Ever heard the saying, ‘out of the mouths of babes (oft time comes gems)’?
It basically means that sometimes small children say things that surprise you with their wisdom and adult understanding.
Often, their take on a situation is both simpler and more ‘true’ than ours because of their inherent honesty.
Most of the time, this is a beautiful thing.
Here are a couple of gems from our own family files…Miss 5 is watching me get dressed.
She says “Mummy, why do your boobies hang down?”
I reply, trying not to be offended, “Things hang down because of gravity. Why do you think Mummy’s boobies hang down?”
Miss 5 thinks for while, then says, “I know! It’s because they’re so, so, so, so, so, so, sooooooooo...
So what? I’m looking for a clever answer here. Big? (they are) Heavy? (they are)
Master 6 is writing a school project about how things have changed since I went to school.
We talked about cooked lunches and cartons of milk, about climbing trees and fences in the playground and never calling adults by their first names.
Then he got to the section on ‘arriving at school’, thoughtfully chewed his pencil, and asked me if I RODE IN ON A DINOSAUR?!
Miss 6 wrote the following essay in her ‘Holiday Journal’ (sic):
"My Mum dusn’t do any thing on the holdays. She gose to werk like evry day and I go to the school care even thogh evryone is haveing fun. Adults think boreing things are fun. They are rong. My Mum lyes on the couch on the week end.”
This was after a summer vacation where I’d taken the first two weeks off work and we’d been to the beach, theme parks, had Christmas with the family and done plenty of great things.
Followed by four weeks at vacation care.
Master 4 was going around a family gathering making everyone giggle with his inappropriate reciting of gender assignation.
Having just taught him the correct names for boy and girls parts, he was proudly pointing at all the women (“vagina!”) and all the men (“penis!”).
I was mortified and tried to stop him, but more indulgent Aunts and Uncles thought it was hilarious.
Until he got to Great Grandma.
To be fair, she liked to wear men’s trousers, had a low raspy voice from too many years of smoking, and had a whiskery chin.
Confusingly, she also had a large bosom for cuddling, a blue-tinted curly bob, a pink shirt on and was called ‘Grandma’.
Master 4 pointed to her smiling face for a few seconds in silent consternation, then turned to me (why me?) and said in a strident tone, “Mummy, is this one a penis or a vagina?”
To my great relief, Grandma was the first one to give a big belly laugh.
The plus side of this unshakeable honesty is that when my children look at me and exclaim “Mum! You look so beautiful like a princess!”, I go out the door with an extra spring in my step.
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