How I know apples are at the end of their storage life:
"Mommy, did you put banana taste on this apple?"
(Colin hates bananas.)
A while back, I encouraged Colin's independence in getting a snack. While I lay half dozing on the couch, I instructed him on getting out a box of crackers from the pantry in the kitchen.
From that one act of freedom has spawned a whole host of independent actions on his part. One day I found him eating crackers with a side of raisins. Apparently he had seen the raisins when getting the crackers and thought it made a more wholesome snack. Later on he decided he needed a container to put the snack in. After that he thought to get himself a plate from the upper cupboards, which involved pushing a kitchen chair to the counter and very carefully pulling down a ceramic plate. (He informed me he had been very careful. When I asked him what he would have done had he dropped the plate and it broke, he replied very seriously: I would have not moved and called you right away.)
All this led up to this conversation today:
Hearing a coughing from the playroom, I inquire:
"Colin, are you alright?"
I peek in and see him drinking water from a toy pump for a train set.
"Where did you get that water?"
"From the drinking water at the sink," Colin replied matter-of-factly.
"Honey, don't drink it. The water is okay but the toy is dirty."
"Oh. But it's my lemon water."
"Where did you get lemon?"
"From the fridge. I squirted some lemon juice into my water."
So cute! I love that he takes his independence both seriously and freely. It means that he oversees his own growth, at a good pace, within the realm of safety. A typical first-born child.