When Zion came home from preschool today I asked him if he had painted, played outside, done circle time, played with Valentina etc. (I learned months ago not to ask him what he did- too vague, and he'd just say, "nothing"). Usually this tactic elicits some information, but today he said, "No" to everything I asked.
"What did you have for snack?", I asked, feeling clever.
"No.", said Zion.
"No? What's "no"? I don't think I've ever had that before! Is it yummy?"
Zion got a coy, interested look on his face, but was distracted by his sister and I dropped the conversation.
Tonight before dinner he was playing at being a little polar bear and invited me to come pick up my vegetables from the CSA the polar bear was running.
"OK", I said. "Hello little polar bear! What vegetables do you have for me today?"
"Um, today I have...no", Zion said, looking at my slyly.
"No, huh? I've never tried no. How do I know which are the good ones?"
"The white ones are good", he replied confidently.
So I picked out some white nos. "Now", I said, "How do I eat them? Raw, or cooked?"
"Cooked", said Zion.
"So, how do I cook them?"
"Um, you have to peel them. Because they have peels on them! And then you chop them up (chopping hand motions)!"
"Ah, alright. But do I roast them, like cauliflower? Or sautee them?"
"You do not roast them. You put some oil in a pan and then you fry them up, like zucchini", he said enthusastically.
"Well, thank you, little polar bear! Do you have any other vegetables for me today?", I asked.
Zion nodded. "Yeah. I have...yes!"
The best yeses, it turns out, are black, and they too need to be peeled. However, you eat them raw. They are particularly good grated and tossed with salad.
I was totally charmed by both his cooking advice and his very first real word play. And it so reminded me of The Phantom Tollbooth! Eating your words in Dictionopolis, anyone? (For the record I was always pretty jealous of that bit. I totally wanted to be able to say what I'd like to eat and have it appear. And by "wanted" I mean "want, still, very much, right now". Of course.)