonder slipping away as well. It’s horrible. Trying hard to get it back. I used to lie in bed and worry that we would run out of musical note combinations before I died.

  67. If your planning on going to the book signing. DON’T BE LATE!
    I went to the one in Boston
    I was early as in an HOUR early and still got stuck in a Hallway!!!
    it was the best being crammed in a hallway with smelly people ever!
    I’d do it again in a heart beat!

  68. Yes, yes and yes! Just this morning my three y/o told me she use to be a Dinosaur, and that everyone was scared of her. And every night at bedtime, she tells me she wants to grow up. I always tell her, you will, just not so fast please. snif* snif*

  69. This post reminds me of a poem my mother had hanging in my room when I was little.I used to stare at the pictures on it for hours – kind of hazy with clouds and children wandering in and out.
    Dreamland belongs to the children.
    Be always with children akin.
    For once you lose the key to it’s doors
    You may never find dreamland again.

  70. Hey! Saw you in TO last night–you were great! I had to leave partway into the reading because my sister was inconvenient enough to have a birthday that night. Short story, though, so glad you were able to visit the Great White North! Thanks for coming out.

  71. I’m seriously freaked out now. I think I might hurl my breakfast sandwich I ate this morning. I am never eating eggs again.

  72. Our nephew Ethan started LOVING stories when he was very young. All you had to do was say “Once upon a time…” and he’d jump right into your lap. One day, when he was only 2, he had my husband, Josh, telling him story after story about “the Grinch” (he went through a phase where all monsters and bad guys were the Grinch). After about five or six in a row, Josh was getting tired, so he asked Ethan to tell him a story instead. Ethan looked at him very seriously and said, “I can’t. I don’t have a bigger voice in my mind.”

    Isn’t that awesome?!? Best description of the ability to tell a story that I’ve ever heard, and from a little guy who didn’t even have it yet.

  73. YAY JENNY!!!! Sooooo awesome meeting you in Toronto last night!!!! Totally worth the 2 hour drive from Buffalo and dealing with the overwhelming “big city”.

    Thank you for humoring me when I showed you our zombie costumes—- seriously would have dressed like zombies for the book signing but my husband pulled a Victor on me and said it wouldn’t be a “good decision” to cross the Border like that. Same with my idea of bringing you some crazy taxidermy— vetoed on that too (good thing, though, b/c I was expecting more craziness there—- it seemed like wayyyyy too many “normal” people there! I was SHOCKED I was only one of a few people who even wore a red dress! WTF???)

    (also, I reeeeeeeeeally want to know what secret conversation you had with my husband last night!!!! He won’t tell me what he/you said other than him telling you “that’s my wife.” LOL— he knows how much I adore your writing and it was awesome of him to come with me, being one of only a few men in the room! haha)

    And Amanda Germain—- I saw both your comments here— WHAT IN THE WORLD are you talking about “fat red headed chick” !?!?!?!
    One: Jenny commented on your beautiful hair and made everyone take notice.
    Two: You are farrrrrr from fat and I was admiring your lovely figure from where I sat behind you (oh god, that sounds awful…. I meant it as a compliment!!!) <—– I was the one in the red dress who asked about Nater Tater. SO NERVOUS!!!

    It was a great time—- I feel like an idiot asking an absolute stranger "here, sign my thing" and honestly you're one of the only famous people I've wanted to meet b/c you just seem SO DOWN TO EARTH. It must be hard for you, Jenny—- sitting there with hundreds of people who want to chat with you because they feel like they know you when we're all just weirdo strangers to you!!!! You handled yourself marvelously— public speaking is hard enough, let alone for someone with an anxiety disorder!!!! (and, oh, by the way, I DID NOT LIKE the interviewer— she literally tuned out at times and just looked over people in the audience instead of listening to YOU. YUCK. So self-absorbed…. sorry Torontonians who like her, but she just totally rubbed me the wrong way!!!! That and her awful cinched capris and awful shoes. SORRY!!!!! I'll shut up now!!)

  74. Great post…I’m living in a similar “world” with my adorable 2 year old daughter. I love hearing the random things that come out of her mouth!

  75. I love the way small children think. So much imagination!

    Your comments on on originality reminded me of another essay I read called ‘Do I Repeat Myself?’ by John Barth. He calls it ‘Khakheperresenb’s Complaint’

    Salient quote:

    ‘some twelve centuries before Homer, in about 2000 B.C.E., the scribe Khakheperresenb was already voicing what I like to call Khakheperresenb’s Complaint: “Would I had phrases that are not known,” the scribe laments, “in new language that has not been used not an utterance which has grown stale, which men of old have spoken.” ‘

    Interesting huh?

