Last night, as I sat in the living room watching Masterchef, my son was sorting his Bob the Builder ABC flashcards on the carpet, and found one that particularly interested him.
He examined it for a few minutes silently, staring and staring—before I noticed what he was doing.
“What’s this, mom?”
“It’s X, for X-ray.”
“But what’s this part?”
“Bones, those are bones. Your body is full of bones.”
“Do dogs have bones?”
“Yes. Most living things have bones.”
“Do chairs have bones?”
“No, chairs are not alive.”
He kept staring at the picture.
I turned off the TV.
“Read this one, mom!”
“I just read it, it’s X for X-ray. Remember, when you go to the doctor, he sometimes takes pictures of your body? That picture is called an X-ray. He checks you to see if all your bones are okay.”
“You mean, like not broken?”
“Yes, not broken.”
We packed up the mess in the living room and headed upstairs, where I decided to show him some kid-friendly anatomy pictures on the Internet.
And the questions kept coming…
“Is that a toten-kopf?”
“Yes, toten-kopf in German. In English, it’s called a skull.”
“And is that a zipper?”
“Hmmm, it does look like a zipper. It’s called your spine. It’s the bones that go all the way down your back.”
“Mom, how does poop get in my body?”
…as we talked for the next hour, I felt just as in awe. Here was my child, turned three years old just a week ago, and here was the great big world of knowledge he was so eager to learn about.
“E-ner-gy…small intestine…large intestine…” he repeated all the words that interested him, as we found some educational videos on Youtube, he took charge of my laptop for the next hour, begging me to watch the next one, and the next, to learn about digestion, and body organs, and heart-beats, and zipper-bones.
And how I wished I were Einstein! So I could properly explain all those thousands of legitimate questions.
I love three-year-olds, this delicate yet strong age of innocence; curiosity; development. I love waking up every morning with my boy, knowing that it is a brand new day of learning, loving, and life.
Today is the last day of 2012…cheers to a new year of discovery!