Monday, February 15, 2016

Say WHAT?!

With the presidential candidates making fools of themselves, acting like little children, smirking, sticking their tongues out and na-na-nuh-na-naning one another on television, I am reminded about the year I addressed an envelope to William Jefferson Clinton and mailed it to the White House.
Each year on the Friday before President's Day, which was a Monday school holiday, I introduced the children to the concept of the presidency, briefly touching on positive rules and deeds that they could institute if they decided one day to become president of the US. They made a red/blue pattern with paper squares as a border on their paper, then wrote their names, and I wrote their uncensored comments on their papers.

Who is the boss at your house? What rules would you make if you were the boss? How could you help others?
The responses were as varied as the childrens' backgrounds: My Dad thinks he's the boss,  but Mom is. If I become president, I will give everyone a present/pony/puppy, and my rule would be no letting your brother punch you. I'd say: Don't drive crazy like my dad. My rule would be: make moms cook what you like.

It was a fun activity. 

Many years ago when President Bill Clinton's unbecoming personal behavior was being reported on TV and making newspaper headlines, I showed my 4 & 5 year old students a picture of him and asked, "Who is this man?"
They thought he was the doctor, the principal, the Pope, George Washington,  etc. Their responses were cute, so I posted them in the hall for parents to read.

I put a heading on another paper: What does President Clinton do?
The responses were priceless, and so I wrote them verbatim, and I sent them to the White House. A staffer thanked me and mailed a school packet of brochures and booklets.

Someone there laughed and laughed, I am certain.
Some of the 18 responses:

He stays in hotels and rides on jet airplanes.
He writes love letters in a big white house.

He eats lunch with girls in his office.
He talks on the phone to this lady.

They revealed every and ANY thing they had heard.
My colleagues and I laughed until our sides hurt.

One year I was nominated a Class Act Teacher. Tom O'Neal from the local NEWS station spent the morning in my classroom with a photo journalist. Afterwards, while talking about community helpers and occupations, I asked the children what a reporter or anchor was, and what that person's job was. I recorded their responses and mailed them to Tom O'Neal.
"My daddy says the news people are liars."
"An anchor is on a boat."
"Reporters report to their mom what their brother's are doing."

I love the innocence of little children who don't yet know about filtering their comments. They freely express thoughts, ideas, gossip, and opinions.

I think Art Linkletter was correct, "Kids say the darndest things." Do you know a little free thinker or tattle tale? Care to share?



Val said...

Heh, heh! At a funeral, my youngest son, then around five, rubbed his hand along my brother-in-law's arm as it lay on the back of the pew.

"What are you doing, bud?"

"I like your crusty elbows."

Sioux Roslawski said...

One of my third grade students hugged me and said, "Mrs. R, you feel just like a marshmallow."

Susan said...

Oh Linda, I agree with you 100 percent. Kids do say the darnedest things. Susan

Bookie said...

I think small children would show more manners and civility than what we are seeing daily now from folks wanting to "lead" the country. It is a sad day in our country with what I, so sad.

Donna Volkenannt said...

Great post, Linda. Kids really do say the darndest things.

Connie said...

Sweet and funny post, Linda! Loved the comments from the children.

When my son was about five years old, my father-in-law asked him, "Who is the boss in your house, your mom or your dad?"

Without hesitation, my son said, "My mom is the boss."
My father-in-law then asked him why mom is the boss.
My son said, "Because she knows where everything is."

Lisa Ricard Claro said... this post. One thing that has stuck with me is something my son said when he was about eight (he's 33 now). He was following me and said, "Mommy, why do your legs jiggle so much when you go up the stairs?" That might be the last time I ever wore a skirt above the knee. lol

DUTA said...

We all know the idiom "out of the mouth of babes" - truth from the mouth of children. This truth coming from children is innocent but sometimes brutally direct and honest. Sometimes it amuses us, sometimes it makes us freeze on the spot.

I was once having a bite at McDonalds. Near my table - a mother sitting and talking on her iphone, and a little girl standing and moving her legs in a way that kind of irritated me. "Are you rehearsing a dance move recently learnt?", I asked her gently. "Oh, no", she said, "I need to pee and I'm waiting for Mom to take me to the loo".

Pat Wahler said...

You will always hear the truth from a child. And sometimes the truth is pretty hilarious.

Critter Alley

Tristworthy said...

This shows how unshaped the mind of children can be. The innocence is evident. I find that astounding. Kids can come up with things that an adult could never figure out. Brilliant post!