Motherhood

Conversations With a Four-Year-Old

Joanna Goddard and Anton

Now that Toby is seven, he’s speaking more like an adult — without so much wacky nuttiness. But, at four years old, Anton is busting out gems left and right. Four is such a funny age; Anton seems old and wise in so many ways, but then turns around and wants to read a book about bunnies or raccoons. Here are a few things he has said recently…

When my sister was visiting, she asked Anton to repeat something she hadn’t heard. He replied, “Oh, nothing! I was talking to the chandelier.”

While walking him to school, I was telling Anton where snow comes from. Then he turned to me and said, “I kind of like learning things more than I like already knowing things.”

Anton’s sense of humor is developing, and it’s a little dark. The other day, the head of Toby’s doll fell off. When I glanced over and asked, “Anton, what’s going on over there?” he said, “Oh, nothing to see here, just a headless baby.”

Alex and I were putting the boys to bed before going out to dinner. Anton was cuddling with me and asked, “When will you be back?”
Me: “Oh, just two hours.”
Anton: “Okay.”
He seemed to feel better, so I gave him a kiss and left the room. Then I heard him call out again.
Anton: “Mommy?”
Me: “Yes?”
Anton: “What are hours?”

Anton: “Life throws a lot at us.”
Me: “Yeah, wow, that’s true.”
Anton: (Pause) “Like meteors and space junk.”

Anton and cars

Although they can drive each other crazy, Toby and Anton’s bond makes my heart melt. Every time Anton and I are on a walk, he’ll ask me to take photos of cool cars, so he can show them to Toby.

Toby and Anton

And Toby, who sometimes has a tough time, was recently having a meltdown, and Anton tried to make him laugh. He flipped on the bed, so his feet were on the pillow, and asked me to give his feet a goodnight kiss. The joke landed, and Anton pointed to Toby’s smile and said, “There it is! There it is.”

What cute things have your kids been saying lately? I’d love to hear…

P.S. More kids in conversation, and a surprising way to stop tantrums.

  1. Michelle says...

    I have a toddler with special needs and a baby who ADORES him. I sometimes worry that they won’t always have such a lovely relationship as they grow up, and wonder if they’ll ever be truly connected…but your last paragraph just about made my heart burst to think about!

    • Rosanna says...

      I am an adult sibling of a brother with special needs. It is the most important relationship in my life, so here to say don’t worry :) The bond with a sibling with special needs is usually a very special one. The most important thing my parents did was to make sure that I never felt like I had to be a parent to him or like my problems were less important, so I was never jealous or resentful of him. When your baby without special needs is older there are sibling groups all over the US for siblings of children with special needs that can be a great support: https://www.siblingsupport.org/about-sibshops/find-a-sibshop-near-you Having a sibling with special needs is a very unique experience with some unique challenges and connecting with others can be really helpful – I waited until I was an adult but wish I had done it sooner!

  2. rachelle bell says...

    I overheard my 2 year old daughter introduce herself (and me) to a new boy she met at the beach, “Hi, I’m Ruby. And this is my daughter, mama.”
    Still my favorite thing to think about as I watch her grow.

  3. Rebecca says...

    That boy! <333 I think we need an "Anton + cool cars" photo series!

  4. “When you plug your nose and blow it makes invisible barriers appear in your ears.” – My four year old son discovering how to make your ears pop!

  5. Sometimes this comment section is straight out of Chicken Soup for the Soul. So happy and warm I read these this eve. <3

  6. Rachael says...

    My four-year-old told me a long story today about the chicken that talks to him at preschool because my son hatched the egg in his hands and fed him special chick milk and then taught the chick how to ask politely where to find the bathroom…but my legit favorite this week was when my nine-year-old son asked me to buy him some more lace basketball shorts. He meant mesh—but he has two teenage sisters so lace was just the term he knew. I almost died trying to keep a straight face!! Glad we got that one figured out before he talked to his friends. ?

  7. Taylor says...

    I overheard my 4yo say to my 2yo old “Leo, you really pushing my limits” ?. He also used the phrase “to be honest with me”. It takes so much restraint to not laugh when they try out ‘adult phrases’.
    The 2yo, that kid. Everyday is an adventure, most recently, we’ve been really talking about body parts, as in no, your sister doesn’t have a penis. So, 2yo notices an electric razor on the counter, and asks what it is.
    Me: ‘a razor, for shaving’
    Him: ‘for shaving your vulva?’ ?
    I’m rarely at a loss for words, but this did it.

    • Blandine says...

      Ha ha ha! I also try to use anatomically correct words for body parts with my kids but when they use the word “vulva” it always sorts of startle me, for some reason!

  8. Rebecca says...

    Yesterday at bedtime, my 3 year old son turned to my (completely average sized) husband and said, “Dad, can you please move your huge, enormous, giant, fat, skinny, magical body!”

    • Saljo says...

      This one had me laughing out loud! Too cute.

    • Karen says...

      HAHAHAHA!!! Love this

  9. Amanda says...

    During my college summers I worked as a substitute teacher at a daycare for infants to 5 year-olds. One day I was sitting at a tiny table in a tiny chair, helping to open snacks and generally overseeing lunchtime with 3 year-old girls. In that age group, potty training was a popular topic and they were talking about who had underwear and who still had diapers.

    One little girl was wearing what I can only describe as “bloomers” – those sort of decorative puffy pant-type things that people sometimes put over a diaper when their child is wearing a dress.

    One of the girls said to her “Mira, you don’t wear underwear. That’s a diaper cover.”

    Mira was upset and the conversation got heated. “I DO TOO WEAR UNDERWEAR! SEE?!” All of the girls looked under the table and then went back to eating their lunches. A few moments later, the accuser says:

    “…guys, she’s right. It was just ‘gina down there.”

    I DID NOT know what I should have said/done in that situation, and over 10 years later I still don’t know what would have been the proper thing to do. I wanted to burst out laughing but was able to keep my composure. The ladies continued with their lunch as if nothing had happened, so hopefully their parents straightened that out.

  10. Katie H. says...

    Wise beyond his years!

  11. Anna says...

    Recently my 2-year-old daughter told me that some day she wants to be a ninja ear. Her dad is an engineer.

  12. Hanh V says...

    My 3 year old told me that she wasn’t having a good day, she was having a “unicorn day” and that her dada was having a “horsie day.”

    Then yesterday, she told her dad that he can’t have fun. He can have normal.

    I love unicorn days though, how magical does that sound?

  13. Steph says...

    Joanna,
    Your boys are the sweetest.

    I’ve followed along on Toby’s journey and I often wonder how you’re coping. My daughter has a rare condition that involves developmental delays and therapies. We haven’t shared her story with many since we are more private. But it is so lonely some days. I feel envious of parents with “normal” problems. And I hate to imagine anyone thinking there’s something “wrong” with my daughter. There isn’t. There is something unique, and she is a fighter and a survivor.

    But people only ask “is she walking yet?” “Is she talking yet?” so many times before they stop asking at all. Please let me tell you what new thing my daughter is doing! I am still so excited; even if it’s not age appropriate.

    For example today she used sign language to ask for “more” waffle!

    As parents let’s remember to keep asking. Please keep asking.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you for sharing a little bit of your story, steph. you daughter sounds like an amazing person, and you sound like a loving mother. it must be hard and lonely to deal with everything, especially if your friends/family have such different circumstnaces, and it sounds like you’re doing such a great job figuring everything out and supporting your daughter and loving her for the beautiful person she is. she is lucky to have you.

      also that is awesome that she used sign language today!!!!!! and asked for more waffles… a girl after my own heart :)

      lots of love to you both. thank you for your sweet note. xoxoxo

    • Allison says...

      I remember reading advice on here a couple of months (years?) ago that prompted me to ask open-ended questions. Now I typically ask parents, “What is your baby’s newest trick you’re proud of?” Everyone has a trick – even a baby that is eating his fist! I share that story so you know that a lot of us read the comments and love to learn from others’ experiences. Yay for a great start to your week (and your daughter’s if she got the extra waffles)!

    • Miranda says...

