Summer break is that time of year when I am reminded of why we need to pay teachers more. If for no other reason than they are required to have conversations with our children during the school year, that we do not want to have. Over the summer vacation, we get to have those conversations. All the time.
“Mom, did you know that someone buys a Barbie every 3 seconds.”
“Really? How do you know that?”
“I read it.”
“The Bathroom Reader for kids. But I wasn’t in the bathroom when I read it.”
I know it is tough on teachers to compete with the media and all of the technology that is incorporated into everyday life.
“Mom, did you know that if our body did not produce mucus, our stomach lining would begin eating itself, and we would die! So snot is actually good for us.”
“Wow, did you learn that at school?”
I think kids are so distracted in these fast and ever-changing times that it is hard to keep their attention.
Sluuuuurp, Sluuuuuurpp, sluuuurrrrpppppp.
“Son, what are you doing?”
“What are you doing? You were making a weird noise, how were you making it?”
“Oh, that. That was just me squishing my spit.”
Part of the problem with our culture is that everyone is always trying to one-up each other to shock and disturb. It is a constant problem, even in families.
“Mom, I read about a guy who eats 2 pounds of metal a day.”
“So that he could break a world record. He ate the two pounds a day, until he ate a whole plane!”
“How does his body handle it?”
“He has a genetic mutation in his stomach lining that allows him to swallow metal and not get sick. Isn’t that cool?”
“Um, I guess.”
“Mom, if you could eat 2 pounds of metal a day what would you eat?”
“I don’t think I would. I don’t want to.”
“Well if I had a special and unique talent, I wouldn’t waste it like Mom would. I would eat a light pole.”
“It’s for training. I would work up to eating a helicopter, but not one that was moving.”
Then the little one, who had been listening quietly the whole time, said: “Well, I would eat the whole world. Then when I pooped, you could see it from space!”
Sometimes, it doesn’t seem like they are learning anything.
“Mom, do you know what the secret ingredient in Coca-cola is?”
“It is called 7X. But no one knows what 7X is because it is a secret.”
“Yeah, I heard on the news about a secretary who tried to sell the secret formula a few years back, I wonder if she knows what the secret ingredient is.”
“That is the problem with knowledge, it just gets out,” he said.
Then I tried for sarcasm, “Yeah, I guess it is better to lock it up and not let anyone know what you learned. Keep all your smarts to yourself.”
“Mom, that is weird, that is like giving a thief all your money so that he doesn’t steal it.”
I guess they are learning something after all.