America, a 4-year-old’s Perspective

The diva’s been to the States many, many times, but our most recent visit back to my hometown is the first in which she actually started to make observations about the place. Someone asked me once what it’s like to fly back and forth so often and after this trip, I was like, “You know, it’d be nice to land somewhere new and interesting after all the hassle that comes with a transatlantic flight. But it’s just the same as always.”

For her, though, being in the midwest was like being in a whole new world. It didn’t help that she got to meet nearly a hundred members of my extended family so there were all these new, strange people around. She also got to see and do a bunch of new stuff. Like kayaking. And hiking through a real forest. And sit in the car for hours. She talked her way through a lot of this strangeness, and it was fun to listen to a four-year-old’s thoughts on this place that’s so familiar to me, yet so alien and new to her. So without further ado, a few random observations on America, courtesy of DiT:

1. Toilets there flush too loudly and are super scary. Sometimes they even flush while you’re sitting on them. More scary.

2. It’s weird that people can a) look through a crack in the toilet stall and see you pee, and b) that when you’re done using the toilet, you can just crawl out beneath the door without unlocking it.

3. There are too many cows to count.

4. Tractors are huge. HUGE. Much bigger than this one.

tractor5. Random strangers talk to you and it is not okay.

6. Choices. So.many.choices. (Discovered in the Barbie aisle at Target. Fuck that store.)

7. You can buy noodles at just about any restaurant, but they call it macaroni and that name makes it taste bad.

8. Adults go swimming in their clothes, not in bathing suits, which is strange.

Along with these hawk-eyed observations also came a bit of new vocabulary auf Englisch that was kind of fun to hear. All those sayings I’d tried my darnedest to eliminate so that people would never know where I was from are now popping out of Diva’s mouth. Sometimes when she speaks now, I think, oh wow, that’s my mother coming out right there. Like when she said, “Oh my garsh.” Or even better (and not from my mom), “Oh, what the hell?!?”

It’s kind of cute and sweet, but as I’m all Americaed-out, I’m really looking forward to the days when I can send her on over to visit the grandparents all by herself — then we’ll see what new vocabulary comes back with her.

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One thought on “America, a 4-year-old’s Perspective

  1. Steven September 9, 2013 / 2:44 pm

    I agree entirely. There are definitely too many cows to count.

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