Just before Kate's nap today, she found a ladybug crawling around on the inside of the screen door on our front porch. She came to get me, excited to show me her discovery. She wanted it to crawl onto her finger, so I helped and we managed to get it to do that. Soon after, I said we should open the door to set it free, so I opened the door and Kate eventually managed to get the ladybug to walk onto the top step that leads to our porch. The ladybug didn't go anywhere immediately, so Kate picked it back up, turned around and headed for the house, saying to the ladybug, "we'll be friends forever." I laughed a little--and my heart melted--and told her that a ladybug probably wouldn't make a good pet so we should release it. So, we started the release all over again; she didn't want to let it go, but eventually she did.
Afterward, we headed upstairs to get ready for her nap, and I suggested that we read one of her ladybug books (she has a few). She liked that idea and chose Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy (really cute picture book), and we happily read that. The book begins with Ladybug Girl saying something, so Kate--I think looking for confirmation--said, "that's Ladybug Girl talking."
"Yes," I said, "it is." And then I went on to point out the quotation marks around the speech, and started explaining how those marks indicate that someone is speaking. (I believe that this lesson was just a tad premature--Kate is not quite three-years-old and can't read yet.) As I was finishing my lecture, Kate said, "whatever."
"Did you just say 'whatever'?" I asked.
"Where did you learn that?" I asked, trying not to chuckle. Well, it turns out she has heard one of her aunts say it (my youngest sister who is only ten), and a neighbour who is also ten. I explained that it's not very nice to say that, and she of course asked why. I told her that it's basically like saying that you don't want to hear what the person who is speaking is talking about (not that I can blame her in this case, though. I was boring her to death, after all). I have to admit, though, I was amused.
We finished reading our book, Kate correcting me when I made mistakes (it's amazing how kids can memorize almost every word of oft-read books, isn't it?), and then after flailing around for about fifteen minutes or so, as she was finally settling down, she whispered, "Mommy?"
"I love you right up all around the sky and back," Kate said, paraphrasing a line from Guess How Much I love You.
"I love you right up all around the sky and back, too, Honey," I said.
How--oh, how--can I possibly ever be depressed or anxious or whatever I am, when I have this wondrous, loving, smart and all-around wonderful girl in my life?