We’ve all heard that kids say the darndest things or kids say the funniest things. The idea has spawned television shows, books, blogs, and more. If you have kids, no matter how old they are, I’m sure you can recall many occasions where your child has said something so goofy, so silly, that it sent you into a fit of hysterics. I like to jokingly say that they were made to be cute and funny when they are young because that is what keeps us from giving them away when they drive us absolutely crazy!
It’s not just humor though. Another expression, out of the mouths of babes, although it’s roots are of a biblical nature, has become an idiom to represent a moment when from a child comes words or ideas that show a very adult like mentality or sentiment. Did you ever hear the story about the semi-truck that got stuck going underneath a highway overpass? It didn’t make the clearance and became wedged in underneath, holding up traffic, and causing problems for the truck driver, his cargo, and the other drivers. For some time police, firemen, road crews, and workmen all tried to free the truck using a variety of equipment. It wasn’t until an 8-year-old boy driving with his parents in a car going the other way came upon the scene and asked his parents what was going on. His parents, describing the scene, told their son that the truck was stuck and that the crews were working hard to try to get it out and under the clearance. The little boy to the surprise of his family, said simply, “why don’t they just let the air out of the tires?”
There’s some speculation as to whether or not that story is true or if it’s just one of those urban legend, folk tale type stories, that get passed around from person to person, and eventually pulled out when it fits the situation. Today, it fits the situation. All this week we are letting the kids do the talking. We’ve interviewed many people about many things in the months since we began this project. We’ve asked lots of questions and heard many opinions. Our goals? To find common ground for people. To find things that people would like to share and like to do together regardless of their race, gender, ethnicity, class, and so on. To give people a platform to talk, and an opportunity to listen. To write material and conduct interviews that people can identify with. All of the people we’ve talked to have been different from one another in so many ways. The one thing that has been true of each and every one of them is that they were all adults.
We’ve done the grown-up thing here on One Unified. Now, we’re taking this entire week to a different level. All of our interviews, questions, polls, and even our Sunday Spotlight will be by the kids, for the kids, and about the kids. It really is true that kids say the darndest things. It can be pretty amazing just to hear the difference in perception that a child has when faced with the same question or problem as an adult. You’ll see if you follow along this week. Whether you have kids or not, you’ll surely be able to identify with our kids talk week, so stay tuned all week for more…
And now, we’re sharing the comparing perspectives of a parent and child. The only “grown-up” we interviewed or spoke to this week (apart from getting parental consent of course), we thought this started the week off right. Goes to show how differently a grown up and a kid will answer relatively the same questions. Also goes to show how verbose some 6 year olds can be. And of course, this particular interview shows that sometimes 42-year-old men are really just 6-year-old boys with a car and a job.
Our grown up is 42-year-old man. Our kid? A just turned 6-year-old boy. They are father and son.
Have you ever been interviewed before?
Dad: I was interviewed for a local paper when there was a fairly serious accident at my workplace.
Kid: That’s boring.
What’s your favorite tv show?
Dad: Game of Thrones.
Kid: I really like Little Einsteins but my mom said that it’s not on tv anymore and the player for the dvd broke because the dog knocked it off the table. I think my sister threw it away though.
What do you think is the coolest job in the world?
Dad: Navy Seal is a pretty cool job.
Kid: Superhero. Like if I was gonna get a job as a superhero I’d want the job to be Spiderman or Hulk. I think Hulk more. I don’t think I like being green but he is really strong and then I could keep away all the bad guys that try to break in to my house.
Do a lot of bad guys try to break in to your house?
Dad: Not that I’m aware of. Unless this goes on when I am at work.
Kid: Not right now, like today. But if it happens then I could be ready and shoot them with my laser gun.
So, you are a laser shooting Hulk. What about another job besides superhero? Can you think of another cool job?
Dad: I think being a brain surgeon is a cool job. (At this point I call the dad out for saying that just to try to subconsciously implant the idea of becoming a doctor to his laser gun wielding Hulk wannabe. He concedes.)
Son: I think a cop or like an agent. Like, you know, a secret agent or a spy. yeah, a spy. That’s a cool job.
What do you think your wife (and your mom) does all day at work? (She is a social worker)
Dad: She assists people who are struggling with paying their utility and other bills on time. She tries to get them on payment plans, find out of they are eligible for grants, and so forth. I know she spends a lot of time on the phone with various people and agencies. Probably about 80% of her day is spent on the phone.
Kid: I guess she talks on the phone. I don’t know. I know she talks a lot on the phone at home so she maybe probably talks a lot at her work too. I know when she picks me up sometimes she looks very very grumpy.
Do you think grown ups are grumpy a lot of the time? Why do you think that is?
Dad: I try not to be grumpy. Or at least not when I am around the kids. Everyone gets grumpy sometimes though, right? Sometimes people are just having a bad day.
Kid: I don’t know about kids. I see kids who cry sometimes and kids who laugh sometimes if something is funny but I don’t think there’s that much grumpy kids. If they are grumpy they probably just play X Box or have a snack and then they feel better. Like my mom she has ice cream sometimes. When she sees me and my sister and when she has ice cream. Those are the two times she cheers up fast.
What do you think is the prefect age to get married?
Dad: Is this a trick question? I’ll say 30. I was actually 27. I think you need to be a little bit established. I think you need to be sure, be ready. But if you plan to have kids, you don’t want to wait too long. You need all the youth and energy you can get to deal with these guys!
Kid: Like a thousand (laughs). I don’t think I am gonna get married really because then I will have to live in a house that has kids and stuff in it like my house. If I have to get married though I think maybe 20 or 25 is a good age.