Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

December 5, 2013

Kids say the darnedest …

By Jill Pertler
The Journal Express

---- — If you’re ever around kids for any extended period of time – or even a not so extended period of time – you’ll observe firsthand they come up with some interesting, unique, hysterical and brutally honest observations about the world as they perceive it. My own offspring are no exception. When I find myself grinning or pondering something they’ve said, I jot it down, to remember, reminisce and share with others, here. (And perhaps to use as leverage at a later date.)

Four-legged friends

• Our always-appropriate son asked my husband and me, “What do you get when you breed a bulldog with a Shih Tzu?” It took a moment for our brains to leap where his had already gone, but the answer to his little “joke” amounted to a double parent sigh.

• We watched a documentary on the origin of domesticated animals and one son asked, “If the first dogs were wolves, how in the heck did that turn into a wiener dog?”

• As an equal petportunity household, we give plenty of brain time to cats, as one child demonstrated when he said, “I wish people were like cats, because then we’d have nine lives and we wouldn’t have to worry about dying if we jumped off a bridge or high building without a parachute.”

Beds, bedrooms, sleep and sleepovers

• When our youngest was about 5, I found him lying awake on his bed – very still, very quiet and very uncharacteristic. When I asked him what he was doing, he was fairly succinct. “Just thinking ‘bout my ‘magination.”

• Another son had a big week – and weekend – with games, tests, homework and play performances. By Sunday night, he was exhausted, although he understood school awaited him on Monday morning. “It’s going to be a long two days tomorrow,” he said.

• Our youngest was going to his first sleepover and was excited, yet perhaps a bit trepidatious, about the event. Before leaving, he turned to me and asked, “Do you need me to call and tuck you in tonight before you go to bed?”

Birthdays and other big events

• After a fun day: “Wouldn’t it be great if the best days, like your birthday or Christmas, could last a whole weekend?”

• When a birthday party group of boys played night games in our yard, a concerned neighbor heard the noise, thought foul play might be afoot and called the police. The men in uniform showed up at our door just as we were lighting candles on the birthday cake. The boys’ take on the situation: “Having the cops show up at your birthday pretty much took the party to a whole new level. It was like extra frosting on the cake, except more exciting.”

• Christmas shopping is a big deal at our house and seems to start earlier each year. This year, one son wondered aloud, “So basically you’re telling me that Black Friday is really on Thursday?” He paused and said, “I wonder what day Cyber Monday will be on?”

Real and not-so-real fears

• One night, before bed, our youngest asked, “When you were a kid did you ever think being a grown-up was scary, because that’s how I feel sometimes.” (Memo to self: don’t let the kids watch the news.)

• Two sentences later, he followed up with, “If I turned into a zombie, would you still love me?” There were quite a few comebacks tripping off my tongue (zombies aren’t real, being the first), but instead I leaned over, kissed him goodnight and said, “Of course.”

I didn’t add that if he did turn into a zombie, I’d be sad because according to my extensive knowledge about this particular group of the undead, they don’t talk, and talking with him is one of my very favorite things to do.

Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, playwright and author of “The Do-It-Yourselfer’s Guide to Self-Syndication” You can read more columns at the Slices of Life page on Facebook.