Annie is a writer.
So is her 6-year-old son, who just finished kindergarten.
I’ll let her set up this note.
I have a notepad I carry with me to jot ideas on. It’s usually full of half-written blogs, grocery lists, and other to-do items. Dictator, my 6-year-old, got his hands on it and inspiration kicked into high gear. He is a writer in training.
Given that Dictator can already fill two pages of his mom’s notebook and that he knows the difference between a 3-pointer and a 3-fro, I’m betting we have a Renaissance Man on our hands.
And the world needs more of those.
As a parent, it’s sometimes hard to know if your kids are really listening to you. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest they aren’t.
So when Natalie would tell her 6-year-old “You could crack your head open!”, she wasn’t sure if her daughter was getting the message.
Now she’s sure. GN was definitely listening. And then some.
I should wear a helmet because: so I will not crack my head open & have brain surgery.
The National Council for Scaring Children into Practicing Healthy Habits has found its newest spokesperson, and, for a minimal appearance fee, GN is available to talk to your children about wearing their helmets, as well as other topics, such as eating their vegetables, toothbrushing, and crossing their eyes.
And you can’t imagine what she has to say about BB guns.
If you have stuff a kid wrote, please share it with us! Submit to:
Please include an image of the stuff, the kid’s name or initials, and the kid’s age. Also, if you have something linkable, we’ll be happy to link to it. Thanks!
For Father’s Day, I received three gifts from my children, in addition to their very being, of course, which is truly the gift that keeps on giving the whole year through. Oftentimes even in the middle of the night.
In no particular order of importance, I was given:
1. MY VERY OWN PILLOW PET!!! Snuggly Puppy in the house, y’all!
2. A delicious strawberry Father’s Day cake lovingly decorated with pink frosting, a 2-inch layer of sprinkles, and just under 150 candles that spelled out “DAD.” When lit, it was visible from the International Space Station.
3. This letter written by my 7-year-old son, Nolan.
Words are a special gift, especially from loved ones. And they don’t set off fire alarms.
But seriously, Snuggly Puppy!
Yeah, I know, I know.
The letter was the best thang of all.
Did you know that the Rorschach (pronounced EENK-blaut) test is being administered to kindergarten students these days?
Psychoanalysis of young children has come a long way since my days in the “K” when teacher comments (“A very nice boy. Eats a lot of boogers. You may want to consider velcro shoes. For life.”) were the only indicators parents had to reassure them that their kids were progressing (stagnating) on the correct developmental arc.
For those unfamiliar with the Rorschach, subjects are shown a series of images and asked to describe what they see in each. Here are some examples.
For instance, a person looking at this image will most likely identify two garden gnomes inexplicably high-fiving after having their lower legs sheared off by a lawnmower.
Most reasonable individuals will view this picture and immediately spot a unicorn tripped-out on peyote and dressed in drag.
When gazing at this slide, 87% of respondents describe two women with compound fractures of the femur dead-lifting a keg of beer while holding their handbags.
And if presented with this rendering, there is near-universal agreement on “mutated Chicken McNugget,” with “old man scrotum” coming in a close second.
Psychotherapists study individuals’ interpretations of these images and then draw conclusions, such as, “I can’t believe we actually get paid to do this!”
Five-year-old KM just might grow up to be one of those people who gets paid big bucks to tell others how crazy they are. She seems to have a pretty good handle on the analysis part.
“Sometimes it looks like (a) monsters kissing. But it wasn’t (a) monsters kissing. Wow!”
It’s not hard to imagine KM looking back at this 20 years from now and thinking, “Damn, my parents must have made-out in front of me a lot.”
Thanks to KM’s mom for submitting this piece, knowing full-well that I would bring up her and her husband’s tendency towards public displays of affection and the lasting efffect (scarring) it will likely cause on their daughter.
Does this exchange look familiar?
Parental Unit: “Alright, it’s bed time.”
7YO: “Five more minutes?”
PU: “No. Let’s go.”
5YO: “Ten more minutes and then we’ll go right to sleep.”
PU: “You’re going right to sleep either way. Now let’s go!”
4YO: “If you let us stay up fifteen more minutes and give us ice cream, we promise to brush our teeth and stay in bed.”
PU: “What are you talking about? C’mon!”
And before you know it, they’ve worn you out like that downtrodden, heavily-stained carpet on the steps. You wake up on the couch to an episode of Phineas and Ferb blaring from the TV only to realize that the kids have hotwired the vehicle and made a run to town for Dairy Queen. And tattoos.
We’ve all been there.
Children pop out of the womb as master negotiators. This came as a real shocker to me as a parent. I didn’t figure kids would start haggling and brokering deals until they were in their teens, like Michael J. Fox did as Alex Keaton on Family Ties. But such is not the case.
Take this for instance.
Sweet, right? But hold on. I’ll let Cebee, who submitted this piece, explain:
I’d like to submit a note a good family friend wrote to our son. There is an 8 year age gap between the two, but they are chums. She (AS) was nine at the time she wrote this and he was just about to turn 2. To any old reader (Editor’s Note: On behalf of Stuff Kids Write, we apologize for this blatant ageist comment), this may not appear that funny, but let me point out a few reasons why I have kept this in his scrapbook and chuckle every time I read it.
