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Interview With a One-Year-Old

I’ve always wondered what goes on in a child’s mind, a small person who can’t yet speak in full sentences. However, I am convinced if interviewed, a one-year-old would be articulate if he could talk and the interview might go something like this.

Me: “Thank you, Jason, for taking time away from naptime to talk with me today.”

One-year-old child (OYO): “No problem. By crying through dinnertime, mom will know I need to go to bed early.”

Me: “Your mom mentioned you are one year old.”

OYO: “That’s 16 months old. We kids under the age of two need all the months we can get to appear older ---, I know because mom is always checking some chart to make sure I am doing everything I am supposed to be doing at 12 months, 14 months, etc.”

Me. “How do you feel about all the check-off charts?”

OYO: “Um, it doesn’t bother me. That’s what a mom is supposed to do: She’s taking care of me and making sure I am growing properly. However, I do think there needs to be a measurement of how far I can throw the sippy cup. My friend Brian and I were at a playdate yesterday and we really kept the moms hopping chasing our sippy cups. We were competing to see who could throw the cup farther and I think I beat him by two feet even though his cup hit the refrigerator. His mom didn’t like that much.”

Me: “How’s the walking coming along? Your mom says you just started a few months ago.”

OYO: “I don’t quite have walking down yet, so I hold my mom’s hand a lot. Her hands feel so strong and warm holding mine. It makes me feel safe, you know? Besides she has an unlimited supply of cartoon band aids in her purse if I fall. That’s a cool mom.”

Me: “Tell me about your mom’s purse.”

OYO: “It’s a wonder, that’s for sure. I can hold on to it when I walk beside her if her hands are full of grocery bags, or if I need her attention, I pull on it. It’s also big enough to hold my snacks and water. She has everything in there, like band aids, tissue, crayons, small toys, wipes, and diapers. It’s like a bottomless bag of security. Mom seems to always have everything I need at the right time.”

Me: “Your mom sounds wonderful. What else do you like about your mom?”

OYO: “Well, I especially like her right shoulder. For some reason, when she holds me after waking up or when I cry, her right shoulder is always there for me to rest my head on. You know what is really nice? She doesn’t seem to mind if I get her shirt wet with tears or snot. Sometimes she even uses her shirt to wipe my nose. Yeah, her shoulder is one of my safe places.”

Me: “What was your first word? “

OYO: “My first word was flower, though it came out sounding like, ‘fow-uh.’ My mom started screaming and I thought I did something wrong, so I started screaming. Who knew my saying my first word would send my mom into a happy dance with tears? She started videotaping me for about an hour after that.”

Me: “Any favorite word of yours?”

OYO: “I just discovered the word ‘No.’ What a great word! For some reason I can’t figure out --- it makes mom frustrated when I say it; but I finally get to communicate without crying and tell people what I like and don’t like. It’s very liberating for me.”

Me: “What’s the one thing you wish everyone knew about a one year old?”

OYO: “That is a hard question. So many things are changing right now for me with my development and stuff; and it’s nice to know I have a mom who is my safe place when things get a little scary. I guess I would tell everyone to slow down for me. My little legs can only go so fast, I can only absorb so much, or learn so much in one day. Just slow down and hold my hand to support me as I continue to learn how to walk and then run on my own.”

Me: “Thank you again. Jason, for taking the time to meet with me.”

OYO: “No problem. I better go find mom. I am feeling hungry, tired, and in need of a little shoulder time. Bye!”

As I imagine Jason toddling towards his mom, I have a new respect for people under two feet tall.

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