If you have a child born sometime in the last six or seven years, then there is a good chance you are familiar with the book Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney. The book tells the tale of two Nutbrown Hares, referred to simply as Big Nutbrown Hare and Little Nutbrown Hare. Little Nutbrown Hare asks Big Nutbrown Hare, “Guess How Much I Love You?” and the book proceeds with each Hare outdoing the other to show just how much they love each other, using bigger and bigger measures each time.
I strongly suspect that this book has been a regular during story time at the preschool. For several weeks now, Hal has walked up to me and asked, “Do you know how much I love you?”
Each time, I have responded, “How much do you love me?”
He then stretches his arms out as wide as they go, pulled as far back behind him as he can reach. “THIIIIIIIS MUCH!” he cries triumphantly.
I smile in return and, staying true to the book, stretch my much longer arms in the same way and say, “Well, I love you THIS MUCH!”
Recently, we were eating dinner, just the two of us. He looked up and asked, “Do you know how much I love you?”
I stopped eating and smiled at him expectantly as I asked, “How much do you love me?”
He cocked his head to the side just a bit and then put his hands in front of him, about a foot apart, and said quite matter-of-factly, “Oh, just this much.”
“What? You only love me that much? That’s not very much! What happened to this much?” I stretched my arms out to demonstrate.
“Well, I only wanted to put my hands up this much. Besides, I’m sitting in a chair. I can’t put them out like this.” He demonstrated perfectly the arm positioning that he usually does but was unable to do at this time.
“But you just put them out like that.”
“No I didn’t. I was just showing you that I couldn’t do it.”
“Yes, but you did it while showing me what it was you couldn’t do.”
“No I didn’t.”