I had a few particularly entertaining children in my lab today and as a result, some of my favorite kid stories popped into my head. No, no, silly. Not my kids. As we all know, the world has been rendered a teensy bit safer by my barrenness. Take a moment to imagine what my offspring might be like.
No. Wait. Don't do that. You'll have nightmares.
Happy place...happy place.... Let's just tell some stories. Here, have a cookie.
My cousin Julie was a small child the first time she was in church when communion was served. The ushers in the Protestant church lined up to take trays of bread cubes and tiny cups of grape juice when Julie realized what was going on. In that piercing tone that small children perfect, she announced happily to her parents,
"They're serving snacks!"
Heeheehee! I love that. I also love it when children do their level best to be well-mannered. My dear friend, The Good Lisa, is in the process of raising delightfully well-mannered children. I'd dropped by their house on one of my many visits when her youngest was around four, and Emily wanted to be the gracious host she'd watched her parents be. In a fervent desire to welcome me into the comfort of the family home, she said,
"Come in! Take off your dress!"
I wasn't wearing a coat, so I suppose it was reasonable that she suggest the next layer of clothing as an item to be removed for maximum comfort.
Some children are less concerned about the well-being of others, more concerned with what's happening to Number One. My friend Debbie has three children, all of whom are grown now. While she gave birth to her youngest, the elder children, a boy and a girl, stayed with Debbie's in-laws. After Debbie welcomed her younger son into the world, Grandma told Ashley, "Ashley, you have a little brother! That means you're still the princess!" Ashley regarded her grandmother for a moment, then replied stonily,
"Queens have more power."
This is the same person to whom a doctor referred as "The Ayatollah Ashley" in her late teens. I'm sure he meant it in the nicest way, though.
My favorite brings me back to family, though. You may already know, invisible darling, that I am half Hungarian. You might not know that "aunt" in Hungarian is "neni," pronounced nay-nee. This title is added after the name or a shortened version of the name. My Aunt Magdalena was Magdi-neni, my Aunt Charlotte, Chari-neni.
When my niece Gabi was two, I was asked to watch her for a few hours. Of course I said yes, and we had a lovely time. Now, remember, when I am in charge of a child, I take that fairly seriously. Safety first, but care and feeding is an important job. Not too surprisingly, my aunt and cousin came home to find Gabi safe, sound, fed, clothed and her beautiful, thick, long blonde hair in a French braid. This surprised my aunt and cousin, as Gabi is...resistant to grooming.
I'm still the adult.
In shock, my aunt asked her granddaughter, "Gabi, who did your hair?" What Gabi wanted to say was, "Lisi-neni did it." What Gabi said was
"Nazi-neni did it."
Out of the mouths of babes....