      That’s a lovely reminder Steph to ask about the new wonderful things that you’re enjoying as her Mum. Thank you xx

    • Shelby says...

      I’m a speech therapist and know how HUGE that “more” sigh can be! Kudos mama!!!

  14. Emily says...

    My son, now 15, used to have “the sparkles” when his leg fell asleep. We all still get “the sparkles” from time to time.

  15. Katie Larissa says...

    My 2 year old said earlier today – “Mama, let’s go visit that lady at church who gives out allllll the babies and get us a baby girl!”
    (No idea who he is talking about?? But apparently he’s ready for a sister?)

  16. Brenna Wong says...

    Oh those are gorgeous, such sweet boys!
    The last one made me cry.
    My 4 yr old.
    Isla ‘I miss that guy who died’
    Me ‘Which one?’
    Isla ‘You know he died in Palmerston North, oh yeah Jesus’
    When my kids visit their grandparents in Palmerston they go to church.

    • Claire says...

      Hillarious!

  17. Ann says...

    Years ago my niece (6 )I was explaining to me and my husband about something awful that that had happened to her younger sister who was 4 at the time (she had disturbed a wasps nest and had gotten stung about 12 times). The whole explaination/account of what happened was peppered with the word asgusting (meaning disgusting)….to this day my husband says asgusting instead of disgusting. My niece now a teenager is very proud of this fact.

  18. Jenna says...

    These are so sweet, Joanna. I’ll share one that makes me giggle and one that makes my heart flutter…

    My two year old and recently potty trained son insists on wiping down the (dry) toilet seat with a bit of toilet paper after he pees. I think he has seen me use the toilet paper to wipe myself and he wants a way to partake in it, too. He does it so gently, swiftly, and matter of factly, you’d think we taught him to do it as part of the whole process!

    My heart swells when he and his 9 month old sister are playing and laughing, and he hugs her and proclaims, all dreamy-eyed, “She loves me.” I think my kids knowing they are loved (and embracing it) is pretty much the summary of all I want out of this whole parenting thing.

  19. Kate says...

    Tonight as I was cleaning up the kitchen after dinner, my 4 month old daughter (#3) started to get fussy, and my 3 1/2 year old son (#2, and up to now the quintessential “little brother”) started to read her Brown Bear Brown Bear. But every time he turned the page, he said a version of this: “Once upon a time, there was a [red bird, yellow duck, green frog] and he sat on the shelf of a big store department with all the other animals and dolls and waited for someone to come take him home.” And just like that Eric Carle’s stark little creatures (that let’s be honest, we read without even thinking at this point) took on Corduroy-esque sweetness. She was rapt, and he was so proud of himself for calming her down!

  20. Anton’s so sweet

  21. Mac says...

    Oh, that last one! So sweet. ❤️

    My girls today:
    Lucy, 3: it’s going to be so awesome when I’m an astronaut!
    Georgie, 6: oh, Lucy. You do NOT want to be an astronaut. Black holes! Meteors! Maybe aliens, we don’t know!

    And
    Me: what happened here? who did this?
    G: not me
    L: not me
    L: but it sure was somebody
    G: let’s just say it was nobody
    L: it probably wasn’t me ?

    • june2 says...

      On that note, this classic is great to teach kids the difference between all the ‘bodies and also inspire pro-activeness, lol:

      This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have.

  22. jillian says...

    That last line is too much. But also, the bundle of sticks in the car photo made me grin. My four year old also loves a good stick. Always has.

  23. Jen says...

    “Meteors and space junk.” Best line I’ve heard all day,

  24. mrskoelewijn says...

    There is a direct way and a roundabout way to get to my daughters’ school. One day when we were running late I said we should take the shortcut. The next day my younger girl asked if we could take the “longcut” to school instead. :)

    • Louisa says...

      There’s an Uncle Tupelo song you’d love! (About taking the long cut, of course.)

    • E says...

      I told my son (4) that I could do something for him once we pulled off the highway and then about five minutes later he asked if we were “on the low-way yet?” Which took me a second to figure out :)

  25. Taylor says...

    “I kind of like learning things more than I like already knowing things.”

    He. nailed. it.

    • Brittany says...

      I agree! So much wisdom and truth in this little statement from little Anton. That line is going to stick with me.

    • Aldijana says...

      This got me too. So good.

  26. Awweee Anton is such a sweet brother! His antics remind me a lot of my 3-year-old tyrant who’s a veeerryy picky eater. One time, I was trying to feed him rice with chicken and broccoli for dinner…
    3yo: Mama, I’m not very good at eating rice.
    Me: I know.
    3yo: So you know my feelings, huh?
    :) Love this age!

  27. Morgan says...

    When I was teaching 4 year olds overseas I had lots of students who were just learning English and my favorite moment was when we were looking at a picture of a seal and my German student who had never seen one before stared at the image for at least 2 minutes then looked up at me questioningly and said “it’s a fish puppy?” It was 7 years ago and it still makes me smile every time I see a seal.

    • Emily says...

      My heart!

    • Di says...

      Morgan, your story has made my day. Thank you!

    • Katherine says...

      Omg this is THE BEST

    • Hannah says...

      Fish puppy isn’t that far off from the German word for seal, though. :D It’s “Seehund”, which roughly translates into “Sea Dog”.

  28. kelly lewis says...

    Ohmygoodness this melts me. The car photos! The snuggles!

    My 9 year old, while listening to Hamilton, specifically the part where Alexander asks for Eliza’s father’s permission to marry her, says:
    Remy: “That’s just STUPID.”
    Us: “Why is that stupid?”
    Remy: “He should ask the mom, everyone knows women are the experts on love.”
    Us, laughing: “How are women the experts?”
    Remy: “THEY read all the romance novels!”*

    *gotten from Phinneas and Ferb, NOT me! :)

  29. Lauren says...

    What a cool kid and good little brother!!

  30. I got married last Sunday and we decided that my stepson, who is 6, should let everyone know it was cake cutting time. He’d been itching to get his hands on that microphone. “Ladies and gentlemen, and now, our NEW cake!” Between that and his dance moves, he stole the show.

    • Brooke says...

      I’m have tears in my eyes from laughing!

  31. Caroline Hall says...

    Laughing out loud! Genius!!

  32. CathyMA says...

    Ha! love this!! Last year, waiting for the school bus, my 11 yr old daughter starting singing a (popular mainstream) song that had recently been used on a commercial.
    11 yr old: “I like gazebos..”
    her 13 yr old brother: “it’s: FLY LIKE AN EAGLE!!!”

    Hahaha! Kids are the BEST.

  33. Erin says...

    My youngest (now 3) used to always say “hold you” instead of “hold me” and it broke my heart a little when he started saying the right thing.
    Now he’s developed a cute sense of humor. Last week after pouring a huge amount of water out of the bath he told me “it’s no big deal” – I couldn’t help but laugh.

    • Karla H says...

      My daughter does this, too! It’s the sweetest and I know I’ll be sad when she starts saying it correctly.

    • Amy says...

      My daughter (2) says this! I love it, too. :)

    • liz says...

      One of my co-workers answered the phone and said “how may I hold you?” instead of help you. We tease her all the time about that.

  34. Nadia says...

    That last paragraph. Melt my heart. <3

  35. Jen says...

    These are the best. My daughter is a little over two and has started talking up a storm, and it’s amazing. I wish I could record everything she says so I don’t forget a word! She recently took my hand and my husband’s hand at the dinner table, asked us each for a “big hug”, and then said “we best friends.” It was heart-shatteringly sweet and something I hope to remember forever (especially during not-as-sweet parenting moments ;).

  36. Mary says...

    Oy, that last one got me in the feels. Brothers (and all siblings) are the best. ❤️

  37. Kristina says...

    My daughter (4,5) has a marionette Pippi she loves very much and allways want’s to have a talk with her (me with high pitched voice). A question “Mummy, can Pippi talk?” I hear several times a day…. Recently she wants to think about a word and Pippi to guess what she is thinking about. So as she was having a bath, Pippi was guessing but couldn’t come with right answer and was giving silly questions and guesses which made Gerda laugh a lot. After a while Gerda whispered to me: “ Mum, it’s a shark, but DON’T tell Pippi!!!”

