Thursday, May 31, 2007

Sometimes “Kids Say the Darnedest Things”

Tomorrow I will be driving up to my son’s house in Lizella, Georgia (just outside of Macon) to spend the weekend at a family gathering – my three grandchildren being the center of much attention (especially Austin – it’s his fifth birthday). And although I don’t have to tell you… anyone who has spent time around children or is a parent or a grandparent knows that sometimes children can say the darnedest things. Some of us are old enough to remember the well-known old TV show, “Art Linkletter’s Kids Say the Darnedest Things.” Some of the more memorable ones include:

Art: “What does your dad do around the house to help your mother?”
Boy: “He makes cocktails.”

Art: “Do you know any family secrets?”
Girl: “My brother keeps a rat under his bed.”

Later on, “Kids Say the Darnedest Things” was a TV show hosted by Bill Cosby and co-hosted by Art Linkletter that aired on CBS in the late 1990s. It actually was based on Art Linkletter’s TV show, “Art Linkletter’s House Party,” which aired five days a week on CBS for more than twenty years. The premise of the show was the host would ask a question to a cute child (around the age of 3-8) who would usually respond in a “cute” way.

Country Living, Country Skills, Country People displays some rather funny “Kids say the darnedest things.” For example:

A kindergarten pupil told his teacher he’d found a cat, but it was dead. “How do you know that the cat was dead?” she asked her pupil. “Because I pissed in its ear and it didn't move,” answered the child innocently. “You did WHAT???” the teacher exclaimed in surprise. “You know,” explained the boy, “I leaned over and went ‘Pssst!’ and it didn’t move.”

I also found some pretty funny, “Children's Letters to God.” Here are two of them:

Dear God,
My Grandpa says you were around when he was a little boy. How far back do you go?

Dear God,
Did you mean for giraffes to look like that or was it an accident?

As you may know, I typically spice up my novels with humor. For example, in my novel, Fear of Feeling Loved, some of Marcia’s interactions with her cat, Sam, are hilarious (especially for cat owners). Children also can provide excellent humor – sometimes they do say the darnedest things.

In Chapter 3 of my latest novel, If Ever Again…It’ll be for Love, the heroine is a single mom – in many ways, Rebecca, Diane’s five-year old daughter who she calls Becca, is the center of her life. On a Friday evening after they returned from Diane’s co-ed softball game, Rebecca was watching Diane pick out what she was going to wear to her fiend’s, Carol’s, barbeque the following evening. (Diane knew that Carol had invited a blind date for her.) Later in the scene, Becca spoke on the phone with Carol. Here’s part of that scene:


When Diane got home from the game, after showering and giving Rebecca her bath, she looked through her closet to see what she was going to wear to Carol’s. Rebecca was watching. “Mommy’s going to wear these tapered jeans and sandals,” Diane said.
When Diane held up a tie-front, split-neck red sweater, Rebecca said, “Wear that one, Mommy. I like that one.”
Diane looked at it, and as she was putting it back she said, “No honey, I don’t think I’ll wear that one.”
“Why?” Rebecca asked.
“Too much. . . cleavage. I think I’ll wear this one. This is pretty,” Diane said as she held up a cream-colored, mid-sleeve, rolled v-neck sweater.
A while later, Diane said, “Well honey, before it gets too late I’m going to call Miss Carol and tell her I’ll be coming to her barbecue tomorrow evening.”
“Can I talk with her?”
“Sure. Here, I’ll dial her number for you and you can talk with her.”
They sat on the couch.
Diane listened to Rebecca’s side of the conversation. “Hi Miss Carol, this is Rebecca… I’m fine… Mommy is coming to your barbeque tomorrow night… Yes, I’ll be at Daddy’s… You know what? Mommy’s going to look pretty, but she’s not going to wear her cleavage… No…” Diane heard Carol laughing. “What’s funny, Mommy? What’d I say?” Rebecca asked with a confused look.
“Nothing, honey. You didn’t say anything wrong. Tell Miss Carol about the softball game.”
“Teddy had to stay home, and Mommy got two hits!”


Question: Do you recall a “sometimes kids say the darnedest things” you could share with us?



Bailey Stewart said...

