KIDS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS
Art Linkletter was right when he said “Kids say the darndest things.” Kids have an amazing way of transforming our world into a wonderland. I wish I could remember all the funny things that youngsters said to me when I worked in the one-room schools of Marathon County from 1954 to 1965. I remember some which I would like to share with you.
I was working in the two-room school in Knowlton, which is in south-central Wisconsin. The elementary teacher of grades 1 – 4 referred three first graders who lisped. I knew that 6-year-old children who lisp usually outgrow it in time, but I needed to keep a record.
Picture the situation: we were sitting in a circle, with the smiling youngsters and me. I asked their names and the names of their father.
The first boy said his father’s name was “Daddy.” I wrote that down. The second boy said that his father’s name was “Daddy,” also. The third boy announced that his father’s name was “Daddy.”
I was amazed. I asked further. “Is it true that all of your fathers have the same name?
“Yes,” the boys agreed.
So, I was interested. I asked “If your fathers all have the same name, how do you tell them apart?”
One of the boys had an obvious answer in a flash. “It’s easy. They all live on different farms.”
One more look into the past. I was working in a rather chilly one-room school in the southeast part of Marathon County. It was 18 degrees Fahrenheit below zero. I was waiting for an eight-year-old boy who was working on the “K” sound. He was in the habit of saying “Tum” for “come” and “net” for “neck,” and “otay” for “Okay.” This school was a center where children were brought in from outlying schools for speech work.
I worked in the cloak room which was far away from the central stove located in a larger room. I wore my overcoat and scarf and was cold.
The young man never showed up that afternoon. He came the next week bright as a new silver dollar. I asked him why he missed his speech lesson the week before. “It was too told,” he said.
He really got that right.