One of the things I loved about teaching was interacting with the children and listening to their explanations of the world around them. I always enjoyed hearing their stories. They showed a sweet innocence and their comments, while not always factual, definitely showed creative thinking. (The time was the early 60s, when I began my career in a two room schoolhouse.)
Here are a few observations from a child’s view:
A worm is never caught running.
I thought yesterday was today.
I’d like to be a giraffe so I could reach the cookie jar.
One day several kindergarten children were in the play kitchen. I stopped to observe them setting the table. They told me they were getting ready for “company”. I asked what they were cooking for dinner. “Nothing” the hostess said. “We’re phoning for pizza.”
Nothing is as funny as when our younger citizens misuse the english language through spelling or meaning:
“A ringmaster runs the curses.” (written by a fourth grader)
Seven-year old Brandon was shown a pictures of a saddle, fish and seal. ” Which ones would you see at the ocean?” “It only took seconds for him to think of his answer–“a saddle on a seahorse”.
After attending a wedding and then the reception, we asked a younger member of the family where he had been. He told us he’d been standing behind the conception line. We laughed all the way home.
The scene–the dinner time at a friend’s house–The youngest girl wouldn’t eat meat. “Are you going to be a vegetarian?” she was asked. “No” she said. “I’m going to be a nurse!”
Having just finished a course in the psychology of children’s art, I returned to the classroom, enthused about the idea of being able to pinpoint a child’s feelings through his artwork. With this in mind, I watched as young Jack finished a picture of his family including the pet dog…..but no mother in the drawing. He proudly showed it to me. “But you’re not finished” I said, suspecting some hidden meaning. “Where is your mother?” To which he simply replied, “she’s in the kitchen cooking dinner!”
One day I had a serious talk with my class, ending with “people need to respect the rights of other people” to which one child replied with “we’re not people–we’re just kids.”
They have great scientific theories:
This from a second grade boy (errors are left) “to measure oxygen you get something that will rust. Then hold it above some water it will rust Then the water will rise” I’m sure it made perfect sense to him.
During snack time, Sara spilled a carton of milk. Tim ran to get paper towels, but by the time he returned we’d wiped it up with napkins. “Where’d it go? “he said .” “It evaporated”, we teased. Looking up he said “I guess that’s how we got the Milky Way.
Ask what water is (liquid) a quick thinking boy came up with “water is something you can drown in.”
A boy wanted to write about money. The five-year old dictated the following–” I made 80 bucks in a year. I make 2 bucks a year. I can buy a gold watch. I can buy a cat. I can buy farm. I can buy a cat. But I need more money.” I guess he got the last right!
In the grocery store, I waited in the check out lane behind a woman with a small child who kept asking for a toy. As the woman began writing a check, the child again begged for the toy. The mother said no again and explained they just didn’t have enough money for a toy. “But” the child said, pointing to her mother’s open checkbook. “look at all those you have left!”
A father told me about helping his son with math: “What is 2+3? ” child counts on fingers, ” 5! ” he says. “What is 4+2? fingers again. “6!” Then the father asks “What’s 10+2?” “I can’t answer that” son says. “Why?” he asks his son. “Because I need 12 fingers to do that one!
These anecdotes were collected during my years of teaching. I’m glad I wrote them down and did not leave them to memory. So this is my advice to you. Record faithfully the memorable things your children do and say. You’ll be glad you did. I’ll leave with one parting memory. On a walk, my four-year old was attracted to flowers by the edge of the road. As she reached out, I cautioned her not to pick any. ” I’m not going to pick any”, she replied innocently. “I’m just going to pet them.”
Do you have funny things your child has said?………… You’re welcome to try to top mine.