Conversations With A Four-Year-Old

Life is full of tears, fears, and cheers.  Hopefully, it is also punctuated with moments of sheer laughter.  This post has but one purpose — to put a smile on your face and inspire you to take notes when in conversation with any four-year-olds who inhabit your universe.

One of life’s fundamental realities is that one does not need to attend a comedy show to find humor — just spend time with your four-year-old grandson. Be patient and listen — with pen and paper, or recorder handy, because the quips and quotes will soon be forthcoming.  

Our grandson Luke is spending some time with us.  This walking, talking, wake-up call usually arouses before the sun rises, and ambles into our bedroom seeking cuddles, breakfast, or help with his latest Lego project.

There are days I think I have awakened in an alternate universe. In the 1950s and 1960s, Art Linkletter’s House Party television show had a segment called “Kids Say the Darndest Things.” Linkletter would interview kids and somehow get them to respond in such a way that the audience roared in laughter.  There are days I think I have become Art Linkletter in disguise? 

My four-year-old grandson, Luke, would have been a perfect guest on Linkletter’s show. Though he is no different from any other lad or lassie with four years of earthly experience, this preschooler’s observations are unfiltered, unvarnished, and totally unpredictable. Besides, I often learn something new.

How to Give Pre-emptive Excuses

Walking through Hobby Lobby, Luke asks, “Is this a no-touch store too?”  Poppy replied, ‘Yes, it is.” Spotting the toy section, he makes a beeline for his favorite — dinosaurs.  At which time, he decides to admonish his Poppy about his earlier instructions. “Poppy, if I look at a toy, I have to touch it.”

How to Seize Opportunities

Growing frustrated with his non-stop monologue, I encouraged him to slow down and stop talking. Otherwise, I good-naturedly suggested, I might have to stuff something in his mouth.  A smile crossed his face, and he quickly responded with a suggestion,  “DONUT!

How to Give Instructions

Wanting to play Hide-n-Seek, Luke explained how things were supposed to work.  “Poppy, you go hide in the bathroom, I will count to ten, and then I’ll come and find you.

Knows the Value of Hard Work

In January, Luke asked, “How long before it’s Halloween?

His Nonni explains it will be another nine months before Halloween.

Luke asks, “Where is my Halloween candy?

His Nonni replies, “Luke, that candy is all gone.”

Luke, obviously disappointed, sighs, “And I worked so hard for that candy.”

Understanding the Consequences of Actions

The week before Christmas, we bought a new big-screen TV to place over the fireplace.  We temporarily set it up in front of the fireplace to test its functions before hanging it up the next morning.  Luke woke up that morning and expressed great concern.  “Is Poppy going to hang the TV up on the wall?  If he doesn’t, how is Santa going to get out of the fireplace?

How To Serve Others in a Self-Serving Way

Watching his grandmother use her blender and prepare the batter for baking, Luke offers his help declaring, “I am ready to lick something!

When Specificity is Not Necessary

When asked which Christmas present was his favorite? He replied,  “This one and this one, and this one, and that one, and this one, and that one,…….”

How to Read an Unknown Language

As we are putting together one of the Lego toys he received from Santa, Luke points to the box and says, “Poppy, do you know what that says?  It says I really needed this.”  

How to Explain Accidents That Were Not Accidental

After playing in a mud puddle and getting thoroughly muddied, young Luke must be hosed down by his Poppy. When advised that his Nonni may not be too happy with his dirty condition, he casually replied, “Just tell Nonni that we had an in-c-dent.” 

An incident?” His Poppy replied. “What’s an incident?

He responds matter-of-factly, “Well, an in-c-dent is when you play in the mud and accidentally get dirty.”

Always Protective

As his Poppy stood on a ladder and started removing the Christmas lights from the front gutter of the house, Luke tells his grandmother,” Nonni, I am just going to sit here and keep an eye on Poppy in case he dies.”


Luke came home one day and told us a classmate, “Sally” hated him. He didn’t know why, just that she said she hated him.  The following day, we thought we better follow-up on this potential conflict and asked Luke how things were going with Sally.  He said all is fine.  “Today is Thursday and she doesn’t hate me on Thursdays.”

Recognizing Dudes

Luke to Poppy, “Hey, Dude.”

Poppy to Luke, “You calling me dude?  What’s a dude look like?

Luke to Poppy, staring back at Poppy as if stating the obvious, “A dude has a weird-looking beard!

Quite Observant

A voice from the nearby bathroom said, “Poppy, come see, my poop has the shape of a shrimp!”

He has Ambitions

Luke, what do you want to be when you grow up, “A T-rex Discoverer.”

How to Enjoy Singing

Driving home from a grocery store run one day, I heard a voice from the car seat behind me start to sing.

Oh, I don’t want to go.

Oh, I don’t want to go.

Oh, I don’t want to go.

Oh, I don’t want to go.

Oh, I don’t want to go.

Oh, I don’t want to go.

Oh, I don’t want to go.

After a few stanzas, I finally interrupt the young singer-songwriter.

Luke, what are you doing?

Poppy, I’m singing a song.  It’s about I don’t want to go!

Luke, where do you not want to go?

Poppy, it’s just a song.”

And to think these are but a sample of things I hear daily.  

Ah, the blessing of grandchildren.

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  1. cindy d

    Absolutely perfect! thanks for the smiles and laughs! c

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. Terri Patton

    I remember Art Linkletter! Love this!


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