Pocketfuls of Sunshine

Kids Say the Darndest Things

Posted on: September 29, 2008

We were on a walk tonight through the neighborhood. We took our usual route, but each day there is something different to notice. Some days there are so many people out walking that there are mini traffic jams on the sidewalks. Of course, I take up two-thirds of the walkway with the double side-by-side stroller, which doesn’t help for easy passing. Today, though, there weren’t that many people but there were tons of dogs.

Our neighborhood seems to have a ridiculous amount of dogs. At one point today, there were four houses in a row, all with dogs in the backyards. And ALL FOUR were going crazy, barking at one another. As I passed each house, I could hear the owners yelling out their windows. The dogs clearly didn’t care. At least they were barking at one another rather than at me and the children.

There’s one house in particular that has two dogs. When they see me coming, they start yelping in the front bay window. It’s a corner house, so at first I was glad that they would likely stop as I turned the corner and walked by the side of the house. But then I heard it—the ting ting ting of a tag on a collar coming closer and closer. I’ve since figured out that the dogs must have a doggy-door, because as soon we were are out of sight of the window, they come running out the back door and right toward the fence. Inevitably, they bark and go CRAZY just inches from the kids. And poor Bubs looks at them and screams. And today I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I actually barked at the darn thing. That dog is my nemesis during every walk. But The Bean? She says, “Hieeeeeeee”. It’s almost like a two syllable word. Hi E. It’s cute, really. She doesn’t discriminate. She says hi to little dogs and big, quiet ones and growlers. And this reminds me of another great kid moment.

I used to teach karate to children and adults. Twice a week, I also taught a kindergarten karate class. It wasn’t so much karate as it was discipline and learning how to move in a coordinated fashion. And we talked about right and left, a lot. “The other right hand!” I would tell them. It was a test in patience for me.

Part of class was dedicated to raising awareness about strangers. So I asked the students some questions.

“What would you do if a stranger walked up to you and said that he needed help to find his lost dog?”

All in unison, they yelled back, “Run away! Tell someone!”

“Good! And what if a stranger came up to you and asked you to help him get his kitty out of a tree?”

And although most of the kids responded as I had hoped, one raised his hand and said, “I would go help him find the kitty.”

I was stunned. So I just had to know. “Why would you go with a stranger to get his kitty but not to look for his dog?”

The answer? “Kitties need more help.”

Needless to say, we had quite the class discussion about stranger safety after that one. But I never forgot it. Kids.

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