1. The reference to pizza shows great empathy. Our son was very allergic to milk/dairy at the time and she was concerned that he was not going to be able to partake in the pizza we were planning to serve at his party. Very thoughtful.
2. “The table we gave you!” She may only be nine but she is a master negotiator. We paid $40 for that train table, and we settled on $40 after she came down $10 in price. She did throw in a thorough scrubbing, but no delivery.
With that combination of kind-heartedness and killer negotiation skills, can you imagine what AS’s bedtime must look like?
Cebee is a mother to two amazing little boys, and the younger sister of a charming, witty, funny, charismatic, benevolent, dashingly-handsome man who completely dominated her ass in Easter egg hunts on a yearly basis while growing up. You can read his blog at SomeSpeciesEatTheirYoung.com.
There are several common variations of “ha ha”:
- the happy “ha ha”
- the sad “ha ha”
- the flirty “ha ha”
- the courtesy “ha ha”
- the anxious “ha ha”
- the dirty “ha ha”
- the lethargic “ha ha”
- the Nelson “ha ha”
- the inebriated ha ha
- the relieved ha ha
- and, of course, the meen ha ha.
Angela submitted this beautifully hand-crafted note from her 5-year-old daughter F.M., who composed her inspired piece during a family road trip.
AFTER being told by her mother that she would have to put her shoes on to go in a restaurant.
It takes a high-quality, food-industry strength paper napkin to absorb that much spite.
And just to make sure there was no confusion regarding the tone of her “ha ha,” once the family was back in the vehicle F.M. wrote this note. And then immediately tore it up.
Hell hath no “ha ha” like a 5-year-old who has to put her shoes back on.
Thanks for sharing, Angela! And please go check out Angela’s website at slabcinema.com.
Sometimes, you just have to step out of the way and let brilliance run its course.
Thanks to Amanda Bast for submitting this to Stuff Kids Write. Here’s the story in her words:
“I came across this gem while I was in Teacher’s College. It was posted on a bulletin board in a kindergarten class. The teacher was very sweet and innocent (just the type you’d expect to teach kindies), and I knew she hadn’t fully read what the card said. Her example had said, “Thanks for the shirt,” with a drawing of a shirt. So maybe that explains the simple mistake, but it doesn’t really explain the picture of the flowers.
I prefer to interpret it as, ‘You could have gotten me something awesome, Mom, but instead you got me this vase of flowers. I’m five. I don’t need flowers. Thank you for the shit. I even drew a picture of the shit so you know exactly what shit I’m talking about.’
The best part: I found it the day after parent-teacher interviews.”
You can read more of Amanda’s humorous anecdotes at her new site. Click here to check it out.
Our society is obsessed with advice.
Almost everyone is looking somewhere for guidance in some particular area. What’s the best smart phone to buy? What is the proper age to start potty training a toddler? What’s the best smart phone to buy for a potty-trained toddler?
And for every person seeking advice, there are a hundred people willing to dole it out. In this age of social media, experts lie in wait at every sign-in.
Well, all those experts need to step away from the keyboard and learn a little something from David. He’s a second grader, and as part of a class project, he wrote this letter to one of the butterflies that his class raised and was preparing to release.
Advice doesn’t get any better than this.
Dear C. Junior,
Hi. I hope you are warm and cozy in your cocoon and don’t get eaten when you come out of your cocoon as a butterfly.
Stay away from spiders, mice, praying mantises, fire ants, birds, frogs, and snakes.
Be a good painted lady.
In other words:
- Just stay in your cocoon.
- Because it’s not if you’ll be devoured, it’s when.
- Did I mention there’ll be fire ants?
- Don’t be a floozy.
And if you’re wondering, the best smart phone to buy is the one with the potty-training app for toddlers.
Thanks to Amy for sharing her son’s wise words; David certainly seems to have his mom’s knack for writing. Our advice? Go check out Amy’s site Life from the Trenches. You’ll be glad you did.
And speaking of advice, we have a writing assignment for you and your child.
‘Tis the season of graduations. Hordes of graduating seniors are leaving their cocoons as emerging adults and heading out to face life’s praying mantises. So ask your son or daughter:
What is the most important part of being an adult?
Send us what your writing prodigy comes up with. We’ll feature the best responses on the blog, and everyone who replies to the prompt by Memorial Day will be entered in a drawing for a Starbuck’s gift card. Because adult lesson number one is that caffeine is essential.
UPDATE: Sometimes life just isn’t that funny.
I saw a headline on the Internet yesterday saying something about a tornado in Missouri. I thought to myself, “Amy and her family live in Missouri.”
They live in Joplin, Missouri, to be exact.
Just received this email from Amy:
Sorry for not responding and sharing like normal. Joplin, MO and our home were hit hard by a tornado yesterday. It’s truly horrible down here. We were able to get the kids out to my parents – it’s not safe in our area. Keith and I are in a hotel (no power, water) but a roof, which is more than we can say for our house. Vehicles, boats, trees – all gone.
Here’s a link to an article about the devastation in Joplin from The New York Times website.
Amy, our thoughts and prayers are with you, your family, and the people of Joplin.