  76. I totally blew it. I missed you in Toronto because I’ve run out of zopilcone and can’t sleep and can’t get in to see my doctor until next Wednesay, so took some gravol instead, and totally screwed up my Tuesday, August 7, 2012 7:00pm plans. Ugh. And I realized all this today. I suck.

  77. Hey a full Canada tour would be worth it for you because this could be a stop for you in Alberta!!

    Torrington – Stuffed gopher anyone?
    Stuffed and dressed gophers at the Gopher Hole Museum in Torrington, Alberta Located 85 km northwest of Drumheller on Highway 27, Torrington is home to the whimsical Gopher Hole Museum, which features costumed gophers posed in 47 different scenes. The museum is open daily from June 1 to September 30, 10am to 5pm and by appointment. For more information, phone 403.631.2133.

  78. I totally think you would love Jasper Fforde’s books if you haven’t read them already. They’re awesomely fucked up in the best possibly way XD I suggest the Nursery Crime series or his newest stuff, The Dragonslayer series (though like everything he writes is awesome :D)

  79. Kids really open your eyes…it’s amazing how much they understand about the world around them and how much wonder they have in those little heads of theirs. I also envy my two children and their imaginations, as well as their ability to just…do something…and not worry about what people think.

  80. Beautiful writing. Very emotional post. Strange that you share this story about chicken eggs.. Just the other day my sister and I pressed our ears to a few chicken eggs she was about to boil, because we swear we heard baby chirps. I almost clawed my eyes and ears out, thinking she was boiling them alive. Turns out that happens sometimes (that’s what my Mom tells me) and there’s not actually baby chicks alive inside them, maybe air pockets or something, but jeez I nearly turned myself in to PETA.

    If only imaginations were praised in the workplace, even just every so often..

  81. Lovely, yet sad post. Do you still feel this way? Photo of kitten atop Pegasus (with caption) suggests your imagination and sense of whimsy are doing fine.

    I second Mr. Miller’s ‘Totoro’ recommendation. When our daughter was younger and still sorting out the pronoun thing, she would ask me if she could watch “Your Neighbor Totoro”. Or if I was at work, she would ask my wife for “Daddy’s Neighbor Totoro”. I wish I lived next him. My daughter deserves a ride on the Catbus.

  82. I had an imaginary friend until I was 7 years old. After I threw a tantrum in a restaurant because my father “sat in his chair and squished him to death” my parents convinced me that he had to move away. I’m still semi hopeful that he will show back up someday.

  83. Spiders freak me out. Why? Who knows. While in Canada don’t forget to drink lots of beer…or is that Milwaukee? I’m easily confused.

  84. I came DAMN close to punching myself in the face today.
    I can’t believe I didn’t know you were coming to Toronto.

    Someone is getting slapped today, and it damn well might be me.

  85. I love this Jennifer…took my breath away.
    I wish I could still hear them too.

  86. My son is just starting to talk and I am can’t wait to hear what he comes up with. This is my favourite age. I remember my daughter having nightmares about Tigger (yes, Tigger – she still hates him) and so I got her a dreamcatcher. I thought I was so brilliant, but then she pitied Tigger, and said, her voice choking up, “Poor old TIgger… all caught up in the web.”

    She’s said so many funny, cute, and heartbreaking things, and phrases that were just stunning in their beauty and originality. I’m not going to tell you any of them, because then I won’t be able to gank them myself.

  87. Just finished your book and it was FANTASTIC! Faked being sick so I could hide out in my room and read while hubby took care of the kids. Cleaning up all day today, but it was well worth it. Definitely coming to see you in Minneapolis tomorrow and bringing friends so they can see for themselves your awesomeness 😉

  88. Oh my goodness! My daughter – now 3- did this sort of thing at 2 and still does now! some wonderful, random, insane, perfect moments. Thank you. I’m bookmarking this post.
    Not only the imaginative look on the world but the made up words and the fabulous mispronunciations. It’s these bits I’ll cling to the memories of when she’s all grown up and I’m appreciating her adult self but remembering her as a tiny, fresh person.

  89. Your imagination is still there. It just takes forgetting that you’re an adult to find it.

  90. @the Jen who commented on my comment,

    Sorry I should have been clearer. I’m not the same one who asked her a question and she commented on her hair in front of everyone. I was standing in the back and she commented on my hair when I was up getting my book signed. Just wanted to clear that up 🙂

    And I totally just blogged about meeting you Jenny! After my husband died, I not only needed grief counseling but I also needed to seek treatment for pre-existing mental health issues. I came out to my friends about receiving treatment because I thought, “why should I be ashamed of this? I shouldn’t!” and one of my friends pointed me towards your blog. Like I said to you Tuesday night, I’ve been hooked ever since.

