On the surface, 4 year olds usually seem to have a pretty good grasp on the English language. If you take note of their reactions to common phrases though then you will come to realize that the translations in their brains do not match up with the words coming out of your mouth.
I say, "Your friend is sick this morning and is not going to make it over for our planned playdate. We'll see what else we can find to do this morning."
J Bean hears, "Your best friend is being sent to a Leper colony and you shant her again. Ever. Since your activity for the morning was cancelled, you will spend the day in solitary confinement."
I say, “You need to eat at least half of your oatmeal before you leave the table.”
She hears, “You will devour an entire box of Mueslix topped with Brussels Sprouts or you lose your birthday.”
I say, “You are getting a little upset right now, so I’d like you to go chill out in your room until you’re ready to come try talking to me without yelling.”
She hears, “You are a bad person and should spend eternity in a sensory deprivation tank.”
I say, “In a few weeks, you are going to get to go to Florida to see your Grandma and Grandpa.”
She hears, “Florida (home of Mickey) is going to happen soon. Not sure when, so you should ask about it every ten minutes for the next two weeks. When I say ‘not today’ you should throw yourself on the ground in hysterics as this will help the time pass quicker.”
I say, “Don’t write on anything but paper with those markers.”
She hears, “Don’t write on anything but paper with those markers… unless you really just think some marker drawing would make something prettier. Then it’s OK.”
I say, “Please share those toys with your brother, he just wants to be a part of the game and play with you. There is no need to fight over the cars, we have dozens of them.”
She hears, “If I’m looking, try not to hit your brother. If I look away smack him across the lips and take his shit. There is only one car you want and it’s the one he has.”
I say, “I love you, good night.”
She hears, “It’s bedtime, so we’re going to abandon you in your dungeon room for the evening and play with all your toys until the morning light! Mwuhahaha!”
I say, “Clean up your room, then I’ll let you watch a show.”
She hears, “Throw a few of your toys in the closet and push some under the bed and you can veg out on the couch and watch movies and eat popcorn until your friend is released from the Leper Colony.”
I say, “It’s just a small booboo, you’ll be fine. It’s not even bleeding, dust it off.”
She hears, “We may have to amputate.”