Little kids are naturally funny. They just are. Their perspectives on everyday life and language let us grownups tap into the creativity, playfulness and, let’s face it, pure joy of childhood. As my son was growing up, his dad and I reveled in kidspeak. Parenthood may have made us stupid and uncool for the rest of our lives, but it also gave us the chance to laugh out loud, or fight back the urge to laugh out loud, or just hug our toddler for his sheer adorableness.
Writing about The Harry Chronicles last week prompted me to open those pages and smile with my whole heart at the “Harryisms” recorded there. Here are some of my faves from the early years:
Nov 93 – One day at preschool, Emma B., who was 3, said that she was six and three quarters. Harry piped in and said, “Well, I’m six and four pennies.”
Jan 94 – During Outer Space Week in the Rose Room, Harry told his dad and me that his rocket ship had visited three planets: “Mars, Pluto and Snoopy.”
Nov 94 – On a drive back from Minneapolis, Harry thought that a rest stop was “arrest stop” and wondered why he never saw any police cars there.
Feb 95 – On the way home from lunch at McDonald’s, Harry and his friend Louis were playing with their Happy Meal Barbie toys in the back seat. According to their story, both Barbies were in jail for mooning.
Sep 95 – Harry asked me if I used bar soap. When I said, “Yes, why?” he replied, “Because your face belongs to Godzema.”
If you’re not already, I hope you’re writing down the kidspeak that’s delivered at your home. And don’t worry about having the perfect journal or what your handwriting looks like. What matters is just writing down those memorable words, even if on a scrap of paper that you shove into an envelope. And if you’re a grandparent, aunt, uncle, babysitter or teacher, do share the funny stuff with the parents. Chances are it will make their day just as it did yours.
And if you send in your favorites, I’ll be sure to share them here in a future roundup.