From the mouths of babes come some amazing words and phrases. I don’t know much about what children say these days, because I’ve never had children of my own. So, I can only refer back to when my brothers and I were small children, and to the crazy things we often said.
When my brother John was about two or three years old, it was thundering and lightening outside. He looked out the window, gazing up at the red sky and said, “Uncle Denny, the sky is on fire. The sky is on fire. Make it stop, make it stop. We’re going to burn up.”
Our uncle said to him, “No, the sky isn’t on fire. It’s red, because it’s how the Lord uses his paints to paint pictures.”
“The sky is on fire,” can take on a great number of meanings. As for myself, I can often interpret as the burning of one’s inner realm, due to no solace. It’s the magnification of the winded song eating up the soul when the ramifications are high. However, to a small child such as my brother was, it was something of great devastation. He thought the planet was burning up.
As for myself, I cannot think of anything out of the ordinary I said as a child. However, a close family friend has two daughters. When they were little kids, they were playing little kids instruments, singing on Christmas Day. The youngest of the two sisters was singing a little song she made up. The oldest of the two sisters said, “We’re supposed to be singing about Christmas. Today’s Jesus’ birthday.” So, the youngest of the two sisters strummed the her little guitar, singing, “Today’s Jesus birthday. He was born on Christmas.”
The words and the melody moved me to tears. I was overwhelmed by how such beautiful words could come out of the mouth of a three year old child. They were profound, philosophical, and endearing.
Many years ago, when my brother Stanley was four years old, he was watching television. His favorite cartoon show was Alvin And The Chipmunks. My brother John and I had arrived home from school with my aunt and my grandmother. My mother sat on the sofa drinking some Kool-Aid.
Stanley got up from the floor and ran over to my mother. He cupped his hands to her face, and said, “And you just as cute as a button.”
My mother picked Stanley up into her arms and held him in her lap.
I stood there with a smile on my face thinking how sweet it was for such a small child to say such a thing to anyone.
My brother John and I went into the dining room to do our homework. He was in Kindergarten, and I was in first grade. I had half day, because it was the time of parent/teacher conferences. Otherwise, I got out of school much later than John did.
My homework assignment was to read the articles in the Weekly Reader. The class was scheduled to be tested on them the next day. They pertained to current events at the time. Next, I had to do my workbook assignments for my reading group, and my math homework.
Stanley came running into the living room, climbed on top of a chair, and took some pieces of candy from the candy dish which rested on the dining room table.
John looked up from his reading lesson he was working on, and said, “Stanley, did you take candy from the dish? You know mommy said we can’t have any candy until after we eat.”
“No Shonny. I didn’t take any.”
“Stanley, don’t lie, lilac.” John pursed his lips disapprovingly at Stanley and held his hand out. “Put those pieces of candy into my hand right now. If you don’t, mommy will spank your bottom, because you did something naughty. Then, you’ll ruin things for Kiki and me when it comes to making chocolate chip cookies.”
“Okay. Okay. I only took three pieces of candy.” Stanley spit the pieces of candy into his own hand and gave them to John.
“All of them, Stanley. How bout the ones you’re hiding in the corners of your mouth.”
“I spit them all out. See?’ Stanley opened up his mouth wide.
“Come here. I want to see for myself.” John stuck his fingers all over the inside of Stanley’s mouth and recovered two more pieces of candy which where stuck in the upper corner. Stanley was hiding them there in the hopes of swallowing them without getting caught. “I told you, Stanley, don’t lie, lilac. Now sit down here with Kiki and me, so I can teach you the letters and numbers I learned to read and write today in class.”
“I want to make tookies now, Shonny. I don’t want to wait till after we eat. I’m going to ask mommy if we can make tookies now.” Stanley climbed down from the chair and headed into the living room where our mother sat on the sofa. Climbing onto the sofa, Stanley sat next to her, sighing, “Mommy, can we make tookies now. Shonny says we have to wait until after we eat. But I want tookies now.”
“We’re going to have baked chicken for lunch. I just go done checking on it. We have at least fifteen more minutes until it’s done. In the meantime, you can either watch television quietly with me, or you can sit with Johnny and Kiki in the dining room learning along with them while they do their school work.” My mother glared at him, bringing him closer to her where she placed him on top of her lap. “Stanley, what’s all the red you have on your face?”
“He had some candy in his mouth. But he never swallowed it, because I used my finger to remove all the candy from his mouth,” my brother John yelled from the dining room.
My mother took a napkin from the end table and wiped Stanley’s mouth, rubbing it harder than he anticipated. He let out a scream. “That hurts. Why do you need to press so hard,” he cried, with tears streaming down his face, “I only wanted some candy. Shonny wouldn’t let me have any.”
“Johnny knows what he’s talking about. If you eat candy right now, you’ll ruin your appetite.” My mother dipped her napkin into the Kool-Aid and continued wiping his mouth. She took a tissue from the tissue box and wiped Stanley’s face dry.
© Copyright, Kiki Stamatiou, 2016