Lifelong Learning: Grace-ful sayings

“Kids Say the Darndest Things” was a great TV show back in the day. All of my children, as well as all children do, in fact, say some great things as they try to “act grownup,” or simply because they call it like they see it. My two youngest daughters came out of their room after playing Barbies, and they were both just sobbing. They weren’t fighting or arguing, they were so sad, and they were comforting each other. I asked them what was wrong. They said that while playing Barbies something had gone terribly wrong. I expected them to tell me that “somehow” Barbie’s head or arm had broken off. Instead, Gracie replied, “Barbie lost her job and got in a car wreck.” I was so confused and I asked them, “Wait ladies, I don’t understand. When you play barbies aren’t you in charge of what happens to her? Can’t you just get her a different job with better hours and pay and a new car, and she didn’t get hurt in the car wreck after all?” Without blinking and with Madi shaking her head NO, Gracie said, “That’s not how it works.” They went into the kitchen to eat their snack. I’m still confused but maybe there is a message in there. Maybe we need to remember that life and people are precious.

We were at a family wedding a couple years ago. It was held out in the country on a small farm. There was a donkey in a nearby pen, and my youngest, Gracie, wanted to get a closer look. She got up about a foot away, and she and the donkey were staring at each other when suddenly the donkey saw the flower on Gracie’s dress and leaned through the pen. Gracie yelled, “the donkey is trying to eat my dress!”

Gracie also recently told me that even if it’s dark your eyes will “evaluate” to the darkness. I looked at her and said, “Oh, ok, well if not we need to ‘acclimate’ out of there as fast as we can.” She was filling out a pizza order at the dining hall at the college for Personal Pizza Friday. On it you have to list what topping you want. At the bottom it says, “Allergies,” meaning food allergies, but she put down “bug bites,” which I absolutely love. And, any time she sneezes she tells us she is having a “Relergical Action.”

One day out of the blue Gracie just threw her hands in the air and said, “I am so frustrated, I am going to change my name and start speaking ‘China’…” Not sure to this day what that was she was frustrated about. She caught me talking with my mom and dad one day, and my mom had asked my dad about something she couldn’t find. My dad says try the Lazy Susan. She waited until I was done with the conversation and said, “Wow, Grandpa and Grandma are really losing it…and that was kinda rude of Grandpa…Grandma’s name isn’t even Susan.”

Children are the best. They see the world from a completely different perspective than adults most of the time. As kids, we used to see things THEIR way, and I think we should try to more often. When it snows and I get frustrated about starting my car in the morning and brushing off the snow, or shoveling my walk, all my kids see is an opportunity to make snow angels. When they say something cute, I try my best NOT to laugh at them because they are telling me something that is important to them. I have learned a little trick to help myself NOT laugh out loud, as I really don’t want to hurt their feelings and I want to validate them. Try it. When they say something and you feel the laugh coming, put your bottom lip out and nod until the urge to laugh goes away. It’s hard to laugh with your lip out there and that way they see you nodding. It works most of the time.

All in all, kids do say the darndest things…and they should. And we, as adults should remember that we used to say similar things as well. We need to remember that our children learn from us, and try to copy us. So, the BIG message here should actually be, that we need to be worth copying. Have a great day!


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