  38. Sara says...

    We recently went zip lining as a family and before the first run my six year old son announced to the group that ” We are going to go faster than a diarrhea poo!” He wasn’t wrong.

    • Brittany says...

      Ha! This made me laugh out loud. The kid’s got a knack for visual description.

    • Aldijana says...

      Haha this just made my day! Hilarious kid!

  39. Meg says...

    Haha awwww how cute! I have a sweet one to share that will have special meaning to teachers/paras/aids… My 6 year old and I were talking about a special needs child we know and how they have an aid at school. She wanted to know what that meant so I was explaining how the woman was there as that child’s special friend and helper. The aid would provide extra explanations if things were hard to understand, or would help the child be calm when they felt overwhelmed, or show them what was coming up next so they weren’t confused. She cut me off exclaiming, “Oh, I get it. The aid loves them. It’s like having a mom when their mom can’t be there.” I couldn’t have said it better. I just thought it was the sweetest perspective. Made my heart swell in appreciation for all the aids and teachers and helpers who love and teach our children when we aren’t there.

    • Rae says...

      So sweet and what a loving take on the job of a para!

    • Katherine says...

      Oh my heart, as a teacher this is exactly how I hope my students feel when they are with me – after all, I call them “my kids,” because I believe they are mine to nurture like a mama would.

  40. Amy says...

    My kid turns 4 next week. This past weekend, I asked him if he had to pee. “No, I’m just giving my penis a back rub.”

    • jac says...

      OMG. I just laughed so hard. HAHAHAHAHA. Little dudes…

    • Lindsey says...

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    • Katherine says...

      Ohhhhhhh my god hahahahhahahaha this is too much ???

    • Brittany says...

      Hahaha! Oh my gosh, that’s really funny.

    • Caitlin says...

      Cannot handle this!! Crying laughing.

  41. I can’t wait ‘till I’m having these funny conversations with my daughter. She’s turning 1 in a couple lf weeks, and if her vocality is any clue, I’ll be in for a treat. She coos, groans, grunts, huffs and squeels at everything around her, and I have to keep in mind not to enthusiastically communicate back to her in a similar way – but rather to articulate well and set a good example for her developing language skills.

    When we’re out or at the store, I do put effort into talking to her a lot. I make smalltalk: “Oh, it’s nice and warm in here isn’t it?” to “What shall we have for dinner tonight?”. People seem to think it’s weird (and some even roll their eyes at me for doing so), but I’m convinced my efforts are paying off. I think it’s so much nicer to talk to your baby like a person, rather than rolling it around silently in a stroller like it’s a piece of luggage. I feel it isn’t that abnormal but truth be told, I’ve rarely seen other moms do the same (the one exception was in fact a dad)! As I’m typing this down, I’m wondering if it’s a Dutch thing – we as a people are known to be direct, but to my opinion we can also be a little stoic.

    I can’t wait until me and my girl will actually be having conversations :) Yours were a blast to read!

    • beth says...

      I think talking to our babies/narrating our days together is something most parents in the United States do these days! Funny that it seems rare in the Netherlands.

    • Alexandra says...

      I speak even to my dog on the walk like this:)

    • Julie says...

      I also talk to my dog like this all day long. Sadly I don’t think he’s gonna start talking back :(

  42. Laraine says...

    My daughter, fascinated with my pregnancy carefully curated all the birth related terms in her little head. While we were out she saw a large woman and whispered, “Wow, that woman has a huge uterus!”

    • Katherine says...

      Oh bless her heart what a precious thing to say!

  43. My 9 and 13 years olds still regularly make me laugh and it’s fun to see the way in which their humor develops.

    My 9 year old recently said, “I’m feeling quite peckish.” !!

    And recently when I was telling my 13 year old about a frustrating phone conversation with a stranger in which I couldn’t figure out what this person wanted from me, said, “Next time just say, I”m sorry, I don’t have a phone. And hang up.”

  44. Emily J says...

    I live for these moments with my son! My 2.5 year old has been asking for “yellow ketchup” recently and I love it so much that I refuse to ever tell him about mustard!

  45. Trish O says...

    Hold on until you have conversations with a teen. Really is one of the best parts of parenting a teen is learning their thoughts and ideas on a range of subjects. I cherish all conversations they will share with me.

  46. Meteors and space junk. HAH! I can see it on Cup of Jo T-shirts and Merch! :P

    ~Lilly

    • Laura C. says...

      Cup of Jo T-Shirts and Merch!?? OMG that would be awesome!!

  47. Jessica says...

    These are my absolute favorite posts. When I asked my daughter who we should invite to her 2nd birthday party, she replied, “Mimi!” (her grandmother) and I said, “Yes! And who else?” She replied: “Cake.”

    Girl’s got her priorities in order.

    Also Joanna, I love how you respect and protect Toby’s journey. I feel you.

    • Erin says...

      Grandma + Cake sounds like the perfect guest list to me!

  48. Sarah Hale says...

    My partner and son and I are vegetarian. Recently at a family gathering my extended family, my just 3-year-old kept asking me to pick him up so he could see the roast chicken on the buffet. He would ask, “what is that?” I would say, “a roast chicken. Some people eat chicken” and leave it at that. This happened several times. On the final time, he looked at me and asked,”if its a chicken, where is its face?” I responded, this one is going to be eaten, so there isn’t a face. ” Without missing a beat and looking like he finally understood, he said,” Oh. some chickens have faces, some don’t.”

  49. Ramona says...

    Meteors and space junk, ha! As if life wasn’t already giving us enough to worry about.

    My 2.5 year old is in a phase of trying out phrases that she’s heard in books or from adults, but she doesn’t always get them right. A recent gem: “They sat at the table and broke their bread. And then they got their tools and fixed it.”

  50. Carol says...

    Joanna,
    Do you have the book “Anton Can Do Magic?” By Ole Konnecke. It’s such a cute story and your son would enjoy having his name as the main character.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes!! i love that book!!

  51. sara says...

    Best comment section! My husband and I went out for an early dinner together, and when we came home our son (age 3.5) was sitting with the babysitter Lilli on the couch looking extremely serious. He asked why he had to stay behind with Lilli and my husband replied the sometimes mommy and daddy like to go on dates. He pondered that for a second and then replied that tomorrow night daddy would stay home with Lilli and he would go on a date with mommy. Seems fair.

  52. Meghan says...

    On Christmas my 4 year old niece wanted to pose in front of the Christmas tree in her new Elsa dress. She sat down, crossed her legs, and very prettily put her hands in her lap. I wanted to try and get a funnier or more natural shot so I asked her to think of something funny. After about a two second pause she said “Uhhhh…a crocodile eating a shoe at the mall”.

    I’m just an Auntie so maybe this is from a kids show I don’t know about, but it was just about the best think I’ve ever heard.

    • Emily says...

      “Just an auntie”! No such thing! Being an Auntie is magical!

  53. Charity says...

    I always love these posts and all of the comments too! So sweet!
    Recent funny things my daughter 2.5 year old has said:

    E, talking to her 8 month old brother, who is sitting in the middle of the living room: “Hey Finny, wanna play hide and seek?… Okay, you hide!”
    Runs to the other end of the house counting, “One… two… three… seven… ten… thirteen! Here I come! Where could Finny be?” Walking slowly towards him, looking all around, “Are you under the table?… No… Are you by the front door?… No… Are you by the black chair?… No… Oh, there you are!!”

    E, talking to my husband: “Daddy, we go to swimming lessons today?”
    My husband, “No, there are no swimming lessons today.”
    E, looking sad: “Awwwww! Daddy, you a total bummer?” (Turns out she was trying to ask him if he was sad with some new slang she picked up. ??)

    She’s also starting saying she’s going to give me a “great, big, teddy bear hug”, which is pretty much the best thing ever.

