I’m Going to Make a Mountain

I got a text, with photo, from April last week. It was charming, and cute, and humorous, and, quite honestly, a little bit frightening. Peter is on their back porch, playing in a large pan of damp sand. Here’s the picture and the message:

Peter is building a mountain and he said, "I want to make it out of a mole hill."

Peter is building a mountain and he said, “I want to make it out of a mole hill.”


Hah-hah, huh? Too cute. Frankly, it’s more of an Ollie! Mollie! Gollie! moment. This means that WHATEVER WE SAY, in Peter’s presence, whether he appears to be listening to us or not, is getting recorded in his head. And he will pull it out when he thinks it’s appropriate.

(Seriously. What do you suppose he thinks a mole hill is? And how does he think one goes about creating a mountain out of one?)

This means that every single little throw-away comment we have made, even from the other room, is now inside him. And every little piece of a song.

I listen to books when I’m driving. When I get sleepy, I sing, loudly. Recently, I found, at the library,  a CD of Peter, Paul and Mary. I so enjoyed singing along with it, loudly, alone in the car, that I bought my own copy, as well as their CD Peter, Paul, and Mommy. The “Mommy” CD was the only one I had in the car last time Peter visited. I played it for him, part of the way from Ft. Worth to Waco. The next day, on the way back to Ft Worth, he was asleep, but I had it on, a little softer, and sang along, much more quietly. When he woke up, I ramped up the volume somewhat.

April says that, in addition to using a mole hill to make a mountain, he played at lot of Animal Make-Believe Town.

He wanted her to sing Day Is Done, which she had to go online and purchase, and she says he does a pretty good job of singing along to Puff the Magic Dragon. So, in addition to Peter, April is learning lots of new songs, too.


Discipline your children, and they will give you peace;
    they will bring you the delights you desire.

Proverbs 29:17


Most of the translations on Bible Gateway say the same thing. Discipline. Some say “Correct,” or “Teach,” or “Instruct.” This “teaching,” “training,” “bringing up a child,” is not a sometime thing. It’s a minute by minute, hour by hour, every day sort of thing. Sometimes it’s a planned, structured event. But more often, it’s a spontaneous, unintended, or unimagined, situation. For the parents, the grandparents, family members, next door neighbors. We’re pouring it in, whether we realize it or not. And they’re storing it up.

Another interesting (and amusing) Peter story will require your familiarity with the preschool song “Eensy, Weensy, Spider,” (surely everybody is) and the extremely popular children’s picture book The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. (In case you missed that classic, this link is the author/illustrator, Mr. Carle, reading the book aloud.)

Several months ago, Kevin was working in the room next to Peter’s, while Peter was supposed to be napping. Instead, he was singing, and Kevin was listening. Peter sang:
“The eensy, weensy spider went up the water spout.

Down came the rain, and washed the spider out.

Out came the sun and

POP!! Out came a tiny and very hungry caterpillar.”
We’re pouring it in. They’re storing it up. And sometimes it gets a little mixed up in the meantime.

Last minute update: Peter just smashed his pinky finger on the sliding pocket door. David handed over the weeping boy, and I held him while David went to get him some ice. I started singing, “Day is done. Day is done.” Peter sat up in my arms and said, “Sing, ‘Tell me why you’re crying my son,'” which is the verse part of the song. I only know the chorus. So we put him to bed with the promise that I’ll learn the verses. Gotta go!

9 Responses to “I’m Going to Make a Mountain”

  1. Melanie Tate

    I have really enjoyed telling the mole hill story since April told me about it. You are right. He soaks up everything. I loved Peter, Paul and Mary as a teenager and have Peter, Paul and Mommy and the book Day is Done. I’ll share it with Peter.

  2. Kathy

    I love this one, Gayle. You’ve helped me to start my day with a smile on my face and a song in my heart…. and “POP!! Out came a tiny and very hungry caterpillar!” Thanks for sharing!

    • Gayle Lintz

      All days should start with a smile. This morning, David’s alarm went off (usually he wakes up before it does and turns it off). So, Peter was instantly in our room. And David went and discovered that Peter had apparently been up for quite a while. Lots of toys and books were lying about and he’d been to the bathroom, too. Who know how long he’d been awake and busy! And right this minute, he’s standing beside me, wanting to get out the play dough.

    • Gayle Lintz

      Thanks. Life with little kids is sooo interesting. And sobering. And exhilarating. And a little scary.

  3. Scott

    I always say that the most sobering things I’ve ever heard are my words coming out of the mouth of a preschooler. Luckily it’s never been anything too embarrassing. Love these stories.

    • Gayle Lintz

      At some point in Kevin’s first year of teaching (first grade), he called us and said, “It’s finally happened. Today I heard myself saying, ‘I’m not just talking to hear the sound of my own voice!'” Yep. The words we put in are often the very words that we wish wouldn’t come back out (and I never said that particular thing to Kevin; I guess a teacher, or more than one, must have). But, sometimes it’s the *best* things we say, too.


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