While I sat in the reception area of my doctor's office, a woman rolled an elderly man in a wheelchair into the room. As she went to the receptionist's desk, the man sat there, alone and silent. Just as I was thinking I should make small talk with him, a little boy slipped off his mother's lap and walked over to the wheelchair. Placing his hand on the man's, he said, 'I know how you feel. My mom makes me ride in the stroller too.'.
As I was nursing my baby, my cousin's six-year-old daughter, Krissy, came into the room. Never having seen anyone breast feed before, she was intrigued and full of all kinds of questions about what I was doing. After mulling over my answers, she remarked, 'My mom has some of those, but I don't think she knows how to use them.'
Out bicycling one day with my eight-year-old granddaughter, Carolyn, I got a little wistful. 'In ten years,' I said, 'you'll want to be with your friends and you won't go walking, biking, and swimming with me like you do now.' Carolyn shrugged. 'In ten years you'll be too old to do all those things anyway.'
Working as a pediatric nurse, I had the difficult assignment of giving immunization shots to children. One day I entered the examining roo m to give four-year-old Lizzie her needle. 'No, no, no!' she screamed. 'Lizzie,' scolded her mother, 'that's not polite behavior.' With that, the girl yelled even louder, 'No, thank you! No, thank you!
My wife left the car unattended for only a minute, but it was long enough for our two-year-old to climb in, throw the car into reverse and crash into a lamppost. He was fine, but the car wasn't, and I had a hard time explaining who was behind the wheel to the insurance company. After a pause, the adjuster asked, 'Do you let him drive often?'
One afternoon while I was visiting my library, I noticed a group of preschoolers gathered for story time. The book they were reading was There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. After the librarian finished the first page, she asked the children, 'Do you think she'll die?' 'Nope,' a little girl in the back said. 'I saw this last night on Fear Factor.'
My sister had been ill, so I called to see how she was doing. My ten-year-old niece answered the phone 'Hello,' she whispered. 'Hi, honey. How's your mother?' I asked. 'She's sleeping,' she answered, again in a whisper. 'Did she go to the doctor?' I asked. 'Yes. She got some medicine,' my niece said softly. 'Well, don't wake her up. Just tell her I called. What are you doing, by the way?' Again in a soft whisper, she answered, 'Practicing my trumpet.'
On a brutally humid day, I walked past a miniature golf course and saw a dad following three small children from hole to hole. 'Who's winning?' I shouted. 'I am,' said one kid. 'Me,' said another. 'No, me,' yelled the third. Sweat dripping down his face, the dad gasped, 'Their mother is.'
On the way back from a Cub Scout meeting, my grandson asked my son the question. 'Dad, I know that babies come from mommies' tummies, but how do they get there in the first place?' he asked innocently. After my son hemmed and hawed awhile, my grandson finally spoke up in disgust. 'You don't have to make something up, Dad. It's OK if you don't know the answer.'
Just before I was deployed to Iraq, I sat my eight-year-old son down and broke the news to him. 'I'm going to be away for a long time,' I told him. 'I'm going to Iraq ' 'Why?' he asked. 'Don't you know there's a war going on over there?'
Even though the toddler was having a furious tantrum, his mom was unfazed. 'You may as well give up on the crying,' I heard her say as she led him to the store exit. 'You're stuck with me for 18 years.'
Paul Newman founded the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for children stricken with cancer, AIDS and blood diseases. One afternoon he and his wife, Joanne Woodward, stopped by to h ave lunch with the kids. A counselor at a nearby table, suspecting the young patients wouldn't know that Newman was a famous movie star, explained, 'That's the man who made this camp possible. Maybe you've seen his picture on his salad dressing bottle?' Blank stares. 'Well, you've probably seen his face on his lemonade carton.' An eight-year-old girl perked up. 'How long was he missing?'
Like all growing boys, my teenage grandson, Jermon, was constantly hungry. I went to my refrigerator to find something he might like to eat. After poking around a bit and moving the milk and juice cartons, I spotted a bowl of leftover chili. 'Hey, Jermon,' I called out excitedly. He came running into the kitchen. 'Look! I found some chili.' Struggling to be polite, he said, 'If you're that surprised, I'm not really sure I want it.'
My last name is a mouthful, so when my three-year-old niece learned to spell it, I was thrilled, until my cousin burst my bubble. 'You can spell Sczygelski any way you like,' he pointed out. 'Who's going to know if it's wrong?'
For the first time, my four-year-old daughter Kelsey was coming to my office to have me, a dental hygienist, clean her teeth. She was accompanied by her grand-mother. When they came in, I greeted them warmly, seated Kelsey and, as usual, put on my gloves, goggles and mask. About ten minutes into the procedure, she got scared and cried, 'I want my mommy!' I quickly pulled off my mask and said, 'I am your mommy.' Without hesitating, my daughter yelled back, 'Then I want my granny!'