The background of this post is that I used to test children’s developmental language skills via standardized measures. When I sat down with this sweet three-year old girl for testing, at some point I asked her what she was learning in preschool. This was our conversation. Kind of.
The 3-year-old: PARENTS.
Parents, huh? Oh, my! Parents are great, aren’t they? Parents DO understand. Don’t listen to Will Smith! You don’t know Will? Anyway, I am a parent myself and I HAVE parents and they have parents. Some people have 2 sets of parents…
Sweet little girl: I said PARIS.
Paris! Oh my goodness! I am SOOO sorry about that misunderstanding. I just LOVE Paris! The only place I have been to outside of North America was Paris. My husband took me there in April 1999. It was wonderful! We had a hideous lamp shaped like the Eiffel tower for a while. The Eiffel tower… Did you know that when I went up that tower for the first time I had a stomach virus? I was crouched in the corner of the elevator as it made it’s ascent to the top…
Sweet little girl’s mom: E…Ex…Excuse me, miss. She said PARROTS.
“Well, don’t I feel dumb! Knock me over the head, why don’t you? Someone is going a little cuckoo, huh? Cuckoo! Cuckoo! That’s me! One big cuckoo-head! Wow! Okay, parrots. I think PARROTS are a more appropriate topic for children to learn about. I was really snoring when she said “parents” and then I thought “Paris” was so random. What about America? I’m PROUD to be an American where I least I know I’m free, right? Call me Mrs. Greenwood! And I won’t forget the men who died and gave that right to me [I’m standing at this point with my hand over my heart and violently swaying back and forth with my eyes closed and my mouth gaping open as I belt out the words]. Wow, look at me go. I just love America, but I also love parrots. I always wanted one but we got parakeets instead. A family friend kicked one over once and gave it a heart attack. Poor little thing died. Hello! Hello! [mocking a parrot’s voice while bobbing my head forward quickly like a big, talking, colorful bird]. Polly want a cracker? Polly want a cracker? Hello! Hello! [imagine me heartily laughing at my horrible im-bird-anation while Sweet Little Girl’s Mom blankly stares at me].“
Isn’t that just pathetic? PATHETIC! But, yeah, that chain of misunderstood words really happened. No one put hearing aids in my stocking this year, so I will probably have a few more stories for you like this one in 2012, unless I get that inner ear upgrade. I’m going to Sears tomorrow to see if they have anything along those lines on sale.