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When Layali Rules the World

Some day I imagine Layali will be something. That girl, with her personality and ever working brain, will definitely tell us what she’s made of. I am thinking philosopher or maybe lawyer, because she poses questions that leave me speechless.

Today it was all about meaning.

Layali: What is truth?

I try to come up with a response fit for a four year old, but she just doesn’t stop.

Layali: I don’t know what you MEAN, Mom. What does that mean?

Me: What does WHAT mean?

Layali: What does “Do you know what I mean” mean?

I have no answer. She just keeps moving on.

Layali: What is a lie?

Me: Well, if it’s not the truth, it’s a lie. (I am fumbling badly.)

Great, she changes topic.

The topic now is kissing on the lips, which is something our family does not do, but that never stops her from trying. Here in Jordan, upon meeting family we greet each other with a kiss on each cheek. Layali is getting nowhere with the kissing on the lips although she manages to kiss my chin, so she moves on.

Layali: Let’s kiss the way our family kisses.

Me: Oh? How is that?

And she kisses me right on the cheek. So I am thinking oh, yeah, good, Layali, you are finally getting it. However, it is me that is not getting it. She is expecting, no, demanding, that I simultaneously kiss her cheek. This is virtually impossible because her face is at a ninety degree angle from mine. She is still determined to give me that kiss while receiving a kiss from me. After a few more tries she finally gives up, but is not pleased.

She starts playing with a small toy that she got from a chocolate egg today. Originally, I thought it was a cat. So I mention her cat. Now it is no longer a cat, but a chihuahua. I say that it is not a chihuahua and she says, “But how do you KNOW it’s not a chihuahua?” Here we go again. So I do things her way and say, “You know, you are right. It has two eyes, it has two ears and it has four legs. It MUST be a chihuahua.”

For the first time today I give her an answer she accepts.


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