Quotes from a three year old

Here is a random selection of recent amusing quotes from Elspeth, or conversations with her. Enjoy!


August 27:

Me: Ok, Ellie, you can stay up for another five minutes.
Ellie: FOUR minutes!
Me: Ok!

September 4:

I told Elspeth that her sister makes disgusting smells, and a few minutes later she said to me, ‘I’m making a disgusting smile!’

September 5:

After clearly watching too much Playschool: ‘Come on, you be a butterfly too! Flutter flutter flutter.’

September 10:

While sitting on the toilet, having been bribed to do so: ‘I’m just doing this wee for a marshmallow.’

September 14:

‘Oh, there’s a sandwich in the toilet!’

September 23:

‘We live on the Earth, and Mercury doesn’t have a moon, and Venus hasn’t got any water!’

September 27:

While watching Aidan use a screwdriver: ‘I’m watching daddy screw!’

September 30:

Ellie: Do you like beetles?
Me: To eat?
Ellie: No, to look at.
Me: Yes, I like to look at beetles.
Ellie: Well, there’s not one here.

October 16:

‘We don’t live in Australia; we live in K-Mart!’

October 21:

Ellie: Can I have chocolate milk?
Me: No.
Ellie: Nanny will say I can have it.
Me: Go and ask her, then.
Ellie: Nanny, can I have chocolate milk?
Nanny: What did mummy say?
Ellie: You can say yes!

October 28:

Ellie, sounding genuinely distressed: Oh no! We have to buy a new beanbag!
Me: Why, what’s happened to this one?
Ellie: Evie got sandwich all over it!

November 1:

I told Elspeth I would go to the gym later, and she didn’t realise I meant after Aidan got home. She demanded to come with me, saying ‘Otherwise Evie and I will be all bored and lonely!’

November 3:

Ellie: One of our fish died and we had to put it in the toilet. Poppy doesn’t put his dead fish in the toilet. He puts them on the grass so Tiffany [my parents’ cat] can eat them.
Me: Yes, but we don’t have a Tiffany.
Ellie: We could get one. Then when Luggy [our surviving fish] dies she can eat him.

November 9:

Ellie: It’s time to do a handstand.
Me: Um, ok.
Ellie: I don’t know how. Do you?
Me: I haven’t done a handstand in about twenty years.
Ellie: Oh, well, maybe when you’re a bit older you will know how to do a handstand.

Me: Finish your dinner and you can have an icy pole.
Ellie: I’m not dinner hungry anymore. I’m icy pole hungry.

On quotes

Throughout history there have been many memorable people who have done, believed, and said many memorable things. The passage of time removes context and intent, and we are left with quotes.

Quotes are pulled out willy-nilly by all and sundry, from prominent politicians to youtube commenters, and are used to explain or justify anything at all. They are often used in a fragmentary form, or with a word or two changed, or simply in context not originally intended, and these factors can change the meaning or implication of the quote.

And yet we still treat quotes like authorities. If somebody famous said it, and it has been remembered for so long, we seem to reason, it must be right. Never mind that somebody equally famous said something entirely contradictory!

But it makes life easier. If we are quoting somebody, we don’t need to think. A quote is a short-cut going straight from premise to conclusion, bypassing explanation. It is a replacement of reason and critical analysis.

When presenting an argument or a point of view, do try to make it your own. Justify yourself in your own words. It will gain you more respect, and will demonstrate that you’ve really thought about what you’re saying. It will also hold more relevance for your topic and circumstances.

Always remember that Gurdjieff said, ‘You must go on trying to be sincere.’ But Lowell said, ‘Sincerity is impossible.’

And you can quote me.