Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Why We Won't Go to the Skating Party

Each February, one of Evelin's uncles hosts a skating party, but we almost always cannot attend because of the Maryland–Massachusetts distance and February is a bad time of year work-wise for me. (I think the one and only one I've been to was when Evelin and I were dating and I was living in Northampton.) This year, however, Evelin had a new twist on our excuse for missing the party:
Wish we could come. However, it is much too far to drive, especially with children who won't wear hats, refuse to wear mittens, scoff at socks, just barely tolerate shoes, think that coats are for wussies, and cry because they are cold.
It's true: The girls hate coats.

Thinking of "hate" (the word, not the emotion), Celeste had been saying she hates things a lot lately and it really bugs me. It's usually in relation to food ("Celeste doesn't want [black beans/Veggie Burger/carrots/whatever]. Celeste hate it."), but sometimes she says it about people or toys or the park or whatever. When it first registered on me, I wondered where she picked up that word from — probably from a book, but Evelin and I both have caught ourselves saying we hate various things when, in truth, "hate" is a much stronger word than is warranted.

Initially, I tried to redirect her to a word like "loathe," in part because it's cute/funny to hear a toddler say she loathes something, but Evelin rightly noted that "loathe" is a pretty strong word when what Celeste really means is "dislike" (and often she doesn't even really mean that, she just doesn't want asparagus/jackfruit/apricots/whatever at the moment). So, we've been trying redirect her to "dislike."

It's been a week or two since the height of hating things, but I think we got the point to sink in. She still sometimes insists that she hates something, but more often she says she dislikes or doesn't want it. The really cute ones are when she catches herself about to say hate, pauses and then comes back with dislikes.

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