Sunday, May 19, 2013

Leo's Third Birthday Interview

Fair warning, this video is over thirteen minutes long and Zoe shrieks through the first couple minutes.  He doesn't quite get his groove back after his nap and the squeaky table and Talula snoring can be distracting.  You are under no obligation to watch it.

Personally, I love it - but I'm his mom, I have to love it.  Some of his answers really surprised me.  I was also impressed at how seriously he took it - I mean, I know he's a serious kid, but man.  He really was committed.  I've included a transcript with brief commentary (in parenthesis) below.  I really hope we can do this every year from here on out.

Me: First of all, Happy Birthday, Sir.
Leo: Happy Birthday
Me: Thank you.  What's your name?
Leo: Leo
Me: And how old are you today?
Leo: Three (baby shrieking)
Me: How old?
Leo: Three.
Me: Three? Congratulations. Let's see, I have some questions I'd like to ask you. Who is your best friend?
Leo: Etta
Me: Oh, she's a good friend.  What's your favorite thing to do?
Leo: I don't like roller coasters.
Me: Ok, so that's NOT your favorite thing.  What is your favorite thing? What do you like to do?
Leo: I like to hang on trees.
Me: That's a good thing to do.  What's your favorite color?
Leo: Pink.
Me: It that why you have those pink balloons?
(Leo nods)
Me: That's pretty awesome. What's your favorite food?
Leo: Cauliflower, broccoli, and hot dogs. (baby shrieking)
Me: Cauliflower, broccoli and hot dogs? Alright. And, What do you like to do with your family?
Leo: I like to play
Me: That's fun. What do you like to play with them?
Leo: Frisbee
Me: Oh, that's fun. What's your favorite toy?
Leo: Bears
Me: Yeah?
Leo: My soft bears
Me: Your soft bears. That's a pretty cool toy. What would you like to be when you grow up?
Leo: A mom so I can have lattes. (He told me this once a few weeks ago, very earnestly, and I laughed so hard that now it's his go-to answer for this question.)
Me: (Laughing) You wanna be a mom, so you can have a latte.  What kind of job do you think you might like to do?
Leo: Mmm, maybe I wanna do a dumper truck job.
Me: That would be a cool job.
Leo: Or a digger truck.
Me: Right, so you could be a mom who drives a dumper truck or a digger truck.
Leo: Whatever truck I want.
Me: Great. What makes you happy?
Leo: Smiling faces
Me: Smiling faces make you happy? What makes you sad?
Leo: Not smiling faces
Me: That's good.  What's your favorite tv show?
Leo: Go, Diego, Go
Me: Oh, that's a good one.  What's your favorite book?
Leo: The Wild Things
Me: The Wild Things. That's a good one too. What's your favorite thing to learn about?
Leo: Sssrr, rock- outer space rocksh - spaceships.
Me: whoa, that's interesting. What has been your favorite part of your birthday so far?
Leo: The cake. (At this point he had only had pancakes with whipped cream - but I'm glad he really thought it was cake!)
Me: Oh yeah? (Laughing) That was pretty good. What's your favorite place to go?
Leo: To the playground.
Me: Oh that's a good place to go. What's your favorite treat?
Leo: Gummy bunnies.
Me: Gummy bunnies. That's a good one. What do you think about before you fall asleep?
Leo: I don't know
Me: When it's bedtime and you're about to fall asleep, what do you like to think about?
Leo: Dreams
Me: You like to think about what you are going to dream?
Leo: What am I gonna dream about
Me: What are you gonna dream about? That's a good thing to think about.
Leo: I say, i'm gonna dream about...the farm that we go to.
Me: I can't hear you with the balloon, can you move it for me?
Leo: yeah
Me: You dream about a farm?
Leo: yeah
Me: The farm you're gonna go to
Leo: yeah
Me: That's pretty cool
Leo: And going to Sesame Place
Me: Oh and going to Sesame Place. That's fun to think about.
Leo: yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yes, yeah. Can we go to sesame place?
Me: I bet we can one day.
Leo: Ok, ok mama. ok, can you hear me?
Me: No, I can't.
Leo: why? (Clearly, this is starting to devolve...)
Me: Can you let the ballon go until we are done with the questions and then you can play with the balloon?  Just a few more I think. Let's see.  What is your favorite animal?
Leo: The cows.  But I don't like them when they say moo because they wake you...
Me: Oh yeah.
Leo: Because I won't wake up when the rooster crow.
Me: Can you let go of it just until we are done with the interview please? Because i really want to be able to hear your answers.
Leo: Why?
Me: Because I like what you have to say.
Leo: Come on, come on.
Me: Come on.  Ok, do you want to take a little break and we can finish the interview later, maybe around dinner time?
Leo: Yep
Me: Ok, thank you for taking the time to answer some of these questions.  I love you.
Leo: I love you, too. I want to have this milk for my breakfixt ok? I want to have it with my breakfixt ok?
Me: Ok, we'll save it for your breakfast.
Leo: Ok
(Nap Break - he comes back still half asleep.)
Me: Do you remember what question we were on for your interview? Let me scoot you in.
Leo: I don't know
Me: I think i was asking what your favorite animal is.  What's your favorite animal?
(pregnant pause)
Leo: I need to go potty
Me: Oh, ok. (Laughing) Let me just pause this for us for a moment.
