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2.23.2012

IN THE HEAD AND OUT THE MOUTH

When I was a kid there was a TV show hosted by Art Linkletter both on the radio and television called, "House Party".  It aired from 1945-1969 with a piece of it showcasing the funny things kids say.  Bill Cosby would later, in the mid-nineties, do a take on that piece in a TV show called, "Kids Say The Darndest Things".  The premise of both was to interview kids.  To ask questions to children without an introduction of the subject matter ahead of time.  It was the kids' off-the-cuff answers that would have the audience howling in laughter.  I tell my husband all the time that kids crack me up.  There is a spontaneity that snakes through them that leaves this wide open and unabridged approach to absolutely everything.  Kids live very much in the moment and don't have all the rules learned yet.  Nor do they have experience which might give them a bit of knowledge or a hint of tact.  I love that!  Last night we were sitting in a Japanese restaurant eating sushi.  Across from us was a couple and their daughter.  She appeared to be around 4 years old.  I never really saw her sit down.  She stood and bounced and sang and danced on the booth seat for most of the meal, only slowing occasionally to bend over to get a bite of whatever she was eating.  Her parents were older to have a child that age.  She referred to them as mom and dad.  I wondered if it was a remarriage or if they just had kids EXTREMELY late in life.  They looked to be late forties to early fifties.  My husband and I commented to each other as we watched this exuberant full-of-energy little girl that we were NOT interested in having small kids at our age - the same age that her parents were!  They seemed very used to her energy level, her sing-song chatty ways.  She sang little bits of songs and wiggled her hips as she did a sort of crouching down from time to time to over-exaggerate the movement.  She popped up and down constantly in a kind of Energizer bunny way.  I couldn't take my eyes off her.  She made me both smile and feel happy while forgetting that life was full of responsibilities:)  As she flapped her little jaw she said both made up four year old stuff and legitimate things.  Her parents listened but did not necessarily respond as clearly she didn't need a response or even affirmation to continue. She created her own energy and sustained it without anyone's support or encouragement.  She began to do a bit more wiggling and dancing on the booth seat.  I started to giggle at her moves, her happiness in doing them and the joy she seemed to possess as she grooved around.  Her vocal volume was pushed more toward loud than library soft so it was easy to hear things that she was saying and singing.  Fully into the swing of dance, swaying, wiggling and crouching I heard her say quite loudly to her parents, "I want to be a nude dancer when I grow up."  A smile was plastered across her face.  She meant it with her whole 4 years of age knowledge and experience.  They didn't bat an eye.  Maybe they had heard it all before from this little cracker jack.  Maybe they were exhausted from either a day with her or a day at work.  Maybe in their agedness they had a bit of wisdom to know kids say the darndest things.  And, that growing up takes care of, on its own, many of the things kids say.  I, on the other hand, had no experience with this child.  Funny is always funny to me.  I started to laugh.  I repeated what she said to my husband who giggled as well.  Then I started to laugh again when I repeated her words out loud yet again.  Now there were a myriad of things that shot through my head when I heard a four year old say, "I want to be a nude dancer when I grow up."  And, I suppose there might be some cause for alarm as to what she has seen or heard to know that there are such things as nude dancers.  But, the first and biggest thing I did was laugh.  When it's time for that little girl to go to kindergarten, and they have a Vocation Aspiration Day, I wondered what her teacher's response to her vocational dreams would be.  Kids do say the darndest things. 

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