  54. Laura C. says...

    This is the fourth week in a row that’s raining here (and we are not amused), and a couple of hours ago, my four year old daughter and I were walking back home from a birthday party under the rain with our umbrellas, and suddenly she said: “I’m so angry with the rain because it is getting me really wet”
    The tone, though.
    Also, may I borrow Anton’s quotes?? Talking to the chandelier has made my day.

  55. when my sisters were still kids (i’m 10 years older than the one right after me) i would blast MTV and let them listen to whatever music video was playing. i wanted to expose them to all kinds of music. one asked me so seriously one time: why do they sing with their eyes closed? it doesn’t make sense, they can’t see!

    i had no answer.

    • june2 says...

      Because singing is about expressing feelings and closing your eyes helps focus all your attention on the emotion, thereby allowing the deepest emotion to be sung.

  56. Emily says...

    so so sweet. i’m hoping i never forget this last thanksgiving with my cousin’s little girl (4 at the time). i was asking her about santa, ” what kind of cookies are you going to leave him?”
    she said “probably just blueberry”

  57. Martini says...

    In 1972 when our daughter was just 3, when she’d get frustrated with something she’d stomp her foot and say “It just makes me so Frazy!”

    All these years later and still, for my husband and me, things make us so “Frazy!”

  58. Taylor says...

    My newly 4 yo daughter says several times a day: “Can I tell you something? It’s that I love you.” Yesterday, to the cat, “Walker, can I tell you something? It’s that I love your whiskers.”

    I’m also 37 weeks pregnant so that is creating some other gems, such as, “What would happen if a big dinosaur comes in in the middle of the night, but you can’t protect me because of your big tummy?”

  59. Lisa says...

    My four year old son recently handed me a fork, pointed end first, and said, “How many thorns does this have?”

  60. Liz says...

    I love these posts so much! Your guys are so sweet.

    I have a 2-1/2 year old that’s a chatterbox and it stresses me out that I can’t just record him all the time because I’m so afraid of forgetting all the funny things he says. One that comes to mind was we were trying to get him to tell us what he wanted for dinner by offering a bunch of stuff and my husband (JOKINGLY) said, “Emory, do you want some wine?” And he said, almost offended, “No. I’m two years old.”

    • Katherine says...

      Hahah! This made me LOL.

  61. Claire says...

    meteors and space junk… an excellent metaphor for what life does indeed throw at us.

  62. Fernanda says...

    Antón seem great. What a mind!
    Now, about Toby. Sometimes you say things about him that Relate to my daughter. She is very sensitive and so so sooo full of love that other children seem to take advantage of her and make her sad. Often. If you have the same issues with Toby, may I suggest a post about how to deal with that? It breaks my heart. Love reading your blog everyday.
    Love from Brazil.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much for your note, fernanda. your daughter sounds wonderful. i’ll definitely consider a post like this! i don’t want to share too much about toby’s day-to-day for his own privacy, but i’d love to talk to other parents about how they help support highly sensitive kids or kids with special needs. thank you! xoxo

    • Daynna says...

      Joanna: further to what Fernanda was saying, my son has high functioning autism. I struggle with how much to share about it even on my own Facebook because it’s his to talk about, not mine. But on the other hand, had I not found places/people to vent to about my own hardships in parenting someone with unique struggles, I’d have imploded by now. It’s a fine line and I think that saying less is better than saying more if you’re not sure yet. Perhaps a post that just discusses having special needs kids in general? Get a few parents to talk a bit about it? Give your own take without stating your child’s own particular diagnosis? I know I’d absolutely love a post addressing that. Though, if you do decide to share, the love and support given back to you will buoy you like crazy. That, I know.

    • Fernanda says...

      Thank you :)
      She doesn’t have any special needs (not more than us, anyway).
      But she has just so much love inside her and I fear the world might break her.
      I would like to know how to protect her and make her stronger, so that she could keep spreading the love.
      This blog is amazing!

    • Katherine says...

      I can chime in as an adult who is highly sensitive, that I wish I had a place to talk and vent and share about how hard the world is for me to live in sometimes. I’m also an elementary school teacher and often I was matched with the “different” or “unique” kids because they would be safe in my class, as I totally understood them for who they were. I can share some of my teaching tips, and what has worked for me personally as a grown up, but I’d also deeply value and appreciate a safe space for us to discuss this little talked about issue.

    • Fernanda says...

      Thank you Katherine!

    • june2 says...

      Re: “I would like to know how to protect her and make her stronger, so that she could keep spreading the love.”
      Teach her how to teach other where her boundaries are – like, how to communicate that with love. If I was in your position I would get a female child psychologist who specializes boundary issues to help teach you how to do that with your daughter. I can’t imagine a more important skill for people/kids with highly sensitive natures. Also, consider changing her school to a more conscious one like Waldorf, or similar! Find a more supportive social structure/environment, basically.

      Lastly, there is a great approach called Non-Violent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg that teaches how to communicate boundaries, etc in a mutually respectful way that I highly recommend.

    • Fernanda says...

      Thank you June! In Brazil, boundaries are not as strict as they are in the US, but I think your perspective is refreshing and totally important. I’ll sure look into those ideas. Lots of love!

  63. JMT says...

    We got this one from my 2.5 year old the other day –

    On seeing the sun: “I remember that light!”

    And yes, we live in Portland. HA.

    • Karen says...

      OMGee! This comment reminds me of an episode of Portlandia where Portland locals were literally chasing the ray of sun for the sake of being in a better mood!

    • june2 says...

      …struggle is real, here in southern WA…lol

  64. Meredith says...

    My 4 year old’s teacher was reading about Purim and she asked the class if anyone was Jewish. My son responded, “I dont know if I’m Jewish but i definitely Spiderman-ish!”

    • Karen says...

      LOVE THIS!! Hahaha

  65. “There it is.” So sweet! ?

  66. Lisa says...

    He is too precious!
    My two year old is now starting to put together sentences, and it’s amazinf to see how quickly he learns this. This evening we were trying to find music to listen to and he kept on saying “no like”. He just learnt that today! (Though I hope his music taste improves. Seriously kid – no earth, wind and fire?!)
    All these comments about journals reminds me to start keeping one. My grandmother did, and it’s lovely to have that record of all the cute things my siblings, cousins and I said.

  67. Erin says...

    My four-year-old daughter came home from her second day of Groep 1 (pre-k here in the Netherlands) with a large painting complete with black, white, and green strokes. “Tell me about it,” I said, trying to get an idea of what she had painted. “It was both beautiful”-pause-“and painful to make.” I died.

    • Andy says...

      This is the greatest

  68. Maia says...

    Anton a.k.a House Plant, you say the funniest things. <3

  69. Katy says...

    When my youngest son (2.5 years) does something not nice to his older brother (4.5 years), we are quick to tell him that he has to say sorry, and ask his brother, Leo, how you can make it better. So he’ll say, “Sorry, Leo. Make it better!” And, then he moves on, like he’s done what he needs to do. So we’re working on teaching him that it’s not just what you say, it’s how you make the other person feel that matters. We’re working on it….

    • Katy says...

      A quick side note about raising toddlers. Or more about keeping them busy with minimal effort at times. Their favorite “toy” is tape. Simple, easy, but encourages so much creative play. Wrote about their brotherly transformations with the help of a tape dispenser here: http://www.heylibi.com/2018/03/16/dispensing-tape-for-my-repair-men/

      Lastly, I love these posts too, about Anton’s and Toby’s thoughts and conversations. One of my favorite ones from the past was when Toby was trying out a joke. And I believe it went something like, knock, knock, who’s there. And he said A doctor. And then asked if that’s funny. My husband always catches when our boys are trying out new material. :)

  70. My kids refer to the opposite of ‘nothing’ and ‘yeah-thing’.
    And I will cut anyone that corrects them.

  71. Katherine says...

    I love the “learning more than knowing” comment and how deeply Anton cares for Toby. Wouldn’t we all be better off if we had such empathy?!

    My mom kept a journal of things my sister and I said when we were little and we still quote some of the gems to this day (I’m 32). One of my favorites from when I was around Anton’s age is that one day I saw someone in the car ahead of us litter from their window. My mom said I shrieked and exclaimed, “Someone should tell his mommy on him.”