(Potty Break)
Me: Where were we?
Leo: I don't know.
Me: I think iw as about to ask you what your favorite animal is. What is your favorite animal?
Leo: All kind of stuff.  Like the animal of a bug.
Me: Oh yeah.
Leo: I like to watch bugs all the time when they crawl.
Me: That's pretty cool. What other animals do you like?
Leo: Ladybugs, I like certain kinds of bugs.
Me: Thirteen kinds of bugs? Wow.
(Leo nods yes, but his eyes say, "No, that's not what I said at all.")
Me: Ok
Leo: Ladybugs
Me: So lets go on to the next question then. What are you really good at?
Leo: Exercising
Me: Oh yeah.  I didn't know that about you. What is your favorite movie?
Leo: I don't know.
Me: Have you ever seen a movie?
Leo: I did.
Me: Have you ever seen one you really liked?
Leo: A grown up show
Me: A grown up show? What was it? (pause) I know you've seen some movies. I know you've seen Finding Nemo and Toy Story and Dumbo and Monsters Inc. Which was your faovirte?
Leo: Monsters Inc.
Me: That's a good choice. What is your favorite song?
Leo: The ABCD
Me: That's a good song. Hmmm, and What's your favorite thing to wear?
Leo: Collar
Me: You like to have a collar. You like to either have a polo or button down shirt. What about  for bottoms? What kind of bottoms do you like? (The reason I asked the follow up is because his signature look is a button down shirt with sweatpants.  Fashion forward.)
Leo: Bottoms like?
Me: Do you like to wear shorts, do you like to wear jeans, courdoroys, sweat pants?
Leo: Socks, a lot.
Me: Socks are good to wear on the bottom half of your body. That's good.  Mmm, If you hd a thousand dollars what would you buy?
Leo: Cereal
Me: That would buy a lot of cereal. If you had one wish what would you wish for?
Leo: I don't know, a ballon or something?
Me: That's a good wish. What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Leo: I want to pick my legs up and sit like this.
Me: Ok, do you want me to scoot you back just a touch?
Leo: Um a little bit more
Me: A little bit more, all right, there you go. Did you hear my question? What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Leo: Mint
Me: Really? Ok.  Who's your hero?
Leo: I don't have any heros.
Me: You don't any heros? Ok. I guess you could be your own hero.
Leo: Well, I'm not my - a hero.
Me: I think you're kind of a hero.  Daddy's my hero... and you are my hero.
Leo: No I'm not.
Me: Do you have any nick names?
Leo: No nick names for me.  I don't like nick names.
Me: And, Who teaches you lots of things?
Leo: I don't have, I don't go to school.
Me: No, but does anyone teach you things?
Leo: *cough, cough, cough*
Me: Great job covering your mouth.
Leo: *cough cough cough cough*
Me: No? What can you do now that you couldn't do when you were little? Is there anything you've learned to do this year that you couldn't do when you were little?
Leo: Uh, no.
Me: Nothing? Is there anything you can do that Zoe can't do? You can walk for one thing.  That's one thing you've learned.  You couldn't do that when you were very little. You've learned to climb to the top fo the jungle gym. You can go down the big slide. You've learned lots of things.  I'm really proud of you.
Leo: What's a jungle gym?
Me: Jungle gym, it's like at the play ground, that thing that you climb.  We call that a jungle gym.  Don't you call it a jungle gym? What do you call it?
Leo: I call it something else. I call it, I call it the steps.
Me: Oh the steps
Leo: For to go up the slide.  Can we go to Clark Park?
Me: You want to go to Clark Park next?
Leo: Mm-hm
Me: I think we have enough time before dinner.  Daddy's going to meet us for dinner we just have to choose what we wat to eat.  We can have either burgers or Manakeesh, what do you want? (Originally, we told him he could choose anything he wanted to have for dinner - but after more than a dozen possibilities, some of which we didn't even know what he was talking about, it seemed like it was stressing him out more than a fun choice. Some of his possibilities included: fried appetize noodles - no idea, lasagna, grilled cheese and mac and cheese.  When he couldn't decide, he would pick on and then add a side of everything else - or a lasagna with everything inside. So we narrowed the options down for him.)
Leo: Manakeesh for my birthday, but dinner
Me: Ok, well then let's go to Clark Park.  Anything else you want to say for your birthday interview?
Leo: I think I want to... make a soup for my last dinner, birthday dinner.
Me: You think you want to make a soup? We could stay home and make soup instead of going to Manakeesh. Which do you want?
Leo: Manakeesh
Me: Ok, well maybe we can make soup tomorrow. We are going to have dinner every night even if it's not someone's birthday. And the truth is you get to choose a lot what we have for dinner.  So, we'll keep soup on the docket.  I love you, happy birthday.
Leo: Happy birthday.

(One question I would ask for next time would be: What is your biggest fear?  I asked him this today and he said, "The Wild Things.")


  1. I want to eat him up! Thoughtful and earnest. My son is 17 months, now, and I'm so looking forward to this level of communication.

  2. Loved the video!!! Thank you for posting!!