Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Kids say the darndest things

My son is a great storyteller. He’s lively and animated. His tales are full of action verbs and colorful adjectives. He has perfect comedic timing. I just wish most of his stories didn’t begin with “The other day, my mama…”

Not that he fibs or lies, mind you; however, he usually leaves out a key component that puts the situation into context. For example, his teacher stopped me in the hall today and said, “I heard you got mooned at the fair!”

Knowing my son the way she does, she had a wicked gleam in her eyes. You see, we struck an agreement early on that I would believe half of what he said about her if she would believe half of what he said about me.

“Did he tell you that the boy who mooned me was two-years-old and that he was getting his diaper changed at the time?” I asked.

I tried to explain to my son that we don’t need to tell everybody everything. He seems to understand this concept until we get to church. Even though we aren’t Catholic, he likes to “confess” during the children’s moment in the front of the church. Fighting the urge to crawl under the pew, I smile and vow silently (forgive me, Lord) to kill him afterwards.

Of course, I exaggerate. Perhaps that’s where he gets it from. At least now, his stories are more or less true. In preschool, they were just plain whoppers. I remember the day I met his teacher. My son was three, and this was to be his first school experience. I shook his teacher’s hand, introduced myself, and said, “Don’t believe a word he says!”

He continues to entertain now that he is in elementary school. Last year, several big wigs from the state Board of Education visited his school for an accreditation process. One stern woman picked several students to interview at lunch. My son was one of them. A teacher overheard a snippet of their conversation, which went something like this:

“Does your teacher allow you to make decisions?”

“Yes, ma’am”

“What do you get to decide?”

“We get to decided if we want to sit next to Alice or not!”

(Alice was the class trouble maker.)

I’m not sure what else my son said to that poor lady, but I do know that she was seen with her head down on the table, her shoulders shaking with laughter.

It’s hard to discourage a trait like this. I think the ability to make someone laugh is a wonderful thing—even if it’s sometimes at his mama’s expense.

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