How to Interrogate a Toddler: a Sit-down Interview with my Daughter

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Anyone who has a child knows that young kids say some really funny and impressive things. Young children have a lovely innocence about the way they see our world. My kiddo is no different. Chatting with my daughter is always unique, and her unintended humor is refreshing.

She’s three years-old. Like all toddlers, my daughter has a lack of experience in every area of life and an entry-level vocabulary. The proper words to describe her explanations sometimes aren’t found by her, but her confidence in trying to verbally navigate her thoughts is absolutely endearing to me.

Yesterday I decided I was going to ask my daughter to sit down with me so I could ask her some questions. She happily agreed. I recorded our entire conversation, ensuring that my transcript of our chat is accurate.

Before I asked my little girl to sit down with me, I spent some time composing a list of open-ended questions. Some are questions she’s been asked before, and others I know were new to her.

It was my goal to have my daughter open-up about herself — telling me exactly what she likes and doesn’t like — creating a time-capsule of her thoughts at her current age of three.

This is something any parent can do with their child and I strongly encourage it. Not because I’m claiming to be a know-it-all, but because me and my daughter both enjoyed talking with each other and we most definitely bonded. Here is how it went…

Can I ask you some questions?! “Whaaaaaat?” Can I ask you some questions? (Daughter comes walking into my bedroom).

Hi! I wanted to ask you some questions! “Why?” Alright, first:

1.) What does it feel like to hug me? “Um, kisses.” (She then walked over to me and gave me a hug and a kiss).

2.) Where is Michael Jackson? “Uhh………. I think he’s at work.”

3.) If you could be an animal, what kind of animal would you want to be? “Um, The Lion King.”

4.) What do dogs do when no one’s home? “They Ruff.  Yeah, RUFFRUFFRUFF!”

5.) How come you used to wear diapers but now you don’t? “But, I don’t know how I wear them but I wear panties. But I was a baby, but I’m not anymore, but I was to wear them.”

6.) What is love? “YOU!”

7.) If someone says “you’re pretty,” what does that mean? “Um, Gam!” (Gam is my Mom/ my daughter’s Grandma).

8.) How come kids aren’t allowed to have coffee? “Um I don’t know but they’re too little.”

9.) What do you want to be when you grow up? “I want to grow up bigger so you can be small again so I can drive you.”

10.) What makes you laugh the most? “Um, Olaf!”

11.) What do mosquito bites feel like? “Because they’re itchy because sometimes they’re on my feet.”

12.) What kind of pasta is in macaroni & cheese? “Um, I don’t know but sometimes it’s messy and you get it all over your shirt.”

13.) What’s your favorite food to eat? “Um, pasta.”

14.) What kind of pasta? “Macaroni & cheese.”

15.) What’s the difference between boys and girls? “Panties. So, that’s why they wear them.”

16.) What’s the hardest thing about being a kid? “I’m not a kid, I’m a girl!”

17.) OK, then what’s the best thing about being a girl? “Sometimes girls are not kids when you’re a girl.”

18.) What’s your favorite thing to do with me? “Um, special.”

19.) What kind of special? “Chocolate milk.”

20.) Chocolate milk? What else? “Well, I like chocolate milk because I wanna drink it.”

21.) What do band-aids do? “When sometimes you fall, you get band-aids on your knees. They crust when your legs are feeling better.”

22.) Why is it important to have good manners? “Please.”

23.) Right, and why is that important? “Thank you.”

24.) But how come people say “please” and “thank you?” “When sometimes the pretzels are yucky.”

25.) Who is the President of the United States of America? “Um, Uncle Mikey.”

26.) If you were a teacher, and you could teach the class anything at all, what would you want to teach the class? “Um, to play with my friends when they hurt.”

27.) What makes you happy? “The Simpsons.”

28.) What do you look forward to when you wake up? “Stretch a little bit.”

29.) If you owned a store, what would you sell? “But I wanna get a store because, because, because, that’s why I have a few dollars.”

30.) What makes Daddy happy? “The Simpsons and Gam and Pops.”

31.) What makes Daddy sad? “It’s important and if you’re sad you want a hug.”

32.) What makes Daddy mad? “When it’s important when if you’re mad you want a hug.”

33.) How old are you? “I’m three.”

34.) So if you’re three years-old, how old am I? “Two.”

35.) What is your Daddy really good at? “When you run you’re hurting yourself.”

36.) What’s your favorite song? “I wanna go get a computer from at Walmart.” HA! You do? Sorry, I’m not buying you a computer.

37.) What’s your favorite thing that you’ve ever done? “Ummm, about my nose.”

38.) What about your nose? “There’s something that, I wanna talk to you about something.”

39.) OK, what do you want to talk to me about? “Could we ask some more questions? Could we ask some more questions? Could we ask some more questions, or take one away?”

40.) What’s your favorite restaurant? “The Go-Go Buggy.” (I have no idea what this is).

41.) How much longer until you’re an adult? “When I was a little girl, I wanna wear pajamas.”

42.) OK, but do you know when you’re going to be an adult? “When? Then I’ll come back here and ask some more questions.”

43.) Where do you think “The Purple Guy” goes at night? “Um, I just think he goes inside the building to see his family and to go to sleep cause it’s gonna be dark.”

44.) OK, this is gonna be the last question because I have to start getting ready for work. “But I don’t wanna go to work.”

45.) How come you like taking baths and how come you never want to get out of the tub? “Daddy, I’m sorry one time I pooped in the bathtub but it’s no use.”

46.) What’s no use? “OK, you go stay in here and you go get ready for work and I’ll just go play with my toys. I wanna snack. I want some gummy bears. Can you just make me a snack please?”

(End of Interview)

I will absolutely be doing this again and I will be looking forward to it — perhaps every year around her birthday. As the years go on, my daughter may be less comfortable openly conversing with me about whatever I decide to ask her. I understand that, but I am still going to do my best to stay open and close.

I want my little girl to know that she can always come talk to me and I will gladly listen. No matter how big she gets.

(Update: 2/23/2020). My daughter and I did a second Q&A, just two weeks later. Below is the link to round two.

Published: 2/7/2020. Copyright © 2020

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