Unfunny things kids say, Part 1

I have three kids, the oldest is four and he talks all the time. He is a happy outgoing fellow going blah-blah-blah all the time.*

I was taking him out to the countryside and he was going blah-blah-blah in the back seat as always. But some ten minutes before we arrived he went silent. I suspected he’d fallen asleep.

Eventually I stopped and opened the back door. He wasn’t a sleep, but very sad, tears in his eyes and just miserable. I never really experienced this before with him, being silent and sorrowful like this, I got down on my knees and asked him what was the matter?

Just able to speak without crying he said: “I don’t wanna grow old and die…”

In situation like these one hopes to be wise as an indian chief, but I just went “you… you… you won’t… I mean… you… you… shouldn’t…”

Because I was devasted, seeing this and hearing this from my lovely four year old son. I don’t know from where this sudden insight came, and of course he got over it within minutes.

I’ll never forget it, it was some timeless tragedy displayed there for a minute.

  • According to the little fellow I’m talking about, he is not my son (in fact, my son lives in Africa) and the four year old I’m talking about is in fact Puss in Boots, or Master Cat. That’s what he says.

“Childhood ends the moment you realize that one day you’re going to die.”

I think I can quote this poem in its entirety, since it’s relatively short and in the public domain… If not, it’s Spring and Fall, To A Young Child by Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow’s springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.


What a perfect poem for the topc, robardin. Thank you.

My nephew, about 6, talking to his sister, who was 5. - “Betsy, shut up about our dad. If he loved us he’d call and he’d send birthday presents and he’d care if we were sick.” Their dad left (and never provided any child support, of course) when my sister was pregnant with Betsy, after she refused to get an abortion. My niece went through a period where anytime she didn’t get her way, she was “going to run away and live with my dad”, even though she’d never met him.


This is making me want to cry.

Earlier this afternoon I heard John Safran, an Australian “Jewtheist” (atheist who was raised as a Jew and still identifies with the cultural/ethnic group, not the religion), tell a story that doesn’t quite fit this thread–but is close.

He was at a wedding with a close friend, whose sister was the bride. The reception was close enough that they’d normally have walked right over from the ceremony, but it had started raining, so John and his friend got into his car. Her other sister (not the one who was getting married), plus Other Sister’s partner and kids, asked for a “lift”, John said it was fine, and they got into the backseat. Once there, her young (5 or 6 years old) daughter found 20 cents and was ecstatic. John said “go ahead and keep it, I don’t need it”, to which mommy said “Honey, when a Jew gives you 20 cents, be sure to take it, because that won’t happen often!” John was shocked, but decided to interpret it as a joke rather than make a scene. As he puts it, he’s “probably the only Jew in Australia who would’ve made that decision”. But she further antagonized him anyway by saying “Well, it’s true, isn’t it?”

Teaching these things to small children! Incredible! Needless to say, John’s friend was embarrassed and an uncomfortable silence hung over the car for the rest of the ride.

When my youngest son was 4 or 5 he started with the same thing. For awhile there, we’d have this conversation regularly. He’d say he didn’t want to die, I’d explain to him that we all have to do it some day, and he’d be shocked all over again to realize that not only was he going to die, *I was going to die. He really freaked out about it for a few weeks and then it was gone. It was sad- heartbreaking, and yet funny at the same time.

My son was always one of those “sensitive” kids who just cried too easily for the comfort of most people. Not just pain and sadness, but frustration, anger, annoyance - all resulted in tears. So it was a long time thing to help him learn to express his feelings in words and…well, and frankly to stifle the tears, 'cause it made other people very uncomfortable. (Gawd, I hate that. I never actually said, “Be a man and stop crying!” but that was the level of pressure I got from school and grandparents to socialize him in this area.)

Anyhow, when he was 11, he had a major back surgery and there was a problem with his pain medication (namely, it didn’t work). I’ll never forget him sitting in a wheelchair, white as a sheet, rigid, staring straight ahead with a locked jaw. “Honey,” I said, “You know there are some times when it’s totally appropriate to cry, right? This is one of them.”

Only his eyes moved to me, as he said in the coldest voice I’ve ever heard, “I can’t cry. It hurts too much.”

Yeah, that was the day he became “a man.” And all I wanted was my little boy back. :frowning:

Whatsit Jr. recently had a conversation with his dad about why he doesn’t have two grandpas. His dad explained that HIS dad had died a long time ago, and that Whatsit Jr. would never get to meet him on this earth, but that his dad would have liked to have met him, if he could.

Whatsit Jr. thought about this for a few minutes and then burst into hysterical tears, saying, “But I want to meet my grandpa!”

It was pretty rough on MrWhatsit. But I think he’s glad he had the conversation.

I had the same revelation at about the same age, but I don’t know how or why it occurred to me that I would some day die.

A friend who labels herself as a ‘black woman’ told me she dreaded the day her infant son would say, “Mommy, I wanna’ be white.”

It happened when he turned five; had to do with something about TV super-heroes. She prepared herself for The Speech, using the “Black Pride”, “I-Am-Somebody,” Jesse Jackson talk. I didn’t realize that this is the speech that so many African-American/Black-American parents go through, or the pain that it involves.

Crap. I don’t know how I’d could possibly deal with that. Me telling my five-year-old daughter that Isis wasn’t real pales by comparison.

This is the most horrible thread ever.

Happened to a cousin of mine. “Dad, I got a girl pregnant.” His son and the girl were both 13 at the time.

I dunno. I myself know many Jews, and have many Jewish friends. None of them have ever given me 20 cents. I mean, it’s just not convenient: two dimes? Are nickels or pennies involved? I can’t even use 20 cents in a parking meter. It’s just never come up.

A year after 9/11, my nine year old neighbor was telling me about the presentation his class gave about the event. He was in the group for flight 93.

Suddenly he got quiet, looked straight ahead and asked “What were the World Trade Buldings?”

“What do you mean, what were the World Trade Buildings?” I said, not getting his question.

“Were they like–apartments?”

“No, they were all office buildngs. The people there were working at the time.”


Later I realized we lived in an apartment building where the planes to and from Teterboro Airport are always flying over us, close enough to see. It broke my heart realizing that child had been worrying about those planes flying into our building for a year.

I’m a 45 year old man. Is it OK if I weep at that a little?

Around this time last year, I was hanging with my best friend Chris. We’d spent a few hours together in the pool while his mom and my GF went out to lunch. Then we had to part ways, for what we both knew would be a year. We hugged.

“You’re my best friend!”, he said.

“You’re my best friend too”, said I.

He broke out in tears. “No, you’re my best friend IN THE WHOLE WORLD!”

A few years ago my then 4 year old daughter was looking at birds flying around and declared “Daddy, I want to fly!”

I said she could ride in a plane or a balloon but that wasn’t god enough. She restated “I want to FLY!” and I knew she meant it literally, as in with her own wings.

I had to explain to her that it would never happen :frowning:

One of my cousins was about 8yrs old when she calmly explained to my mother that she was sorry but she was going to hell. The girl’s religion taught her that catholics are not christian and therefore we’re all going to hell.

Totally random conversation from the older kid last year in K5:
“Mommy, Justin’s dad didn’t die.”
Me: “Well, that’s good.”
Kid: “He was murdered. How is that different than dying?”