    My fave from my sister’s journal is my mom heard Claire scooting a kitchen chair over to the pantry and then heard subsequent package rattling. From the other room, my mom asked, “Claire, what are you doing?” to which she replied, “I don’t know.” Hahahhahaa.

  72. Leslie says...

    What an incredibly sweet little brother Anton is! His smile in the “cool cars” photos is almost unbearably adorable, and his bedtime joke sounds very cute (and actually funny!) too. <3

  73. Raquel says...

    Your babies make me want to go home and make babies! I have commented this before (and I share these posts with my husband btw, you know, some encouragement is always good) but Anton’s wise words just made my heart melt a million times (not to mention my hormones!!)

  74. Megan says...

    Oh my goodness, Anton seems so sweet! I always love these posts, Joanna!

    Recently, my 3-year-old daughter tried sitting on our toilet without the toddler insert, and fell through. I was just outside the bathoom, and heard her crying that her bottom was all wet. After drying her off (bottom AND tears), she looked at me and with a smile said, “My bottom went swimming!!”

    Yes, my girl, it did.

  75. Kathryn says...

    Few years ago we purchased this book https://www.chroniclebooks.com/my-quotable-kid.html
    We now give it as our standard 2-year-old gift.

    Our 5 year old recently discovered the book, and now wants us to read it to her all the time. I think she not only appreciates her own silliness, but it also makes her feel good/important because we took the time to write down something she said.

  76. Jtep says...

    One day after a parent at preschool did a talk for the kids (the parent is a military fighter pilot) my four year old said, “mommy? What do you do for work?” I said I take care of you and your brother. He then said, “well maybe you could dress up like a clown and come talk to the class”
    Ouch. Pretty tough to beat fighter pilot though.

    • Rae says...

      When my daughter was in nursery school she repeatedly told others that “my father is a doctor and my mother goes to yoga.” Sigh.

    • E says...

      My mum’s job for some years was also to be our parent and she DID dress up like a clown (more like an exaggerated doll/big kid) and came to our classes to put on lip sync performances to Alexander Beetle. I’d rather follow a pilot than try to top that!

  77. Madie says...

    My 4 y/o Hank also says some hilarious things! Recently we had this exchange:
    Hank: When did you meet Dada?
    Mom: 2007
    Hank: Woah, that was a long time ago. Were there horses that pulled carriages in that age?
    :)

  78. Cristin says...

    So incredibly sweet! My boys certainly aren’t as verbose as your guys, but they still crack me up! My oldest is 5, and like Toby, he has a hard time sometimes. I’ve really loved the book “Raising Human Beings” by Ross Greene. https://www.amazon.com/Raising-Human-Beings-Collaborative-Partnership/dp/1476723761
    His collaborative problem solving approach has given me a whole new perspective on how to help my son build new skills, and also how I can respond as a parent. It’s been a game changer for us both!

  79. I was putting my daughter Maeve, who just turned 3, to bed several months ago. She looked at me and gently said, “Mama, let’s just sit here and talk about stuff.” It was so simple and tender (and she was probably just saying it so she wouldn’t have to go to sleep) that I hope I never forget it!

  80. A Martin says...

    My daughter (5) and son (3) were fighting over a toy and my son had a major meltdown. I sat with him and noticed his hands on his stomach.
    Me: Is something hurting?”
    Him: “YES!! My feelings!!”

    • Laura says...

      Oh my gosh. So sweet!

  81. Cynthia says...

    Children do think up some funny things to say. When my oldest was six, my brother was living in a rural community, and she asked him, “Uncle Jimmy, are there bears in your forest?” He said no, but he did have a skunk in the woods. When my youngest was around 3, her older sister was bugging her and she said to her, “You burn my nerves up!” They are both in their 30’s and they still get a kick out of hearing the things they said.

  82. Maryann says...

    I love these! Your kids sound so sweet.

    I was cleaning out some papers recently and came across some wedding vows that my 8yo daughter wrote: “So and so, do you take so and so for your loveable wetted wife?”

  83. HM says...

    My daughter is 3.5, but has been a tiny adult all her life. We’ve joked for a long time that she’s 3 going on 55. She’s always asking to go to a coffee shop, “just to chat.” She starts most conversations with a bright “So! How’s your day?” And recently, after I gave her a package her grandparents sent, she said “Oh, that was so nice of them to think of me!”

    When she was just beginning to talk, she mispronounced some things that we have just adopted as the better version of the phrase in our home. My favorite is “snack cheese” instead of “string cheese.” It’s clearly a better name for it.

    • Olivia says...

      Lol that is so cute! She sounds so empathetic.

      My nephew implemented the phrases “blue dark” (twilight) and “black dark” at three. They’re SO accurate and now we use them all the time ?…but I think his little mind only invented them to eke out a bit more time before stopping an activity because it was dark.

    • Erin says...

      We have “snack peas” instead of “snap peas” at our house. :)

    • Kelly says...

      my 7yo calls string cheese “strange cheese”. She knows the real name now, and tries to come up with all sorts of explanations why it really should be called “strange cheese”.

  84. Crystal says...

    My 4.5 year old son has a lot going on his head but he isn’t super articulate as many here ha. But he loves transportation — tractors, trucks, trains! He loves trains — can name all the cars and plays with his model electric train for hours. Anyways lately he has been into tanks — not sure how?! He only goes to twice a week preschool and he got obsessed during winter break. He has already drawn 50-60 drawings of tanks and keeps talking about buying a tank etc. So I had some qualms about it, but he kept on asking for toy tanks (and believe me hard to find — they are all model tanks to build or remote control ones or really small plastic cheapie things I am trying not to buy). Later I tell him tanks were weapons of war and kill people and destroy buildings. I know pretty heavy, but we already do discuss pretty serious things. Anyways, so I say this one day (didn’t say anything about tanks before), and he pauses and considers, and I am thinking “Wow this conversation got through!” And he goes, “Toy tanks don’t kill people, mama.”

    • Silvina says...

      LOL!

    • jilly says...

      ooo, I hear ya. war toys suck, they really do. but one never knows why kids have the interests they do…maybe his interest will turn to excavator’s and back hoe’s, etc…meanwhile, make his day for free with this paper model:
      https://papercraftsquare.wordpress.com/tag/world-of-tanks/

      Also, if his interest in war toys continues in later years, show him the movie, Gallipoli, (circa 1981) one day when he’s old enough – like, 16…no greater example of the futility of war over communication skills, diplomacy and other grown up alternatives to conflict resolution.

  85. Lindsey says...

    My favorite thing is my kids’ relationship with each other. They’re 5 and 1 now, but I remember when my youngest was just born and hated his car seat. He was wailing (again) as we were driving somewhere and I was trying to tune it out. As a result, I also tuned out my 3-year-old, who was saying, “Mommy? Mommy?” Finally, our of desperation, she yelled at the top of her lungs, “CAN SOME MOMMY HELP THIS BABY BOY? HELP THIS BOY!” Oft repeated even now in our house: “Somebody help this boy!”

    • Emma Bee says...

      When my 7 month old cries in her carseat, the 3 yr old reaches across and holds her hand. It’s the best!!

    • Jean says...

      Made me lol!!

    • jillian says...

      A lot of these are great, but that made me laugh out loud! So good.

    • Brittany says...

      Oh my gosh, this made me laugh out loud. Too funny!

  86. Anton sounds like a wise old man come into your lives to offer insight and patience, all in the guise of a little yellow-haired angel. Sibling relationships are such profound, ever-changing dialogues of a shared experience. The older I grow, the more grateful I am to have a sister to do life with! I hope Toby and Anton continue to support each other as they navigate the ebbs and flows of this wondrous life.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i can’t wait to watch this. thank you, anja.

  87. Laura says...

    My two year old was talking about ‘the rhino’ in connection with potty training this weekend. I just couldn’t get it until he said “you know mama, the u-rhino”, he meant the urinal!

    • Sandra says...

      That is so funny!

  88. Colleen S says...

    I’m almost 35 years old, and I still talk to inanimate objects in my apartment.

    • Sara Motsinger says...

