Claire is hilarious these days, and she knows it. Every day, we have at least one conversation with her that deserves to be on the record, ranging from the thoughtful to the absurd to the outright silly.
This evening I overheard Ron and Claire chatting in the kitchen. They'd been doing math together, a process that is really more about Claire doing the math in her head aloud, as it is impossible for her to do anything silently. So she'll ask you, "What's 6+2?" and you might be tempted to say, "8" but don't you dare. Your entire role in the exchange is to say, over and over again, "What?" and prove that you are at least a mildly engaged audience for her arithmetic tricks.
After impressing Ron with her addition skills, she asks, "Who is the smartest one in this family?" Then, without even allowing time for a response, she offers, "I think I'm the smartest one."
(Humble, that one.)
Ron counters. "I don't know, Claire. Your mom is pretty smart. She might be the smartest."
(Clever, that one. And apparently interested in getting laid.)
Claire starts cracking up in response to his suggestion. Through the laughter that has her doubled-over, she says, "Mom's not the smartest one. She can BARELY read a book."
When she's not doing math problems for fun or insulting my intelligence, she's obsessing about the story of Christmas. She attends a church preschool, and they heard the story a number of times in preparation for the annual Christmas program. Only my child, however, could take the relatively simple storyline about the baby Jesus and turn it into a full-time preoccupation.
Christmas story, the pop quiz version:
"Mom! Who was the newborn king? Was it: A) Joseph, B) Jesus or C) Abraham?"
[A correct answer of B) earns me a beaming smile and a round of applause.]
Christmas story, the too-many-questions version:
"So Mom, was Jesus' real dad God? Was Joseph his step-dad? And was Mary married to God or to Joseph? And how did God get the baby in her belly? Did Mary have Jesus through the birth canal or by surgery? Why did they stay in the barn with the animals? Why wasn't there room for her? She was having a baby! Did you know they wrapped Jesus up and put him in the manger? Yep, because they didn't have a crib like Gage...."
[Look, Claire! Cookies! Shiny things! Presents!]
Christmas story, the confused version:
"Did you know that God looks kind of like Santa? He does. But he's older than Santa. And God and Santa? Well, they're both older than Grandpa."
[Quick! E-mail Grandpa. He is not, in fact, as old as God.]
We have a nativity scene that she is constantly rearranging like its better than a Barbie Malibu dreamhouse. We also have an Advent calendar that has 25 little doors behind which you're supposed to place small gifts. However, I never got around to filling it up this year, and Claire has so far been content just to open the doors as a way of counting down to Christmas.
This afternoon, however, she decided that we should put something in the space for the 25th, since it's Christmas and all. She opened her hands to show me what she though should go in there. It was the tiny nativity scene baby Jesus in the manger.
I think she might be taking the saying, "putting the Christ back in Christmas" just a tad literally.
But what would I know? I'm illiterate.