I am old enough to remember a television show hosted by Art Linkletter and called Kids Say the Darndest Things. Each week Art interviewed children, asked them questions, and played up their unexpected responses for his audience.
That show was entertaining and the kids were cute, but in reality the most entertaining things have been said and done by my children and grandchildren. Consider these examples and see if you agree.
When our daughter was three, she got a baby brother. At the time we lived in Edinburgh, Indiana, near Camp Atterbury, where military training took place. The furniture, windows, and hanging light fixtures in our house often shook as the military personnel blasted noisily away nearby. Our daughter knew what caused the shaking and was not afraid of it. However, she was terrified of thunder. One day during a violent shaking episode, she leaned over her baby brother’s bassinet and consoled him with these words: “Don’t be afraid of that big noise. It can’t hurt you. It’s not thunder. It’s just bombs.”
Our son often wore hand-me-downs from other little boys when he was a child. Sometimes the shirts were a little large and the pants a bit long so I often rolled up the cuffs and hems of his outfits. One day he and I were observing his daddy getting ready for work. His daddy had temporarily rolled up the hems of his dress pants while he put on his socks and shoes. As he started to leave the room, I noticed that he had failed to unroll the hem of one of his pants legs. I said to our little son, “Honey, go over and fix your daddy’s pants.” Obediently, he walked over to his daddy, rolled up the hem of the other pants leg, and went happily on his way.
Our two young granddaughters have a new puppy. This little animal has created lots of noise (and messes) inside their house. Our little granddaughters are learning how to hold the dog, pet her, and have fun with her without hurting her. One day the six-year-old was playing with the dog, and her mother noticed her trying to pick up the puppy by her legs. Her mother said, “Don’t pick up the dog by her legs. That may hurt her.” A few minutes later she observed the six-year-old again trying to pick up the puppy in the same way. She said, “I told you not to pick the dog up by her legs.” My granddaughter responded, “I’m not picking her up by her legs. I’m picking her up by her arms.”
One day our two-year-old granddaughter was riding in her car seat as I drove down the highway. I considered making a stop at the park so she could play for a while but I wanted to make sure she was dressed appropriately and I couldn’t recall exactly what she was wearing that day. I asked, “Honey, are you wearing shoes?” From the back seat came her reply, “No, just feet.”
When our daughter was about four years old she was playing hide-and-seek in our back yard with an older neighbor girl. It was our daughter’s turn to hide while the other girl covered her eyes and counted. Eventually, she finished her counting and shouted, “Here I come, ready or not!” Our little girl responded, “No! Wait! I’m not behind the shed yet!”
Note to Parents and Grandparents: Write down the cute things your little ones say and do. Both you and they will treasure the memories in the years to come.