Baylor: (at dinner) Ughh. I am the most tired man in this house!
Amalia: Mommy, I HATE beets.
Me: I'm sorry to hear that, honey, but you still need to eat them. They are good for you.
Amalia: There is NO WAY Baylor likes these.
(While we were in Florida, my dad asked Amalia if she was going to get married on the beach in Florida someday and she answered yes. Then ...)
Grandpa E: So, Mollie, I know you're going to get married down here in Florida someday, but how old do you think you'll be when you get married?
Amalia: (resolutely) Thirty-five.
Grandpa E: Thirty-five. Okay. And how old is your husband going to be?
Amalia: Two hundred.
Grandpa E: TWO HUNDRED! Wow, that is ... old. Well, maybe he'll have a lot of money by then or something.
Grandpa E: Still, don't you think that two hundred is a bit old?
Amalia: Yeah. Okay, he'll be twenty.
Amalia: Mommy, I wanted you to make my grilled cheese into diamond shapes!
Me: I did. See, I have them all pointing to your ketchup. (outlined the shapes with my finger to demonstrate)
Amalia: Ohhh!! Thanks, Mommy!
Me: No problem, sweetie.
Baylor: And hey, look! The ketchup is in the shape of a cone.
Me: (after careful inspection) Well, buddy, I'd actually say it's more a dome shape. The ketchup isn't really thick enough to stay in a cone shape.
Baylor: Ahh, it's a dome-angular prism.
(talking about school in the fall while riding to swim school ...)
Baylor: And when I am in second grade, you'll be in kindergarten and ... we'll get to walk to our classrooms TOGETHER! We'll both be at the same school!
Baylor: And, Mollie, sometimes, if you have Mrs. Murphy, sometimes you won't eat lunch in the cafeteria. Sometimes, well, if you bring your lunch from home you'll get it from your backpack which you'll always have with you ...
Amalia: Always, of course!
Baylor: ... but if you get lunch from school you line up behind Mrs. Murphy. Oh! Mollie! When you are in Mrs. Murphy's class you will bring your lunch to school! Mommy, you better start making lunches the night before because you'll have to make TWO!!
Me: (smiling) Good idea, buddy.
(later on in the drive ...)
Amalia: When I am in last grade, I will be a teenager.
Baylor: The last grade is twelfth!
Baylor: In twelfth grade you will be seventeen!
Amalia: Yeah, and when you are seventeen and when you go to college, you look kind of like an adult but you are really still a kid.
(still later ...)
Baylor: (excitedly) Mollie, when I am in fourth grade I get to go through my second graduation! I get to graduate from fourth grade!
Amalia: (also excitedly) Yes! And then you will be a teenager!
Baylor: No, I won't.
Amalia: Yes, you will.
Baylor: No, I won't. Thirteen through nineteen ... that is a teenager. When I am in fourth grade ...
Amalia: (interrupting Baylor) No, Baylor! Don't tell me anymore! I want to be surprised!
Baylor: (taken aback at the very thought) But I was just going to tell you ...
Amalia: (in earnest but not upset) No! I want to be surprised! I want to be surprised all the time. And when I turn into a grown up, I will be surprised about that, too. I will look at myself and say, "Hey, I'm a grown up!"
Baylor: (persistently) But I wanted to tell you ...
Amalia: (firmly but kindly) No, Baylor, I want to be surprised.
(for dinner: penne with red sauce, strawberries, bread, milk)
Me: (as patiently as possible after repeating this phrase for nearly an hour) Mollie, please eat.
Amalia: (previously stoic, is now upset and whiny) But, Mommy! I don't want to get the sauce on my lips! It will make them all messy!
Me: (surprised at the turn in the conversation) Mollie, look at my lips. (pointed at lips) See, I ate all my pasta and I didn't get messy.
Amalia: (positively irate) Mommy! I don't want to look at your lips! I don't want MY lips to get messy!
Me: (giving up) Okay.
Amalia: (disgustedly) Ugh! That sauce is creeping me out!
(I couldn't help but laugh at that one.)
(also at dinner ...)
Baylor: (to Mollie and me) Do you know how angler fish get their food?
Me: Actually, Baylor, I do! They mesmerize other fish with their little light and then (makes a chomping motion with hands) they eat the littler fish.
Baylor: (concerned) But Nemo and Dory were faster than that, right?
Me: (smiling) Yup, they were, buddy.
Baylor: They live in the midnight zone of the ocean, you know. And there is not a lot of food down there. (after thinking for a moment) Actually, there IS a lot of food down there! There are things that live in the vents.
Me: (smiling at his knowledge) Yup, that's right, buddy. But I don't think the tiny little animals that live in the vents are what angler fish eat. I think they eat bigger fish, but there aren't so many of those. But that's why they've adapted to their environment.
Baylor: What does "adapted" mean?
(spent a bit of time explaining adaptation/evolution)
Baylor: Well, the angler fish could always go up to the sunlight level to find more food.
Me: Actually, buddy, that probably wouldn't work. First off, the angler fish has adapted to the darkness of the midnight zone so his eyes are very sensitive to any light; it would be way too light for him up in the sunlight zone. Secondly, it is very cold that deep in the water, and he probably wouldn't survive in the warmer waters. And thirdly, you know that water weighs a lot, right? (Baylor nods.) Well, the angler fish has adapted to all that pressure and likely wouldn't survive in an environment with much less pressure.
Baylor: (after thinking for a brief moment) Well, it is colder at night than it is in the daytime, right?
Baylor: So he could come up in the nighttime so the water would be colder for him. And if the water was kind of murky, then the moonlight ... because the moon will be shining into the water of the sunlight zone ... wouldn't show through and hurt his eyes.
Me: (smiling) Baylor, those are very good ideas. You never know, I suppose. But what about the pressure of the deep water?
Baylor: (after thinking for a much longer moment) Wellll, when the angler fish gets up to the sunlight zone in the middle of the night, the other smaller fish will see his light and come all around him and put a lot of pressure on him, just like in the midnight zone!
Me: (smiling) Well, there you go.