      Colleen, virtual high five. I’m 41 and conversations with inanimate things are wonderful to have. :)

  89. Sarah says...

    My 4-yr-old always talks about the “second day”. “What are we doing the second day?” (Tomorrow) “And the second day?” (two days from now) “And the second day?” (three days) He’ll go up to a week or more of second days, but my husband and I never correct him because it’s just too cute.

    • Andrea says...

      I also love “lasterday” (yesterday) and “today morning” (this morning).

    • Val says...

      My 4 yo has three time periods – today, tomorrow, and after tomorrow. Simple enough – just three categories!

    • My son did the opposite for a while when he was younger. We not only had “yesterday,” but “yester-week,” “yester-year,” “yesterday-evening,” and so on. “Yester-“ was the prefix for any time in the past.

  90. Tess says...

    Oh, I LOVE hearing these kind of stories. Meteors and spacejunk made me laugh out loud. What a sweet boy!

    My 5 yr old wanted to play at his friends house yesterday. Because he lives on the other side of our city, I told my son I would bring him by car. He thought about it, and then said: “Well, I think dad should bring me then. Because, you know, it’s parallel parking there.” Because I didn’t react immediately, he whispered: “I’m sorry, but you’re not very good at that.”

    • Faith says...

      Hahaha! I hate parallel parking.

    • Taylor says...

      Hilarious!

    • Tracy says...

      “The worst part about parallel parking is the witnesses.” ;)

    • Frankie says...

      So funny. I’m actual laughing-out-loud.

  91. Kara says...

    Those last two paragraphs made me tear up. I have two boys (2.5 and 7 weeks) and I can’t wait to see them interact as they get older. Every morning my two year old says “I love my baaaaby brudder!” and he likes to talk about all of the cool things he’ll show him when he’s older. Of course, there’s been jealousy too (“I need you mama” when I’m holding the baby). I also think often about your posts on whether or not to have more kids. I’m pretty sure we’re done but I do sometimes get emotional at the thought of never raising a girl, even though my heart is so full with these boys and I know I have the important task of raising them to be good men. Anyway, thanks for sharing, as always.

    • Kara says...

      Wow, this is a weird moment where you read a comment that parallels your life so closely (though my second boy is 9 weeks) and then you see the commenter also shares your name! Feeling all of the above things!

    • Lisa says...

      I have a two year old and a 3.5 month old, and it’s got to the point where she’s started responding to him and it’s the cutest thing! On Friday she held his hand while he fell asleep for his nap, and yesterday she was laughing at him – every time he laughed she laughed back. We’re currently going through a second wave of jealousy (just to want you); he had the initial shock of her arriving, and now he’s jealousies because he realised she’s staying, which is tough but watching them grow to adore each other is so worth it. I just say “be gentle with baby” and “don’t hit your sister” about 300,000 times a day

    • Lisa says...

      Warn you, not want you

    • Ashley says...

      Another mama of two little boys (3 years and 4 months) saying I feel the exact same way!

    • Kara says...

      Wow, hi other Kara! And Lisa and Ashley :) It’s so nice to hear I’m not alone and Lisa, thanks for the heads up on what may be to come!

    • Megan says...

      I was about to post this exact same thing, you have no idea how much better it makes me feel to know I’m not alone! I have an almost 3 year old boy and a 4 month old boy; my husband and I have talked a lot about having more kids but are leaning towards not. Seeing the sweet relationship that you have with your boys Joanna and that Toby and Anton have with each other makes me excited for our family’s future.

  92. Laura says...

    In the grocery store the other day my 4 year old looked at the package of ground beef in our cart and asked “is that dead worms!??” I laughed and told him it was beef, and he replied “well it realllly looks like worms!” haha

  93. Amy says...

    My little boy is just a couple months younger than Anton, and it is an amazing age for amazing quotes. This morning I was convincing him not to wear shorts to preschool (it’s still basically winter here in Minneapolis) and he told me, “but mama, I want to wear short-sleeve pants!”

  94. Nancey says...

    Many years ago we got our Daughter a new toddler bed, so pretty, but we had it in the old dusty garage until we had room for it, I asked her one day did she want to see her new bed?? she said YES! so we went to the garage, I said ‘are you SO excited to sleep in your big girl bed? and she said ‘um, yeah, kind of, it’s nice but I really wish I didn’t have to sleep out here in the garage’.

    we died laughing later, kids are so literal.

    • Jen says...

      This one is awesome! hahaha

  95. These are great! I love these conversations with Toby and Anton posts. My four-year old has been full of quips and quiet insights lately. She was joking about dying and I said that it isn’t funny to joke about dying. And she responded, coolly, “Mom, we don’t have to feel the same. Every person can have their own feelings about different things.” Check. Mate.

    • Bobby says...

      Genius. Seriously.

    • Emily says...

      Amazing!

    • Brittany says...

      I feel like I am STILL learning this lesson at age 31. Children are so wise!

  96. Jill says...

    My 18 year old son , who has always been so silly, just asked me if he would get sick from all the shaving cream he accidentally swallowed??!! I’m dying here!! The fun never ends.

  97. Danielle says...

    Once when I was growing up, my siblings, my parents, and I were talking about principles or truths that we felt like we had learned. My youngest brother who was three or four at the time, said: “I don’t know a lot. But, I do know that wood breaks, metal bends, and my family loves me forever.” We’ve now quoted him for decades! His quote was so sweet and sincere, and even now in my adulthood it rings so true to me. Sometimes I wonder if children occasionally understand things more clearly than adults, and that, as we grow up, we run the risk of forgetting the most important truths–like the fact that some things break and bend, but some things last forever.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, what a sweetheart!!

    • Olivia says...

      Holy crap. Is he an author now?? What a little sweetie!

    • Ae says...

      My dad still quotes me as a four- year old and young me (26 years ago!) makes older me so proud. He says that I over heard his friend talking about divorcing his wife and I walked over and said, “you know, it doesn’t cost anything at all to be kind”. My dad brings this up all the time!

  98. Anna says...

    “I kind of like learning things more than I like already knowing things.”

    That’s some wisdom RIGHT THERE. Thanks, Anton. :)

  99. Linds says...

    “What are hours?” Time is such a hard concept for kids. My dad told us that as children, my siblings and I said “yester-night” instead of last night, which makes total sense as a kid. My four and six year old boys always tell me they will “be back in a little minute.” Now my husband and I say it as well when running errands or heading out on a date!

    • Bobby says...

      I think yesternight makes sense as an adult! I may have to start using it!

    • Amy says...

      My kids also used to say “yesternight”, which really makes a lot of sense.

  100. Rachel says...

    While driving one morning, my 3.5yo daughter asked me to turn the heat down in the car because she was “hot as a casserole”. I laughed til I nearly cried. Not even sure how she knows what a casserole is.

    • Jen says...

      LOL! Audible laughing at my desk right now… I feel like I could have said the same thing as a kid.

  101. Nigar says...

    Sweet Anthon:) now I am dying to know what exactly he was saying to chandelier!?

  102. Annie says...

    Thank you for sharing bits about the relationship and bond between your sons. I’m expecting boy #2 and these anecdotes warm my heart and help calm some of the anxiety I’m having about adding another little boy to the mix.

  103. Oh my god, I love this so much. He sounds like my little guy. I love all the messed up words and funny little ways they make sense of the world. Thank you for sharing.

  104. Carolyn M says...

    I had a very sweet interaction with my 2.5 year old recently as I was putting her to bed:

    Me: “I love you, sweetie.”
    2.5 year old: “I love you, mommy.”
    Me: “I love you more!”
    2.5 year old: “I love you less!”

    • Hahahahaha that one wins!

    • Tristen says...

      HAHAHAHAHA oh man. Kids!

  105. “I kind of like learning things more than I like already knowing things”, kids are just so astute at times, it cuts you to your core. And the bond between Toby and Anton sounds so special.

