Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Out Of The Mouths of Babes

As anyone who has spent much time around kids knows, they can say the darnedest things! From brutal honesty to fanciful, detailed stories to revealing family secrets, you never know what they're going to say next! For some reason the theme over the last two weeks inspired many unexpected comments from the kids; so many that I was inspired to dedicate a whole post to share them!

For the last two weeks of the Storytime-To-Go program we have been doing a "Love" theme, which has some Valentine's Day stories, as well as several general stories about love, hugs, and kisses. I usually start out by talking about love, how we can love different people (or things) in different ways. The kids usually start by first saying they love their mommies and/ or daddies. But one day it didn't quite go the way I expected, revealing one family's dirty laundry. 

One little girl (whose parents I have gathered are recently separated from other things she has said) comes out with "I just love my daddy. I don't love my mommy because she punches my daddy." There was a slight pause as we (the teacher, my volunteer, and I) exchanged slightly panicked glances, then I just moved on as though I hadn't heard anything unusual. It made me sad to know that she had witnessed her parents having a physical altercation.

Then today we had a case of a little TMI. I was going to have them do the following rhyme:

I have a little heart,
It goes thump, thump, thump.
It beats even faster when I jump, jump, jump.
I get a special feeling when I look at you,
That makes me want to give you a hug, or two!

I lead into by asking them if they know where their heart is, and what it does. Then I explain about how the beats are the heart squeezing to pump your blood throughout your body. One little girl pipes up with, "My mommy pumps to feed my baby brother!". The adults laughed, and the male teacher looked just a wee bit uncomfortable. I told her that was a different kind of pumping and moved on!

And that was followed up by some brutal honesty in the next group. At the end of each session, our driver (who happens to be around 75) hands out stickers to the kids. I always tell them, "That's all the time we have for today, but if you would like a sticker, you need to stay seated, criss-cross with your feet our of the way so (driver) doesn't trip. We don't want (driver) to fall and get hurt!" To which one kid replied, "Cuz he's old!" and another kid piled on with "Yeah, he's *really* old." Of course they aren't meaning to be rude, simply stating a fact, and fortunately our driver has a sense of humor about such things!

Earlier this week, one child told something on himself. I was reading Froggy's First Kiss and got to the part about everyone teasing Froggy and saying, "Froggy has a girlfriend; Froggy has a girlfriend". I always stop and ask the kids if that was nice for everyone to tease Froggy, and they always respond "No!". Then one little boy volunteered that his older brother teases him and says that Sally, a girl in the same class, is his girlfriend, but she's just his friend. Fortunately the girl in question didn't seem to mind and laughed about it. 

Sometimes what they say is incredibly sweet. While reading Love Monster, we observed how the monster was sad because people only want to cuddle with soft, fluffy things like kittens, puppies, and bunnies, and no one wanted to cuddle with him. A very empathetic young lady stated adamantly that "I would cuddle with him!".

But best of all was on Monday, when we were talking about who we loved, and one precocious little boy said "I love Mr. (driver) and I love you! And you're pretty!" [Insert collective "Awwwww" here.] And that my friends is why I love my job!

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