Chatting with a six-year-old

In the barn today my little nephew got some hay inside his boots. He sat down and took his boots off to shake the hay out. Teasing, I said, “Pew! I smell stinky feet!” “That’s because I’ve got them,” he replied. He can be so funny sometimes.

When he’s not being a raging pain in the butt, making me wish I could coat him in Preparation H, we have some great conversations. During the course of doing chores tonight our topics of discussion ranged widely. Beginning with a chat about cousins he visited over the weekend we moved on to Nerf guns to bullets to gunpowder to molding musket balls to juice pop molds to him wanting an ice pop.

During the ice pop break we sat down in the sill of the haymow door and got to talking about pigeons, which lead to hawks, which lead to owls, then artificial raptor decoys to scare pigeons away. The conversation then turned to live traps, skunks, and opossums. Then I told him the story of when his mother live-trapped an opossum that had taken up residence in the barn. She didn’t want to hurt it, just relocate it. So, after live-trapping it, she put it in her truck to take it to a new location. And on the drive hit a different opossum that was in the road.

We talked about Hess trucks, my great grandmother’s chickens, the antique horse-drawn plows in the barn, how farmer’s did their work before tractors and electricity. Tractors and what kind of farm he wants to have when he gets big.

I told him how June told me that she missed him and Sissy while they were gone, which lead to me explaining to him how animals communicate with us, even thought they can’t “talk”, then about sign language, what deafness means, blindness and other disabilities. How people and animals overcome such challenges. About the deaf cat and the blind dog we once had.

We talked about his favorite TV show, “The Land Before Time”, dinosaurs, what we would name a rooster if we ever get one, and baby chicks. We told silly knock knock jokes; Knock knock. Who’s there? Water. Water Who? What are you doing here? We talked about what he played with his friends at daycare, what he did on a play date with his friend, and the party his two goldfish are going to have tomorrow night. (Therefore we have to be quiet tomorrow for Keenday, so they can rest.)

I love when we have these rambling talks. If he hears a word of a term he doesn’t understand he wants me to explain, which often leads on strange tangents. I enjoy these kinds of talks with him. Sometimes practical, sometimes silly. Curious and smart. Sometimes wise, sometimes wise-assed. Always fascinating.

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