Raising Richmond: Me according to him

At three-and-a-half, our son JR is in this interesting phase where he’s old enough to verbally express what he’s thinking but young enough that his thoughts are often hilarious, absurd, and so cute you can’t see straight. Check out a recent interview I did with him–about me!

At almost three-and-a-half (on May 17th, but who’s counting?1), our son JR is in this interesting phase where he’s old enough to verbally express what he’s thinking but young enough that his thoughts are often hilarious, absurd, and so cute you can’t see straight.

So to celebrate this moment in time–and to indulge myself a bit since Mother’s Day is coming up–I decided to do a little interview with him. Specifically, an interview consisting of questions2 focused on what he thinks about me—my likes and dislikes, how we spend our time together, that kind of stuff.

It took us a while to work through all of the questions (turns out little boys aren’t always stoked to sit down and have a 10-minute conversation that isn’t about Legos or Buzz Lightyear), but I’m glad I stuck with it. Yes, JR’s answers were quite funny and sweet, but I also just really enjoyed hearing what he had to say about our relationship. It’s my hope to revisit these questions (or a variation of them) with him every year or so; I think we’ll all get a kick out of seeing how his answers change as he gets older.

But for now, let’s take a look at what JR had to say3 in what I like to call “Me according to him: The preschool edition”…

[q]How old am I?

[a]I don’t know. Five?

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[q]How tall am I?

[a]Seven inches (as he holds his hands approximately two inches apart).

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[q]What is my job?

[a]To take care of me and to go to work and pay money.

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[q]What do I do when you’re not around?

[a]When I’m at school you go to work. Or go to bed.

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[q]What is my favorite thing to do?

[a]Watch TV and snuggle. I want to do that tonight, ok? We can do that tonight, right? Say yes.

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[q]Where is my favorite place to go?

[a]A PLAYGROUND! To play with me.

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[q]What makes me happy?

[a]Snuggling and listening.

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[q]What makes me sad?

[a]When you fall down.

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[q]What makes me mad?

[a]When I don’t listen.

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[q]Who is my best friend?


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[q]If I had a super power, what would it be?

[a]Lightning. Ask me what my super power would be. It would be shooting arrows and lightning.

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[q]What’s my favorite TV show?

[a]Yo Gabba Gabba. 4

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[q]What’s my favorite movie?

[a]Lightning McQueen. 5

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[q]What is something I always say to you?


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[q]What is my favorite thing to eat?

[a]French fries.

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[q]What am I really good at?

[a]Drawing pictures of Spider-man. And making toast with peanut butter and honey on it.

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[q]What am I not really good at?


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[q]What do you think I was like when I was a kid?

[a]A bug. No. A little baby.

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[q]How do I make you laugh?

[a]By saying funny words. Hey, say a funny word. Say a funny word, Mama. Say it.

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[q]How are we the same?

[a]Because we both have the same skin. Dada doesn’t have the same skin as me and you. He’s dark and we’re pink.

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[q]How are we different?

[a]We’re not different!

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[q]What do we do together?

[a]Go to the playground and play. Sometimes we ride in the car to get Dada from work.

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[q]What do you wish we could do together?

[a]Go to the playground.7

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[q]If you could give me any present in the entire world, what would it be?

[a]Spider-man. I wanna get Spider-man for Christmas.

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[q]What makes me proud of you?

[a]When I listen and when I don’t suck my thumb.

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[q]What makes you proud of me?

[a]Not yelling. 8

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[q]How do you know I love you?

[a]Because my heart loves you.9

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When you get a few minutes, go ahead and work through these questions with your kids. You’re sure to get a few chuckles and some hearty “Awwwws” out of it. And dads, if you’re still trying to figure out what to get the mama of your babies for Mother’s Day, consider recording or transcribing your little ones’ answers for her to see on Sunday morning. I can’t imagine any mother who wouldn’t get at least a little misty-eyed over that.

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  1. I am. And sobbing. 
  2. The majority of these were inspired by an interview Linda did with her older son a few years ago; I just tweaked them a bit and added a few of my own. I remember first reading her interview with her son back when JR was a gurgling blob of baby and couldn’t wait to do something similar when he got older. 
  3. I thought about getting the interview on video but I thought I’d spare you guys all the outbursts of “HUH” and “WHAT? I DIDN’T HEAR YOU.” You’re welcome. 
  4. Not an inaccurate statement. 
  5. Also, not an inaccurate statement. 
  6. I’m actually REALLY great at spilling. Perhaps he misunderstood the question… 
  7. Thank you, Richmond Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities, for helping me fulfill my son’s greatest wish. 
  8. Fair enough. 
  9. Annnnnnnd POP! my heart exploded. 
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Valerie Catrow

Valerie Catrow is editor of RVAFamily, mother to a mop-topped first grader, and always really excited to go to bed.

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