Does anyone else have a small child who is an old soul? I have lost count of the number of people who have spent time with my youngest daughter and then described her as exactly that. Being an old soul can be a lovely and charming thing – provided the old soul in question was, for example, not a serial arsonist.
My old soul is three. She is adorable, with honey colored curls, green eyes, and the physique of a small Care Bear. This squeezable, precious child patronizes me constantly. She often says things and then later I’m like – Damn. That was a burn and I was too stupid to pick up on it. I swear that she’s actually a very old Southern lady in a small body.
To provide evidence, I am sharing some examples of things she’s said recently. Read them, and then imagine them being said by an geriatric dowager who likes a tipple, is sure of her own mind, and doesn’t give a rip what you think of her. To be fair, she comes by this naturally. On both sides of her parentage, the families are packed with old ladies who say crazy schmidt that’s both offensive and awesome.
Daddy: Look what I have here! It’s a tiny statue of Tigger. You can play with it, but you have to be very careful because it’s made of clay and it’s very breaky.
Mini: Do you mean fragile?
Daddy:(abashed) Yes. I mean fragile.
Mini: (raises eyebrows) Use your words.
Me: Are you feeling OK? Your fever seems like it’s coming down.
Mini: No, I’m not OK. I have a FEVER. A high fever. Do you need to go to Target to get more medicine and a coloring book?
Me: No, we’re good. Do you want to come downstairs and be on the couch?
Mini: No. When you’re sick with a high fever you stay home and you stay in bed all day. That’s how you get better. Now I would like some juice please.
Me: Umm… Ok. Coming right up.
Mini: (gives me a righteous sniff and mutters under her breathe) And you DO need to go to Target.
Mini: (from the family room, speaking very loud so I will hear her) NO ONE IS HERE WITH ME. I AM ALL ALONE.
Me: I’m right here in the kitchen, 10 feet away.
Mini: I AM BY MYSELF AND I AM LONELY.
Me: My hands are covered in raw chicken! Give me a minute!
Mini: (talking to the dog) I APPRECIATE YOU BEING HERE, BRADY. AT LEAST YOU CARE ABOUT ME.
Me: OK! Here I am! Do you want to snuggle? Do you want to play Operation?
Mini: (gives me side eye) Finally. I asked you a thousand times. But Dora’s on now. I’m fine.
Mini: I have to say this to you – your tummy is fat.
Me: Those are not kind words. Those are hurtful words.
Mini: Yes, that’s right. They are not kind words. But they are appropriate.
Mini: (from the backseat) This is not how we go to preschool, Daddy.
Daddy: There’s too much traffic to go the regular way.
Mini: You’re doing this wrong. Mommy goes down the big road by the school. That’s how you get there. Now we’ll get lost and I’ll miss Circle Time. Turn around.
Daddy: I know what I’m doing.
Mini: I’m skeptical. (pause) Turn here. TURN HERE! Gah!
Daddy: You’re being rude.
Mini: I’m sorry. Next time turn where I tell you, please.
Obviously, how we parent our children and the environment in which they grow up plays an enormous role in who they will become. But I have moments where I am floored by how much of my children’s personalities appear to be hard-wired into them. To be honest, that realization brings with it a measure of comfort. Because for every part of them that is determined by nature rather than nurture, that’s a part I can’t screw up with my substandard mom skills.
And those parts of them that are hard-wired also seem to be the parts that are the most uniquely them. And I would never want to change those parts, even if I could. The old souls, the personality traits that seem innate, the amazing surprises and hilarious comments that come from them – those are my favorite parts.
MORE ON BABBLE:
11 mistakes ALL parents make (even the perfect ones)
8 things i never thought I’d say… until I became a mom
11 signs you’re a babysitter’s worst nightmare
10 ways I’m the meanest mom in the world (according to my toddler)
18 questions all parents secretly ask themselves