This is Roscoe, our younger daughter's new dog. He's spending the night with us while his family is away.
All this dying raised questions for five-year-old Nate. He's been asking his parents if people die too. His mother and father have been trying to explain.
The other day he announced, "I don't want to live to be 100."
"Why not?" his mother asked, surprised.
"It's too old. I don't want to be that old. How old was Grandma Dott?"
"She was 99."
"Well, that's too old."
Since Nate was just a baby when she died, he must have picked up the idea of "too old" from listening to what we adults have been saying whenever we talk about Grandma Dott's last few years.
Recently, Nate listened as his mother read a book to him in which objects fall overboard and sink. He asked, "Do people sink when they fall overboard?"
"Well, no, " his mother said. "People can swim."
Nate was silent for a moment as he remembered a frightening wave that swept over him and his mother last year at the beach. "The wave came and we went down. Another wave came and we went up. I was scared."
"Yes, I know you were."
"You made a mistake," he said sternly. This wasn't the first time he'd told her that she'd made a mistake by taking him into the ocean that day.
"Yes, I know."
"I am not mad at you, but I am disappointed in you," he said.
She laughed. This is something she and Tom would never say to him, so it's an expression he's picked it up somewhere else. Sounds like early 21st-century ParentSpeak to me.