  106. Becca says...

    Whenever my 2.5 year old says something hilarious I try to remember to send it to my family whatsapp chats so they can have a laugh and I can keep a record of it. A small sample:
    Me: It’s dinner time!
    Him: It’s Caramel’s (teddy bear) dinner time too
    Me: What’s he having?
    Him: Tomatoes, broccoli, pasta…and wine

    Him: I’m eating (pretend) soap!
    Dad: That’s a mistake
    Him: I’m eating mistakes! And salami and ice cream

  107. Lisa says...

    That last photo is beautiful. I’m also heartened to hear that I’m not the only one with a six or seven year old little guy who has impressive meltdowns. This too shall pass, right?

    • Kelly says...

      I have a 7yo girl who can still throw down a tantrum like no one’s business. Making sure that she is well rested, well fed, reminding her to use her words and ‘calm down strategies’ can feel like a full time job sometimes!

      She also can be equally joyful and exuberant. She’s a passionate lady! She has ADHD so we’re trying to figure out how to let all her amazing qualities shine and while making sure she can function in life. It’s a journey!

  108. Laura says...

    When I was younger, I used to think of time in terms of tv episodes. If my mom told me there were 2 hours left in a road trip, I would think, “okay, one hour is like 2 episodes of Rugrats, so I have 4 episodes worth of time left on this road trip. Not too bad.”

    I’m not realizing until now that I was doing division and multiplication in my head. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    • Nancey says...

      So cute, my older Daughter would say things like that to my younger one, she’d say …. ‘it’s ok Maddy! It’s only two more icarly’s’.

    • My parents did this for me too!

    • Brittany says...

      We did this, too! My sister and I would always ask how many Barney episodes were left on our drive up to see our grandparents, which was a four hour drive. It’s really funny to hear that you did this, too.

    • Dee says...

      Oh my, just today my just turned- 6yr old also asked me, mommy what 2+2+2and so on. So I asked, how many 2s? He said 10. So I answered 2×10=20. And he said, ok so while Im sleeping for 10 hours, Im missing 20 shows in Disney Junior!! lol :)

    • Taylor says...

      When my sister was little, we quoted all time in “breakfasts” (15 minutes) for her. So if something was an hour away, it was 4 breakfasts. So funny to think of little family insights like this now 30 years later! :)

  109. Sarah Layton says...

    I feel like the sentiment he expressed in “there it is. there it is!’ totally captures all of parenting. what a doll!

  110. Carrie says...

    I’ve said it before many times, but please oh please make this a Monday morning regular!! I absolutely love reading what your clever little guys have to say, it sets the sweetest tone for the week! As always, thank you for sharing. You have two really special boys.

  111. Jennifer says...

    My three year old couldn’t remember the word “chin” the other day so he said “the ceiling of your neck.” And I kept thinking of it for days afterwards and having to work hard not to giggle out loud.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      omg, hahaha, i LOVE that!

      my boys call a big toe their “foot thumb.” makes sense :)

    • Laura says...

      My boys call the bend behind your knees their “leg pit.” They just assumed that’s what it was called, like an armpit. ha!

    • Amy says...

      The ceiling of your neck! That’s awesome haha :) My kids also say kneepit – why not? “The back of the knee” is pretty boring.

    • Alli says...

      ha ha ha! My nephew was learning about his younger sister’s body parts after she was just born and they were bathing her together. Upon seeing her naked, and learning that she didn’t have a penis, and instead had “a vagina,” he paused for a long time and said… “So, a vagina is a front-butt? And she has two butts?” DYINNGGGG.

  112. Christina says...

    This is adorable! I have a four year old daughter, Luna, and she also says the most wonderful things. I need to do a better job at writing them all down but recently we had this exchange while discussing the pros and cons of getting a hamster…

    Me: I’m not sure I want a hamster…it makes me sad that they live in a cage.
    Luna: Is that because you feel like you live in a cage?

    Um…yes. That’s exactly why. hahaha

    • Brittany says...

      Hahaha! Wow – you might have a future counselor on your hands. She’s got a good grasp on the art of projection already.

  113. Jen says...

    As always, these conversations are the best. Thanks for sharing these sweet and fleeting moments. Does Anton know he’s got fans around the world??

  114. Sheri says...

    Your last anecdote made me think of what occurred between my two boys this past Saturday night. Sebastian, 5 years old, and Elias, newly 3 years old, were watching, The Land Before Time. I vaguely remembered this from my own childhood, but had forgotten that at the beginning of the movie, a young dinosaur loses his mother. Sebastian was very upset, and kept asking, “but where did his mother go? where? whyyy?” I was a bit distressed by suddenly having to find the right words to describe death to my son. I did my best, and concluded with the words, “but it’s going to be okay.” Then, Elias, who had been listening in, broke the seriousness of the moment with his clowny reinforcement: “Yeah, Sebaaastian, it’s going to be okaaayyy.”

  115. Amanda says...

    My tired Monday heart is officially melted. Thanks Joanna <3

  116. Tristen says...

    I love these. My three-year-old experiments with a new word for a week or so, trying it in different situations, and this week the word is “unfortunately.” Getting into the car, it’s “I can’t take my rabbit to school, unfortunately. Unfortunately rabbit has to stay here. We can’t take toys in to school, unfortunately.” After school it’s, “I had a good day, but Maddie had to get off the trike because she ran into someone, unfortunately. Unfortunately she didn’t listen.” I never realize how often I say these words until they’re coming from my kid on repeat.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      so cute!!!!!

    • Ha my son does this with “actually.” And yep, so do I.

  117. JM says...

    so sweet. this past weekend my son (4 in two weeks!) starting saying “when you’re right, you’re right.” we have no idea where it came from, but now we’re all saying it.

    • Olivia says...

      LOL love this.

  118. Crystal says...

    More please. I love this.

  119. Emily says...

    Oh my gosh, Anton is hilarious! Love the absurdist comedy of little kids.

  120. Louisa says...

    My daughter is turning 4 in a matter of weeks. Every other minute she says something where I think “I will never forget that. ” — and I usually forget it before I can even write it down. It kills me.

    A few days ago (while I was on my computer, so I could write it down immediately) she said, “Mom, when it’s my birthday and I turn into a different number I’m just going to be so sad, ‘cause I love it so much when I be all the other numbers I used to be.”

    Who knew a four-year-old would find her birthday to be bittersweet!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, what a wise little poet!

    • beth says...

      I actually remember being sad and nostalgic when I turned 5. It seemed like a big number — the shape, sound, and import — and I felt like I was growing up too fast. Very little kids can feel very real emotions!

    • Kelly says...

      When my daughter turned three she looked at me and said, mama I want my two back!!!

      I remember as a middle school kid feeling terribly nostalgic for the not so distant past. I didn’t know the word nostalgic and I called it ‘the remembering feeling’. Growing up is hard!

  121. KVL says...

    I have a four-year old and have been loving our conversations lately. Last week he brought home a cd of children’s songs from preschool. Once I finally found a place to actually play a cd (the car!) we went for a drive to listen to it. When we got home he asked for the cd back, “Thanks mom. I’m just going to put the cd back in its case-edilla .” This age is just the best.

    • Nancey says...

      That is SO adorable!

  122. Caroline says...

    “there it is …. there it is” made me tear up.

  123. Jen says...

    These are hilarious. And that last one- so sweet! My daughter is a little over two and has started talking up a storm lately. It’s the best. Earlier today, she had a pre-nap meltdown because -gasp- I gave her pieces of apple instead of a whole apple, and after very dramatically throwing the slices on the floor, she paused mid-scream, looked at me with the saddest eyes and said “sorry about that, ma’am” and then promptly returned to her tantrum. No idea where she heard that phrase (my guess is Peppa Pig) but it made for a pretty adorable tantrum!

  124. Janine says...

    “There it is!” My heart!

  125. brianna says...

    So many meteors and so much space junk. He gets it.

  126. “there it is” melted my heart. so sweet!!!

  127. Laura says...

    Oh my goodness. That last story about Anton wanting to make Toby laugh brought tears to my eyes. There is something indescribably sweet about siblings doing anything they can to make the other one feel better. They’re so lucky to have each other :)

  128. Stephanie says...

    The photos of Anton with the car are so sweet! What a thoughtful little brother :) Makes my heart melt.

