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Archive for Monday, January 12, 2009

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Truth be told, kids really do say the darndest things

January 12, 2009

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Parent/teacher conferences are pretty low-key in our family, these days. Our first event of this type was an open house at my daughter’s preschool. The teacher greeted my husband and me, pointing out those areas that interested our child: music, animals, art. One wall was covered with paintings that each child had made of their family. The teacher took down our daughter’s. As she handed it to me she said, “I didn’t realize you have a baby at home.”

“We don’t,” I replied, staring at the sweetly off-kilter painting of “mommy, daddy, me, sissy, doggy, kitty.”

I turned it over. It was clearly labeled with my daughter’s name. She appeared at my side.

“Is this your painting?” I asked, and immediately I knew it was. It’s not every day one sees a 3-year-old’s face convey the series of emotions typical of James Cagney in a Prohibition-era gangster movie. I half expected her to shout “The jig is up!” and run out the preschool door.

There was no little sister at home, and no doggy or kitty either.

A friend of mine told me that when she was a little kid she wanted to impress an older neighbor girl. So she told the girl all about a late night TV show that she watched. Of course, she wasn’t really allowed to stay up late watching the show, and the show didn’t actually exist. She invented the premise and the episodes.

When my daughter was 5, I picked her up from a playdate.

“I didn’t know that you teach at Pinckney Elementary,” the little girl’s father said.

“I don’t,” I replied.

Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, “Pretty much all the honest truth telling in the world is done by children.” Maybe so, but children have also been the tellers of a good many whoppers.

Comments

TJ_in_Lawrence 5 years, 3 months ago

When my oldest son was about three, we were in the grocery store. There was a man there who had a significant physical impairment to his head and face and my son kept looking at him intently. I noticed the man and the way my son was looking at him and realized that shortly there would be a question or comment that would make me uncomfortable, so I tried to move along. My son started, "Daddy, look at..." and I interrupted him with some stupid suggestion or question. He continued to start the sentence over "Daddy, look at..." and I interrupted him again and again. Finally in exasperation, my son yells, "he's got pretty colors on his neck". I looked up and the man had a brilliant colorful tatoo on the side of his neck. I was so busy trying to avoid the obvious, that I missed the true beauty, but my son didn't.

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bndairdundat 5 years, 3 months ago

When our 31 year old daughter was around 2, and being from a small town, we were seated in a restaurant next to an African-American family. She stared to the point that it was becoming embarrassing, until finally, with a look of great understanding, she said in a loud voice, "Oh look, a chocolate mommy!!!"

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Deja Coffin 5 years, 3 months ago

My 4 year old is at the stage where she notices differences in people. She isn't mean about it and if you ask her she'll say God makes everyone different and different is okay. But that doesn't stop her from saying when someone is mooshy (chubby) kissy (cute) or other unique ways of pointing out differences. When I tell her not to say things like that because they may hear and it may hurt their feelings she just says, "why? Different is good!" It's hard to explain to a 4 year old that not all people like to be different when she embraces the beauty of it like nothing I've seen before.

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Christine Anderson 5 years, 3 months ago

My eight yr-old and I were waiting to cross the street one day. As we waited for the green light, he suddenly said. "Well mom, I've got it figured out. When a man and a woman kiss, the sperm goes from the man's mouth into the woman's mouth, and then swims down to her womb."Okay. My son had a biology encyclopedia which was geared more toward say, 6th graders. He knew the terms womb, sperm and egg. He knew the sperm and egg had to get together to make a baby, but I had not planned just yet on explaining HOW the two components got together.I felt forced into telling the complete medical truth. So I did. His first reaction was, "Ewww...."Then he smiled and said, "I'm gonna tell all my friends."

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mom_of_three 5 years, 3 months ago

My nephew was in 2nd grade, and he was asked by his teacher to use the word 'but' in a sentence. His reply? "You're a but-head." My sister tried not to laugh when she was called to school, and he did miss a few recesses. And yes, he has an older brother.

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