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Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Thing(s) About Kids

  • Kids appear to want sets of toys. They appear to want toys in general.
But what kids want is small coloured objects of varying sizes and shapes to throw onto the floor. They need something to trip over, and crush as they run in endless circles around the staircase. These floor-bound objects, once in their desired positions on the floor, release childrens' ability to scream and exert excessive amounts of energy.

  • Kids appear to want to eat. They appear to be hungry and thirsty most of the time.

But what kids want is permission to sit at the table and reject food. They want to be assigned chairs which they then squirm in and say; "Joycie.... tan I go now?" They also want a platform within which to say; "I don't like/want/need that". While they are busily rejecting or dawdling over their mid-day meal, it's not at all uncommon for someone to ask the all important and pertinent question; "Doycie... when it snack time?"

  • Kids appear to learn the language that is spoken in their home/dayhome environment.

But kids come up with their own stuff, entirely. For example, just a few days ago, I heard a long, languishing tale about a "fodda dodda baw". I nodded and smiled at what I hoped were appropriate intervals, but I hadn't the foggiest notion what the topic of our conversation might be. I asked; "What do you do with a fodda dodda baw?" and was met with the type of blank stare reserved for the impossibly stupid. Then, by sheer luck, I received a helpful clue. Her brother would not be invited to share in the fodda dodda baw.

Then the lightbulb began to flicker: Father/Daughter Ball!!

Sometimes children do authentically learn the language spoken by their caregivers. This is usually a good thing, except when caring for a toddler whose first language is Spanish ; second language is Portugese; and eventually whose third language will become English. I nodded and smiled and "hmmmmm..-ed" so much in those two weeks that I began to appropriate a bobble head toy.

  • Children appear to be charming and delightful company.

And they really are.

Most of the time.


Mary K. said...

awww. My ver. word is immer. I hope you "immer" remember the charming-ness of kids.

janice said...

Eloquently put, as usual. I love kids. I especially admire people who can look after groups of them and enjoy it. You are a superhero - I used to have people like you to look after my child and was always grateful.

christine said...

SO funny!!!