What could I have possibly said to figure out what she was thinking?

“Mama,” Ingrid stalled as I tried for the third time to leave her room so she could start her nap. “Somebody on Signing Time signs donkey like this.” She held her left thumb to her temple and flapped her fingers down toward her chin.

“Uhh huh,” I said. “It’s time to sleep, kiddo.”

“But! Bu-bu-but Rachel does it like this.” She put her thumb on her temple and flapped her fingers upward.

“Well, I bet that other person just has their own way of signing it, don’t you think?”

“B-b-b-b-but she’s a grown up.”

“You know, grown ups can have their own ways of doing things, just like kids do. Everybody has their own way.”

“Does everybody have the same brain?” She gave me a mischievous smile.

I laughed. “Noooo, every person has a brain of their very own.”

“A capital brain?”

I couldn’t keep myself from giggling. “A capital brain? Like a capital letter?”

“Yeah,” she answered, and then clammed up.

Nearest I can tell, she’s thinking about capital and small letters and also about how adults and kids are different? The girl has fascinating ideas, and is so internal about them. I wish I could get her to talk more about the complicated stuff that I know is going on in her head. It seems like our big ideas conversations come too quickly to the point where she’s not willing to risk saying any more.

Capital brain, indeed.

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4 thoughts on “What could I have possibly said to figure out what she was thinking?

  1. Fascinating is right! I would love to know what she was getting at too. Do you ever try saying things like, “I’d like to hear more about capital brains if you ever feel like telling me”? That was one of the techniques we learned in the parenting class we took and sometimes it works, just as a way to show your interest and leave the door open without putting any pressure on her.

    On a totally separate note, you have a 4-year-old who still naps?? Totally jealous. A gave up naps at 2.

  2. Melissa – she naps about half the time, still. I figure I deserve the payback, after the first two years of her life, when she never, ever slept for more than 40 minutes at a time.

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