The subject of leprechauns came up at my house this morning. "If you catch one," I informed wide-eyed Gert, "you'll get three wishes. You can wish for any three things you want!"
Gert didn't miss a beat. She clearly not only grasped the concept of wishing for things, but the idea of a leprechaun granting them was no further fetched than any other genetic aberration we foist on kids during the holidays. She was game.
Gert told me, "I would wish for," and she held up her fingers to count them off, "a baby. And money. And a lamb chop."
A baby, okay. Gert's been on a crusade for a younger sibling for many months, so this one comes up a lot. She frequently asks me if I have a baby in my tummy, which is most awkward when we're in the presence of other people who are expecting us to have another one, and they always seem a bit let down when I tell Gert no.
Money. That seemed a bit sophisticated. I wondered if her sister had been coaching her.
But what the hell. A lamb chop! I asked her why she would wish for a lamb chop, and her reply was just as cryptic. "Because my old lamb chop I would give back to the baby and I would wish for a new one for me."
I told her those were very nice wishes and I hoped she got to see a leprechaun today.
Several minutes later, it occurred to me what she was talking about. Not lamb chop. Not Lambchop. Lamb Chop! Like the stuffed version her grandma had recently given her, which presumably would be handed down to the new baby when the leprechaun came through. So she'd need a spare. Duh.
Holidays make so much more sense when you think like a three-year-old.