5 Things to Ask Your Toddler (When You Need a Good Laugh)

toddler laughKids of pretty much any age make great conversationalists, but toddlers have the most entertaining things to say, hands-down. Forced to choose between chatting it up with a roomful of well-informed, wine-drinking grown-ups and the milk-drinking, crayon-wielding 3-year-old sitting at a table in the corner, I'll pick the kid with the coloring book every time.

Out of the mouths of babes, as the expression goes.

I miss the funny, meandering talks I used to have with my kids when they were toddlers. Of course I love talking to them now, too, but those little kid quotables are beyond priceless. Completely hilarious. And believe it or not, you can actually learn a thing or two from a 2- or 3-year-old.

You just have to know the right questions to ask ...


1.What if? The point here is to kick-start the imagination, but you don't want to stray too far into fantasy land -- responses rooted in reality require more thought. (And it's cute to watch toddlers think.)

Examples: What would you do if you had a penguin/lion/alligator for a pet? or What would it be like if all we had to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner was grilled cheese sandwiches?

2. That's silly! This is a good one to pull out when you're stuck in a tantrum-inducing situation, like waiting in a long line at the store or sitting in an airplane that's stuck on the runway.

Examples: How about if I take off my shoes and put yours on instead? or What did we put in our grocery cart -- did we put puppy dogs in there? Did we put tractor trailers in there? Did we put Cookie Monster in there?

Be sure to remain unconvinced for a good long time. ("I don't know, those look like puppy dogs to me." "No, they're bananas!")

3. Really?? Only to be attempted around good friends and family who won't be offended, this one puts another adult on the spot (the kid won't be any the wiser, don't worry).

Example: Do you like Grandma's new "friend" Barry? Yeah? What do you think they do together, do they go to the park? Do they ... watch Dora the Explorer? Do they play with Play-Dough?

4. Seriously, what do you think? Sometimes you need a little perspective on a bigger issue, maybe which car to buy or job offer to accept. And kids make surprisingly good points (probably because they've got their priorities straight).

Example: Hmm, should Daddy work for the nice man who gives him a little bit of money but a lot of time to play with you or the kind of nice man who gives him a lot of money to buy you toys but only a little bit of time to play with you?

5. Can I get away with this outfit? You'll never find a more honest opinion on what you're wearing than that of a toddler (beware, you might end up wearing sparkles or pictures of turtles).

Example: Do Mommy's red shoes make you think of pretty dancing slippers or funny circus clown feet?

What questions do you love asking your toddler? What were some of your favorite answers?


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