Dr. Seuss had a way with words, even those he made up. To this day I don’t know what a Gertle, a Lorax or a Wocket is. My kids do, which is why their eyes light up when they grab a book.
The older one can read books. The little one can’t. Yet. He tries, but when he reads out loud, it sounds like he has a mouthful of marbles. Hey, it happens when you’re 1.
From those stories they read – and see and feel– come words that fascinate me. All parents are blown away by the things their kids say. Remember in parenting classes, or when your own parents told you to be careful what you say because kids will pick it up? I remember my mom telling me that and trying not to roll my eyes while she was still in the room.
But, alas, mom was right. Again.
So what’s this all to do with Dr. Seuss? Well he once said to “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” That’s sort of a kid mantra even if they don’t know it.
When kids open their mouths and words come out, it draws out so many emotions: Pride, fear, awe, inspiration. They can make us laugh or cry, shudder or howl.
We’ve been lucky (cursed?) with my daughter, who turned 7 this week. She’s been a talker as long as I can remember. My wife has a note somewhere with the date she said her first full sentence. She was 17 months old when she said “This is my not shirt.” Not Shakespeare, but I’d like to read what that dude was saying at 500 days old.
I remember Christmas shopping with her a month or so after her second birthday. She was talking like a monkey in a tree about wanting to buy this for mom, and this for pappy. Some gentleman in the store walked over and asked how old she was. I told him and he was sort of stunned. “Good luck with that one,” he said as he walked away chuckling.
That’s how it’s been with her. She says things that amaze me, just like your kids probably do. It’s not always correct, but she knows what she means and it is often up to us to figure it out. Last winter, during one of the rare snow storms we got in Central Pennsylvania, she had to get all decked out in her “inflated underwear” to stay warm. I got it, I laughed at the mistake. She cried because she thought I was making fun of her (So much like her mom it drives me nuts!).
Off the top of my head, I can still remember some of the great one-liners she has said. To this day, my all-time favorite – and one that could hold the top spot for a long time – came after the first couple of days of kindergarten last fall. As her brother sat in his high-chair to eat dinner, she dropped her fork on her plate, looked him right in the eyes and said “Brant, life gets harder when you get older. Just wait until you start kindergarten!”
The day at Disney World, where we to see the Fairies, and before we could go in, they had to “shrink” us so we were the size of the fairies. “Dad, they’re gonna be able to make us big again, right?” Her concerns, fortunately, were unwarranted.
Rosetta, Maren and Mommy
Sometimes they embarrass us. Kids don’t yet have that filter adults have learned, about what to say out loud and what “say” in your head. This summer my daughter traveled with me to cover a game for the newspaper I work for. I was covering one team (dressed in orange) against another team (in purple) at a state tournament on the other end of the state. We were going to make a weekend of it, stay in a hotel, return the next day unless we needed to stay longer if they should win (which I didn’t want to have happen). So we are sitting amidst all the fans when my wife calls, I give my phone to my daughter and she says, as loud as she possibly can, “Right now the team in orange is winning, but Daddy wants the purple team to win so we can go home.” No hole was deep enough for me.
So we all know kids say the darndest things. What are some of the best one-liners your kids have said?