Saturday, August 20, 2011

Seeing It From Their Perspective

Lately I've told some stories about the funny things kids say to me at Storytime. I got another one last week that I promised to tell you about, even though it's slightly, um, indelicate. But to me that's the whole point - when we look at it from the child's perspective, it's perfectly innocent and honest.

Here's the story - At Toddler Time I had called the kids up for a story. They all sat (on their bottoms, feet in front of them) and I introduced Come Along Daisy. I pointed to Daisy Duck and Mama Duck and told them what "Come along" meant. The little girl in front of me blurted out, "Do you poop in the toilet?"

Several things ran through my mind. Do I answer her? Will the other kids want to participate in the conversation? If I don't answer her, will she repeat the question louder until I do answer? Since no other kids seemed to have heard her, I decided not to answer, and fortunately she didn't persist.

This got me thinking about "impertinent questions." Between her and the boy a couple of weeks ago who asked what I smell like, I've thought about a child's perspective, and how at that age they really have no concept of a rude question. They honestly want to know. The girl is probably in the midst of potty training, and her mom tells her all the time, "Everybody poops in the toilet! Your parents do, your friends do, the clerk at the grocery store does!" So she looked at me and wondered, "Does Miss Teresa too?" And she asked.

No need to be offended or reprimand her. I know her mom didn't hear her, but if she did, Mom could just say, "That sort of thing is private, and we just talk about it in the family." We get upset when they do something they know they aren't supposed to do, and that isn't the case in these situations. The hardest part for me is not cracking up!

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