These questions are mostly from parenting blog http://crappypictures.com/. Louisette’s conversation level is confident for comments on the lines of “Big dog! Noisy!” and absurdist with regard to, “Are you a monkey?” She’s JUST got to the stage where we can ask her a couple of genuine open-ended questions – “What animal are you?”
. . . so I wasn’t sure how this interview would go. If I knew a synonym or another way of explaining the question that I thought would work better, I used it. This interview took over a week – picking my moments carefully, and stopping before she grew too bored with the whole idea.
•What do you want to be when you grow up – when you’re big?
This provoked a long silence. I began suggesting professions such as gardener, builder, trampoline maker (all things she’s seen recently). At last she replied, “A big tree.”
•What is the meaning of life?
(Why not, really? It makes as much sense as most answers to that particular question. She was playing with bottle lids at the time, in case you wondered.)
•What brings you the most happiness?
Another long silence, but this time she grinned like crazy and looked at the floor. This carried on for some time, and she seemed to find the question hilarious. At last she said, “I hide. Daddy hide too. I find.” (Daddy was at work at the time, but Louisette and I promptly had a game of hide and seek under blankets and behind pillows. I’m highly impressed that she strung three whole sentences together. Possibly her first paragraph.)
•When do you feel the most loved?
“Daddy on [the bed with me].” (Since I became pregnant and sick, she has played a lot of “falling asleep” games with me. Daddy usually gets unceremoniously outed from the bed when she comes in and wakes us in the morning – “Daddy out. Lizzie’s turn.” – and headbutts. But every so often all three of us snuggle under the covers together.)
•What are you afraid of?
“Truck.” (Interesting, since she loves trucks – she might have encountered a noisy one recently. Usually when she hears a noisy dog or cockatoo she will run to me saying, “Noisy! Noisy!”. . . but she’ll often stop partway through to grab a toy.)
•What is your favourite animal?
Horse in there. (She was playing with a container at the time.)
•If you had one wish, what would you wish for?
“A cushion.” (She pulled such wonderful faces before answering!)
•What is the funniest word?
•What is the hardest thing to do?
•What is the easiest thing to do?
•What is the best/worst thing in the world?
She said “A circle” – while standing on a circle.
Otherwise, no answer.
•What makes you mad?
•If you had all the money in the world, what would you buy with it?
“A banana.” (This makes perfect sense, since she loves bananas but I can’t stand the smell at the moment – so they’re not currently allowed in the house.)
•What is love?
“A big present.”
Then (after many giggles and kisses) she repeated, “I love Mum” and, “I love Dad” for the first time.
I was so incredibly impressed with her evident grasp of concepts that I definitely didn’t expect her to understand in the slightest. The clarity – and sometimes brilliance – of her answers stunned me. This has been a very slow but very enjoyable and illuminating experience.
And here she is with a full-on braid in her hair (another thing I would have considered impossible), courtesy of a staff member at her day-care centre:
It’s less than a month since she turned two. I’m the world expert on this particular human being, and I ultimately know so little about her. How good is that?