    Your honesty, humour, and openness about mental health issues make you one of my heroes. Thanks for coming to Toronto!

  91. So wonderful to hear the world through the beautiful, unfiltered eyes of a child. That’s why we have them!

  92. I wish you were coming to Edmonton, or that I were going to Toronto two and a half weeks early! I just finished the book last night and it was hilarious.

  93. AHHHHH! I missed this post and didn’t know you were in my neck of the woods! So disappointed! Hope your reading and signing went well…I totally would’ve gotten you to sign my kindle in a pretty sparkly silver pen 🙂

  94. Can’t make it to Toronto but SO EXCITED FOR YOU TO COME TO SAN DIEGO!!!!!

  95. Love this, although my poor husband is seriously terrified of spiders so he would probably pass out (and never eat an egg again) if one of the kids mentioned spider eggs, lol!

  96. Kids are awesome…the have no pre conceptions…everything is fresh…
    I love how they make words from what they know…like my son calling a trip to one those ‘ safari parks’ parks sa-farm-i’. It was very fitting…it was a parc and there were animals…roaming around…

  97. I’m just waiting for the toddlerisms… son will speak any day now. Although, “boob good” was pretty awesome.

  98. Wait my last post didn’t make sense and I don’t know how to edit it. My son’s first toddlerism was “boob good”.

  99. Ha! Of course my daughter does this too. The other day she referred to her vagina as her “front butt” because we’ve always just generalized the whole southern region as her bobo.

  100. I love this post. I love to hear my daughter speak, a window into the mind of a little one is truly a gift. Even when she says ” This is mine forever and nobody else’s and not for jessica” (cousin) I have to laugh. We give all old stuff to her cousin. Kids are hilarious.

  101. This post is the reason why I try to surround myself with kids whenever I can and then blend in by walking on my knees.

  102. wow. this made me tear up and i’m not even a mom. between me and you, I’m blaming booze and birth control.

    makes me thankful for the time I get to spend with my nieces who tell me random shit all the time when i get to watch them. I don’t want them to grow up.

  103. My daughter used to be convinced that you could take her temperature in her belly-button. She also used to tell me all about the fairies in the backyard and her three imaginary friends, the Nobodies who didn’t need names but did need to be tucked in at night. Logic came along and first named the Nobodies, then took the fairies completely and finally, made her look at me funny when I mentioned her idea of taking her temperature in her belly-button.

    Stupid logic. But when I close my eyes, I can still picture sitting outside with her at night while lightning bugs created a world of fairies in our backyard. Logic can’t take that.

  104. My daughter is just two and starting to do this. I love it so much! You’re post made me cry a little and I keep coming back to it. 🙂 <3 you Jenny!

  105. Wow, I’m double late on this post, but that’s me, always the overachiever. Also, I started this comment once and deleted because, well, who cares? right? But after an afternoon reading through the archives and watching my three year old daughter play, I had to do it even though it feels uncomfortable and more than a bit pointless.

    So I read this beautiful post and promptly burst into tears. My daughter, who is in bed, called out from her room, “Mommy, why are you crying in there?” I tried to pull it together a bit and go tell her I was ok. She met me at the door of her room and asked again, “Mommy, why are you crying?” I crouched down and put my arms around her and told her, “I’m crying because I’m not as awesome as you.” (Good job there, telling her I was ok.) “Not as awesome as me?” “No, and I probably will never be again.” (Well I’m just full of good cheer tonight!) “Why not?” “Because I’m all grown up.” “Grown up?” “Yeah, don’t ever do that if you can help it.”

    At this point she is understandably confused, so I just said, “I love you so much, you are the best thing that’s ever happened to me and you fill my life with joy!” She wrapped her arms around my neck and said, “I love you too, dear.” Then snuggled down into my lap, looked up at me and asked, “Is your heart full of joy now?”

    Yes, Baby, yes it is. Thank you.

    (Stupid ass depression bastard. You think everything is good and that motherfucker sneaks up behind you and whacks you in the head with a two by four. With a nail in it. Asshole.)

    Thank you, Madam Bloggess for being freaking awesome. You are officially on my list of things to be grateful for.

  106. I usually cure the night terrors of my toddler by cuddling her close and letting her know there are no such things as witch flies. Now I feel like maybe I stepped on something precious. But she is still imaginative she is just developing a sense real and imaginary.

    I nearly broke my heart the day she asked “there are no bad people in the real world are there mummy?”

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