When my niece was around 5 years old she kept doing something she wasn't supposed to (she's 22 now, so forgive me for not remembering what she was doing). I kept telling her to stop it and then finally said "How many times do I have to tell you that?" She looked up at me with pure innocence - "15".

Dr. Bill Emener said...

Hi Bailey,
Priceless... and I love the exactness -- 15 (not "some" or "a few" or "a couple").
Thanks for sharing,

Anonymous said...

About a month ago my sister and nephew visited. We were all having a nice dinner joking around with each other when he said the funniest thing about my wife. Out of the blue he said "Well, Aunt Kim farts a lot." Everyone cracked up. I literally spit my drink. My wife turned the brightest red I've ever seen and repeatedly said "I do not fart!" I have to admit - she really doesn't. Maybe that's why it was so funny.

Dr. Bill Emener said...

Hi Maconole,
Hilarious... thanks for sharing it. You're fortunate... your wife is a secure person and took it for what it was -- "a darnedest things said by a kid." (And for your sake, let's hope that the depth of her security as a person isn't tested should she read your Comment.)
It sounds like your nephew merely was having fun with your wife (and isn't it neat to see that he felt safe enough to do so).
Thanks again,

Dr. Bill Emener said...

Firstly, my sincerest apologies to Mostly Happy Thoughts... she sent in a delightful Comment and being in a hurry I accidently clicked on "Delete" instead of "Publish." I aam truly sorry about that. Nonetheless, here's what the notification e-mail to me said was her Comment:

As a child I loved stories about genies, Ali Baba, Aladin's lamp etc.

One day my mom and I got into a taxi (I was very young). Our taxi driver was wearing a turban and excitedly and very seriously asked my mother "is he a genie?" I couldn't believe that a real genie was in front of me.... My mother was a little horrified that I said it so loudly but I was very sincere and so innocent. And not to mention very disappointed when I found out he was not actually a genie with special powers to make wishes come true.

Thank you for sharing this exciting experience from your childhood. One of the challenging and at times daunting times in growing up, is learning the difference between fantasy and reality. You were fortunate... occasionally parents will chastise or punish their children during such instances, typically verbally, and the lasting effect can be quite troublesome. You were fortunate -- in many ways.
Thanks again (and please accept my apologies),

Cole Reising said...

That was great! You'd think with three kids I'd be able to think of something....! I KNOW they've done it before... but nothing is coming to mind! :)


Dr. Bill Emener said...

Hi Cole,
Thanks for stopping by. My bet is that some time down the road when you're engaged in something else and you least expect it, you'll remember one of those moments with one of or all three of your children. I just hope is brings a smile to your face and a warm glow to your heart.
P.S. As I trust you saw, I enjoyed your "Challenge" Post on Word Flirts last week.

Anonymous said...

With 5 kids I could write my OWN book. I have 2 top of mind - both coming from my 4yr old son, Cullen. After being home for 8 weeks with my newborn daughter, Jillian, and Cullen, it was time to go back to work. Cullen and I dropped her off before going on to his own daycare. As we were leaving, Cullen was talking to Jillian giving her a list of do's and don'ts "Be a good girl Jillian, make good choices, don't hit your friends, don't get put in time out." After much coaxing, I finally got him out the door. Just as he got to the car (about 20 ft from the building), he quickly turned and said at the top of his lungs "I WILL MISS YOU JILLIAN." He then responded in a high pitched voice "I WILL MISS YOU TOO CULLEN." As a side-note, he continues to have conversations with Jillian, with him speaking for both of them.
The other involves his older 13 yr old sister, Kelsey. Kelsey was going to a movie with a friend. When Cullen heard this, he says in a very stern voice, "Kelsey, you can't go to the movies. You need a brother with you." As you can see he takes his role as "brother" very seriously, regardless of how old the sister is.

Dr. Bill Emener said...

Hi Jordana,
Always great to hear from you.
Thanks so much for sharing the two stories from your children -- I bet if I could get you and about a dozen other parents in a room (and maybe a few bottles of wine), we could come up with a book of such stories! But until that happens, I trust you'll pass them along to your family as an integral part of your family's lore and history.
Thanks again!