I have a three year old. She is super busy figuring out her place in the world right now. Mostly that involves telling everyone what to do, whether it makes sense or not. It also involves pretending to be a “big kid.” She thinks she has these abilities that she simply does not have; like the ability to tell a joke or a story with a POINT. Here’s how her jokes play out: Miette: “Knock-knock” Me: “Who’s there?” Miette: “NO! You’re supposed to say knock-knock.” Me: “What? No I’m not. You said it already. I say, ‘who’s there?'” Miette: “No, mama. Say knock-knock.” Me: “Ok. Knock-knock” Miette: “NO! I say knock-knock first!” Me: “Ok, go ahead.” Miette: “Knock-knock.” Me: “Knock-knock.” Miette: Loooong pause … glare … sigh. Me: “What?” Miette: “Never mind. You don’t know how to play.” Her stories are even more baffling. They usually involve repeating back most of the words of a story that someone else just told but then ending it with something like, “and then the princess fell on her butt and she was dead. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!” In fact, she knows a bit about death, apparently, though neither her father nor I have talked to her about it. She is always pretending to be these made up characters who either die or whose parents die. Today she wanted to play her favorite game. It is the worst game ever. I don’t have any idea what she is trying to play or where the characters even came from but I play this with her at least twice a day until I want to peel my face off from boredom. The game is called “Alex and Lisa.” It goes like this: Miette: “You wanna play Alex and Lisa?” Me: “Ok” Miette: “Ok, I’m Alex and you’re Lisa.” Me:” Ok.” Miette: “Pretend you knock on my door.” Me: Ok.” Knock knock knock. Miette opens the door with a very adult, apathetic look on her face and says, “Oh hi, Lisa. Come on in” in the most bored tone of voice you can imagine. Then I come into the room and that’s about it. Sometimes we pretend to get on a boat but mostly it just involves me knocking on the door and her answering – bored. And she wants to do this over and over and over. It drives me INSANE! So anyway, today we played Alex and Lisa. I knocked on the door, got the bored face, and then she said,”ask me what’s wrong.” Me: “Ok. What’s wrong, Lisa?” Miette: “I sad.” Me: “Why are you sad?” Miette: “Because my mom died.” Me: “Oh. That’s terrible! How did that happen?” Miette: “The ghost came and took her to the dark place.” Me: “uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…” Miette: “She’s never coming back.” Me: ~blink~ ~blink~ Miette: “Don’t worry. I made cake!” Me: ~blink~ What?! What does this even mean? Gavin never talked about mommy dying! Well, actually, he did have an imaginary friend that he killed off. His name was Jake and he lived in Germany. He was around for months when Gavin was three. Then one day he stopped talking about Jake and started talking about his new friend, Jeffrey. I asked him what happened to Jake and he said, “Jake died.” Me: “Oh no. I’m sorry to hear that. How did he die?” Gavin: “He died in his body.” Me: “Oh. Ok.” Gavin: “Now Jeffrey’s here. Jeffrey has a car.” Awesome. I have photographed a lot of hilarious little toddlers lately. They are a handful to work with but can also be really fun. Here are a few from some recent shoots as well as some of their older siblings. I am particularly fond of this first one. These kids went from smiling to bawling in a split second. They just lost their little minds. Right behind me were about 8 adults who were laughing hysterically. It was pretty funny.