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Children and a memory (finally)

Posted Monday, July 30, 2007, at 8:57 PM

Feeling rather nostalgic this evening, so thought I'd share something I remembered today (a red letter day) that was worth telling, not so much for the content, but just to illustrate how literally children take things sometimes. It should serve as a lesson to all of us to make ourselves clear when we speak to children, so herewith follows another true Minnie story, I swear. It's one of my favorites.

My son was all of about three and a half, I believe, and it was hot, really hot, August I think, and he was playing outside (as children used to do in the days of old). He was a cute little guy with long blonde hair and full, rosy cheeks and huge blue eyes. I was inside, baking chocolate chip cookies (my Betty Crocker happy homemaker days, I suppose). He had asked me for a cookie on a mad dash through the house and I had said no, that it would ruin his appetite before lunch (we actually cooked lunch back then) and he, of course, was right out the back door again and off to do things that three year olds do out in the back yard. (Children took "no" for an answer back then). Soon, he came whipping in once more, terribly excited and proceeded to tell me how high he had jumped in order to grab a lower branch of the tree in the back yard. So, in the kitchen, he jumped as high as he could to illustrate just how he had done it, and as he did so, he slammed his head into an overhead shelf holding recipe books (they were VERY dusty, as I recall). It wasn't a life-threatening injury, but it hurt and he wailed and cried and held his head. Already hot and sweaty, he was really overheated now. I had just taken a fresh batch of cookies out of the oven and so, being the old softie that I am, I scooped a cookie off the cookie sheet and laid it in front of this crying little sweaty blonde and said, "Here, sweetie, see if this will help it feel better."

The whimpering subsided as I turned my attention to putting yet another batch of dough into the oven. Several seconds passed as I busied on and then I heard, between the slightest of whimpers, "Mommy, it's not helping." At this point I turned to see this incredibly literal three year old, with his platinum hair in a bowl cut of the ages, with his right hand holding the chocolate chip cookie, still warm, smashed up against his head where he had hit it on the overhead shelf. The melting chocolate chips were running off his head with the sweat.

I had, afterall, said, "See if this will help it feel better." Apparently, it didn't. It did, however, help me to smile for many years afterward.

minnie o'

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They're so incredibly sweet at that age!

My oldest child now has an adorable 3-year-old who reminds me so much of his daddy when he was that age. So bright and creative. My grandson told his daddy that the babysitter "won't listen to my words."

They're so far away.....I would give anything to be there to "listen to his words..."

They stay small such a short time!

-- Posted by goat lady on Mon, Jul 30, 2007, at 9:18 PM

You brought back one of my favorite summer memories...some years back while my family and I were winding up a wonderful two-week vacation with family at the shore, we took one last stroll down the beach - my husband and I and our five children. They started talking about going back to school and soon the conversation turned to "I'm going to get straight A's this year." Followed, of course, by the next child - not to be outdone - saying "No I'M going to get straight A's!" And so on down to the youngest. After some moments of thoughtful silence, my about-to-be kindergardener said "What will happen to me if I don't make my A's straight?" I'm so glad he asked.

-- Posted by qglenellyn on Mon, Jul 30, 2007, at 10:05 PM



-- Posted by bringwine on Mon, Jul 30, 2007, at 10:07 PM

My husband was always a quiet, stoic man, who didn't express his emotions much, but he was absolutely crazy about our three children. When my daughter, the youngest, was about five, I think, she loved to memorize poems. Every night before bedtime, my husband would tell her that he needed to hear his "puffin poem," so she would crawl up into bed and recite "There once was a puffin, just the shape of a muffin...and he lived on an island in the bright blue sea....."

One week, the kids and I were going to visit my mother, and my husband was staying behind on the farm. My daughter was worried that he wouldn't be able to go to sleep without his puffin poem, so we recorded it for him.

It's such a sweet memory. I wish I could find that tape.

Now my 3-year-old grandson is memorizing poems, and I've bought the puffin poem book to send to him. I hope it gives his dad as much pleasure as it did his grandfather.

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Jul 31, 2007, at 7:08 AM

When my youngest child went to daycare for the first time at about age 3, I thought she would like to know what Mom was doing at work. So I told her that one of my jobs was going outside to put the flag up on the flagpole. Her question was, How do you get up there?

-- Posted by gardengirl on Tue, Jul 31, 2007, at 12:50 PM
Minne O'Pausal's response:
I hope you told her you slithered up that pole inch by inch because, even though it was a grueling experience day to day, you performed your duties in order to put food on the table, lest she ever experience a pang of hunger. They need to know the effort we put forth every once in awhile, you know.

Dang, I missed that chance; but I was probably still consumed with guilt at leaving her with someone else. About that same time, I called the sitter from work one day to say I was going to be late, and she told my little girl that I was tied up and couldn't pick her up for a while. The poor baby started crying and wanted to know who tied me up.

-- Posted by gardengirl on Wed, Aug 1, 2007, at 9:48 AM

One of our high school teachers once was put in as a grade school music teacher, and she really loved it - however, she soon learned a big lesson, when she had a group of kindergarteners. She said, "Good morning, children, take your seats." They all picked up their chairs and waited for instructions.

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Aug 1, 2007, at 8:07 PM

I made a similar mistake with a first grader who told a tale not to be believed and I consequently said, "Are you pulling my leg?" After his close examination under the table, he of course replied, "Nope, it wasn't me!"

-- Posted by bringwine on Wed, Aug 1, 2007, at 11:06 PM

My mom looked down one day and told my brother "you've got your shoes on the wrong feet". He replied, "but these are the only feets I got." Gotta love 'em.

My next door neighbors had a darling little grandson who came out to see me as I was walking my dog. He asked what kind of dog she was and I told him she was a mixed breed with mostly sheepdog. He said he had a dog at home and when I asked him what kind of dog he had, he thought for a few minutes and then quite seriously said "Vegetarian, I think." Not laughing was one of the hardest things I ever did.

-- Posted by Ducky on Sun, Aug 5, 2007, at 7:43 PM

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