There are sweet moments in a mom's child raising years, like the one I had the other day. My 4 year old came running to me in excitment, big ponytails bouncing off her shoulders.
"Mom! I made a rhyme!"
I stopped what I was doing and turned to her. "Great, honey! Let's hear it." I hadn't taught her how to make rhymes yet, although her older sisters could have taught her, so I was eager to see what she had learned.
"Ready?" she asked. Big-eyed, enthusiastically animated, and with a ring of chocolate shake smoothie still outlining her mouth as though I had rimmed her cup with permanent marker. How could I not be ready? I nodded.
Her: "Flower...and stower."
Me: "Um...good. Yes, that's kind of a rhyme. What else?" I asked. I begin to prompt, "Flower, tower, power..."
"Oh! Oh!" Her eyes lit up. "Head!"
"Uh, no," I laughed. "That's not a rhyme. Let's try another one. How about Cat? Cat, hat, bat, mat, pat..."
"WATER!" she screamed in excitment, jumping up and down like I had told her that I had thrown away all the vegetables and that sugar with a side of Equate would replace tonight's dinner.
"Mmmmm no. Let's try that again." I was determined to teach, hoping she'd catch on. "Let's start with hat this time," I say.
ME: "Let's do it again. Toes, noooooooose..."
*The tornado that swept up Dorothy and took her to Oz could have happened in this long pause while my daughter thinks.*
She just needs time to think this out, I tell myself. She'll get it...she'll get it...
ME: "Uh...no," I giggle.
HER: "What comes after nose then?"
ME: "Nothing comes after nose. We're rhyming. Try it again."
HER: "Okay! Nose and water! No, no. Nose and tramp!"
ME: "No, sweetie, that isn't a--"
HER: "Oh, I know! White bird, white flower, white cloud!"
*Clunk, clunk, clunk, goes the sound of my head against the fridge.*
Okay, she doesn't get it. Rhyming is waaaaaaaaaaaaaay out of her league right now. I think we have a LOT of work to do before Kindergarten starts. :)