11. I sink I can.
My 5-year-old nephew was very interested in boats, and also very concerned that one can easily sink. He gave it a lot of thought (kicked everybody out of the room telling us that he needs time to think). After about an hour of thinking, he came up with a solution: build a boat that is made out of hollow sections, so that if one section is damaged, the rest could keep it afloat. He couldn't sketch it himself, so he explained his idea to his dad who sketched a plan for him.
I swear, he’s gonna be an engineer.
When my daughter was 2, she bumped her head on the corner of the kitchen counter. She grabbed some toilet tissue out of the bathroom, wadded it up, tore a few strips of tape, and affixed the wad of toilet tissue to the corner to protect her head. Baby genius.
13. The don't like me, but at least they know me.
My teenage son, commenting on my teenage daughter, as she was struggling through an emotionally-laden high school peccadillo:
"She is much more popular than I am, but she doesn't have as many friends as I do."
That insight has proved invaluable to me in parenting each kid.
14. Parts sold separately.
When my daughter was four, we were watching some children's TV shows on a commercial channel. All the ads in the breaks were for the usual rubbish toys oversold by unbearably cute kids and featuring excruciatingly twee fully-sung jingles. Over the course of, say, 20 minutes there might have been 3 five minute programmes and four or five of ads between each one.
Worried that she might want all of - or at least some of - the wares being relentlessly flogged, I asked her, "do you think you would like any of the things they are showing?" (continued...)