Me: “Sophie, at preschool your teacher said you’re learning about winter celebrations and traditions, like Los Posados, St. Lucia Day, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.”
Sophie: “Uh huh.”
Me: “Tell me about them! What’s Kwanzaa?”
Sophie, scrunching up her face: “A planet?”

Sophie: “Daddy, is it cold out today?”
Andy: “Yes.”
Sophie: “On that case, I will wear my hood.”

(in Great Grandma’s bathroom)
Sophie: “Mommy, look at the shower curtain!”
Me: “It’s very pretty. I like the birds and the vines.”
Sophie: “Look at the top part. It’s glorious!”

(on showing her some purchases I made at Target the night before)
Me: “I bought you some new socks, that actually fit!”
Sophie: “Oh!”
Me: “And 4T jeans—with sparkles!—and a 4T shirt. You’re getting bigger!”
Sophie: “Oh!”
Me: “What do you say?” (We’re trying to teach her to say thank you unprompted.)
Sophie: “That you forgot new shoes?”

(on telling her she has to put the iPod away)
Me: “You’ve been playing games on it for too long. It’s time to put it away.”
Sophie: (some type of whining response)
Me: “Read a book! Play with your dollhouse! Dress-up! Color a picture!”
Sophie: (some type of whining response)
Me: “Seriously, put your iPod away. And actually, it’s not even yours. It’s mine.”
Sophie: “I just love it so much more than you do, Mommy.”
Me: “Well, you can’t play it all day long. It’s not healthy.”
Sophie: “I’m going to be the girl who plays the iPod all the time.”
Me: “I don’t want you to be the girl who plays the iPod all the time.”
Sophie: “But that’s who I am! I’m going to be that girl!”

“Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression.” —Dr. Haim Ginott