In May of 2009 I sat down with my older son, who was then about 3 1/2, and conducted a little interview. I'd seen the questions online somewhere and thought it seemed like a neat way to document what my kid thought of me at the time. The results were amusing, but although I had good intentions of doing these questions every year to see how the answers changed, I guess I got distracted by something shiny. Or perhaps my memory of how difficult it was to extract his answers was still too sharp.
I finally revisited our little quiz the other day, and I thought I'd share it with you in case you feel moved to give it a try in your own household. The boy is now 6 years old, and here's what he has to say today (along with his original responses):
What is something I always say to you?
3yo Riley: “Uhhhhh. Mommy.” “Yes?” “Mommy.” “Oh, you’re saying I say ‘Mommy’ to you all the time?” “Uhhhh. Can you turn Curious George back on?” “No, seriously, this will only take a couple minutes.” “Hmmph.”
6yo Riley: "You say ... I need to clean up my room and the carpet room."
What makes me happy?
3yo Riley: “Notes.” “Like notes you write to me?” “Yeah.”
6yo Riley: "When I hug you. And that makes me feel happy too. I like how soft you are." (pats my arm)
What makes me sad?
3yo Riley: “I don’t know.”
6yo Riley: "When I don't do what you say. Or when Dylan won't give you kisses and you pretend like you're crying. But you're just kidding."
How do I make you laugh?
3yo Riley: “Tickling me.”
6yo Riley: "When you make a joke at me. Like when you pretend to be a bear and you say RRRAAAWWRRR."
What do you think I was like as a child?
3yo Riley: “I don’t know.” “Well, happy, angry, funny, hungry—” “Yeah! Hungry.”
6yo Riley: "You had fun. You probably liked to play games with your mom and your dad."
How old am I?
3yo Riley: (holds up three fingers) “Three?” “Yeah, three. Mommy, how many pounds are you?” “Next question!”
6yo Riley: "Thirty-seven."
How tall am I?
3yo Riley: “This tall.” (raises arms above his head)
6yo Riley: "About this long." (holds arms far apart.) "I don't know. You're pretty tall."
What is my favorite thing to do?
3yo Riley: “Color.”
6yo Riley: "Play games with me."
What do I do when you’re not around?
3yo Riley: “Um, I don’t know."
6yo Riley: "Read your book. Work on your computer. Uh. Yeah, that's about it."
If I become famous, what will it be for?
3yo Riley: “I don’t know.”
6yo Riley: "For writing. Because you're the best writer in the world, I think. No other writer is gooder than you, right?" (Wrong, but I like where you're going with this, kid.)
What am I really good at?
3yo Riley: “Chasing me.”
6yo Riley: "Doing your computer. Oh! And killing flies with one swap of the fly swapper."
What am I not really good at?
3yo Riley: “Uhhhhh.” My husband: “Taking out the trash!” Riley: “Yeah, taking out the trash.”
6yo Riley: "You're a little bit bad at not getting a ticket from a policeman." (Jesus, a person gets ONE speeding ticket in their children's presence ...)
What is my job?
3yo Riley: “You go in the excavator.” (?)
6yo Riley: "Your job is to write three articles a day and for doing that you get a check every month."
What is my favorite food?
3yo Riley: “Hmmm. Chicken?”
6yo Riley: "Daddy's steaks that he makes. You say oh, that's the BOMB. I heard you say that a couple times."
What makes you proud of me?
3yo Riley: “About watching me when I’m watching Curious George.” (Uhhh, okay.)
6yo Riley: "Because you're nice to me a lot. You only get mad at me once in a while."
What makes me proud of you?
3yo Riley: “When I clean the toys up.”
6yo Riley: "For cleaning up my room without making you say. When I'm a good big brother. Also when I pick flowers for you."
What do you and I do together?
3yo Riley: “Get marshmallows tomorrow. Hey! Can we do that?”
6yo Riley: "We read books about mouses. We do P.E. together, like jump jump jump." (jumps around for a while distractedly) "We shoot the BB gun target."
How are we the same?
3yo Riley: “You look like me, your eyes are the same as me.”
6yo Riley: "Well, you're a girl and I'm a boy. I have short hair and you have longer hair. But wait a minute, we both have shirts like this!" (points to my sleeveless shirt) "Maybe tomorrow you could wear one and I could wear one."
How are you and I different?
3yo Riley: “Your hair looks funny.”
6yo Riley: "Because you're big and I'm a little kid."
How do you know that I love you?
3yo Riley: “I don’t know.” “Maybe like at bedtime when I tell you I love you?” “Yeah! At night night time.”
6yo Riley: "Because you're a mom. Moms always love kids. Even if they're babies and they poop all over, they still love them!"
What is one thing you wish you could change about me?
3yo Riley: “I don’t know. CAN I WATCH CURIOUS GEORGE NOW.”
6yo Riley: "I would like to change you into a kid like me. So we could play together with toys. You could share my airplane!"
What do you wish you could go and do with me?
3yo Riley: “Go get marshmallows.”
6yo Riley: "I wish we could do Mommy and Riley day when we get ice cream together. I like those days."
It was fun to look back on these answers. I'll definitely have to do it again in a couple years. Have you ever tried something like this with your own kids?