  129. Olivia says...

    I don’t know why, but my just-turned-five-year-old nephew is very focused on us having “conversations” when it’s just the two of us. Every time I come over the watch him and his little brother, he asks me “what are we going to talk about today?” Usual topics are dinosaurs, space, and volcanoes. We sometimes watch YouTube videos of volcanoes eruptions to supplement, or read books about space…or just talk. The last time I watched him, I suppose the general book-reading and time together wasn’t formal enough, because when my sister-in-law got home, he said in a very concerned/pressured voice, “but we didn’t even talk about anysing!” (Anything)

    And his now 3-year-old brother always asks “I sit on your yap?” while we’re reading books. It’s the sweetest thing.

    • Crystal says...

      That is so awesome!!!! I love it!

  130. Monica says...

    Hahaha “Oh, nothing to see here, just a headless baby” killed me. My niece is six months old and I can’t wait till she starts talking.

    • Nina says...

      Me too – – I am silently LOLing so hard in my office! Anton, you are hysterical.

  131. Kim says...

    I probably love these posts more than the fashion and food and house tours. And I REALLY love that stuff :)

  132. Jo says...

    Anton trying to make Toby smile – made me tear up.. what a sweet brother.

  133. Kylie says...

    My step-babies are all teenagers and still say the most hilarious stuff. The other day, my step-son (13) said out of nowhere, “Bean bags are boneless couches.” I just died! A little later, we were talking about school and seeing teachers out in public. I said, “Yeah, it’s a little disorienting to see your school teachers out in the wild.” His immediate reply: “Feral teachers! Not yet docile!” I basically use Twitter to capture all the funny things my step-babies say, haha (and it makes my TimeHop app so charming!)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahahaah he is awesome!

    • beth says...

      Feral teachers! Awesome.

  134. Lorraine says...

    My 5-year-old son, Ethan, is quite the storyteller. He has made up a place called “Babyland” (which used to be in Nepal, but is in India now) where my 1-year-old daughter, Lily, used to live and where she hangs out with other baby friends. He’s created intricate Babyland maps (including subway maps) that we hang around our house.

    Recently Ethan wrote a story called “Lily goes inside Lorraine’s tummy,” which is about how Lily was wandering around Nepal looking for a mommy’s tummy to go inside. Finally, she finds me and goes into my tummy. “The End.”

    • beth says...

      So creative and sweet!

  135. Lauren says...

    My almost-5-year old (feel this is an important distinction from just saying he’s a 4-year-old) has frequent meltdowns, and my 2-year-old knows that he can usually turn his brother’s mood around by yelling “Na na na na na na na na” like the Batman theme song and then ending with “POOP!” or “FART!” or “BUTT!” Works much better than any of my techniques for helping him calm down.

    • KSM says...

      Good to know that I am not the only one with a 5 yr old obsessed with Poop, fart, and butt. Exactly these three words all the time everywhere and in every sentence. Drives me nuts.

  136. Kate says...

    Not to be weird but I’m so excited to see who your boys are as adults. I bet that’s such a wild and cool part of parenting! Anton seems like such an old soul, super perceptive. “I kind of like learning things more than I like already knowing things” – I love that! And I will never, ever forget “shoes-on off,” haha!

  137. Shannon says...

    So sweet!

    The other day when we were driving home, my husband was telling a funny story and I was losing it in the front seat. I was almost crying I was laughing so hard.
    Then our three head old yelled from the back seat: “Okay, Dad. Now it’s MY turn to make Mama laugh.”
    We both paused and waited for what he was going to come up with, which was, of course, a farting noise.
    Gets me every time.

    • Tristen says...

      Actually laughing.
      One of life’s unexpected pleasures has turned out to be sharing fart jokes with my 3-year-old. Who knew?!!

    • Brittany says...

      This is such a cute story! I can only imagine how much his little heart swelled with pride at making his Mama laugh.

    • Michelle says...

      My 11 year old requests I insert fart comments into his bedtime story. It often has both of us nearly in tears laughing.

  138. “I kind of like learning things more than I like already knowing things.”

    Oh my gosh, te absolute tenderness of that one caught me by surprise and totally made me cry!

  139. Allison says...

    I was walking out of the house to work this morning and happened to glance at a large piece of paper on the floor that my daughter had been coloring. it was a row of different colored hearts, and at the top, all scrunched together it said “love is the truth”. shes not even 5. I have NO IDEA where she came up with that! mind blown.

    • Karen says...

      **snaps fingers** word.

  140. Maria says...

    Joanna, I’m sure you’ve already considered talking to your older son about the fact that you write about him in your posts and often post his pictures. Could you please share how you handled this difficult topic? I’m sure many parents have to address this and don’t really know how. I mean, how to balance the need for sharing and respect the kids need for privacy, or even fear of being exposed. I will totally understand if you choose not to share about it, though. Thanks anyways!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much for your thoughtful question, maria! yes, alex and i have thought so, so deeply about posting about our children while still respecting their privacy. it’s such a personal choice for every parent and family (and one of the many decisions you make for your children when they’re younger — what they eat, when they sleep, where they go to school, who helps with childcare, what level of physical risk-taking you’re comfortable with, etc. etc.). for alex and me, we generally feel comfortable posting about them in a general way — their photos now and again, cute things they say, family trips, etc. — but not in an overly specific, personal way or anything that might embarrass them now or in the future. i actually write about them much less now that they’re older, versus when they were babies (since most babies are basically the same — breastfeeding, sleep training, etc.), since now they’re becoming their own little people and i keep much of that private for them. it’s their story to tell. hope this helps answer the question! it’s definitely a hard and personal question for each parent to answer as best they can.

  141. Megan says...

    Be still my heart!

  142. Aimee says...

    I don’t have kids (by choice) and it’s 99.5% likely that I never will, but if it were possible to have one that magically appeared at three years old and perpetually never got any older than five, I just might have been persuaded to do it. I absolutely love kids at this age. There’s little in this world that’s funner than a four year old with dry wit.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, YES! i love this age x a gazillion.

    • Louisa says...

      Yes! I have just one kid, I don’t want another, but I would love to keep my 3-year-old – as a 3-year-old – for ever!

  143. Becky says...

    When u was in college I spent summers living with my aunt and her family as their nanny.
    My cousin asked me in day, “are you a big kid or an adult?” He answered his own question with, ” I know a kid-adult”
    At Christmas at my parents house, his sister turned to me and asked “is this where you live in the winter?”
    15 years later I can still recall those conversations like they were yesterday

    • Nina says...

      Yes! My daughter is 2.5 and just entered the “saying hysterical things” growth spurt, and I am loving it so much. I also very often babysat my much younger cousins in high school and college, and can still remember their funny lines. My favorite: when my cousin was 3, he and I were playing in the back yard and I told him it was time for lunch, but he could keep playing alone a few more minutes. By the time I reached the door, I heard little feet behind me and little cousin told me very confidently, “I says to myself: I think I want lunch too.” HAHAHAHA

  144. That last one–‘There it is’–just completely melted my heart into a puddle…as if everything that came before that didn’t! Thanks so much for sharing, Jo! xo

  145. these are great! Yes, loving the one about meteors!! So literal! I have a four-year old boy as well…need to keep track of nuggets like these he says! Recently, when discussing March Madness he said….”My head wanted Ohio State to win, but my heart wanted Gonzaga to win”…..so wise ;)

    • Andrea says...

      His heart was SO RIGHT!

      GO ZAGS!

  146. Cat says...

    I love this! And yes, kids have the absolute best conversations. Whenever I am feeling exhausted and done and angry, little ones always make me feel better. Because they don’t mind I’d your conversations don’t make sense or if you forget your thought. Just that you are there with them. I have nephews that will just torment each other, but if I go to tickle the older one, the youngest comes over going “Nooo, I help, I help,” determined to help his brother gain the upper hand. And he cheers himself on whenever he is doing something difficult, like a tumble or a flip, something we can all learn from!

  147. TJ says...

    ‘meteors and space junk’
    I don’t know if I should laugh or worry more about getting hit with random sky stuff.
    what a doll