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Letter from America. 

O'Donnell Irish EyesO'Donnell Irish EyesThe moment a child voices a hilarious comment, many moms, dads, grandparents, and teachers promise themselves to jot it down so that they will remember it forever.  Few of those adults actually do so, much to their later regret.  In a recent crowd sourcing exercise, I was surprised by the paucity of responses I received after asking people to post funny comments made by their children.  Perhaps some ignored the request because they couldn’t remember any “funnies”; others might have felt that the remarks they could recall were not fit for publication.  Still others might have been of the opinion that you “had to be there” in order to appreciate the humor in a recalled remark.

“Thanks for the mammaries”:  It’s safe to say that you didn’t have to be there in order to laugh out loud upon hearing this memorable exchange.  A little girl accompanied her mom to the hairdresser one day. As she stood next to the hairdresser’s chair, eating a snack while her mom got her hair cut, the stylist said to the child, “Honey, you're going to get hair all over your Twinkie.”  The little girl immediately replied, “Yes, I know, and I'm gonna get boobs like my mama’s, too.”

Speaking of boobs, I just remembered the comment my eldest daughter Keelan, then almost four years old, made to me when I was about seven months’ pregnant with my third baby, her sister Devon.  Early one morning, Keelan entered the bathroom just as I emerged, dripping wet, from the shower.  “Oh, Mommy, you’re getting very fat!” I reminded her that I had a baby growing inside me, to which she responded rather indignantly, “Yes, I know that, but what's growing inside your other boobie?'

All four of my children attended a Montessori preschool staffed entirely by nuns.  Several times a year, parents had the opportunity to observe their children through an opening mirrored on the classroom side of the pane and clear on the observation room side.  Teachers generally knew whose parents were observing on any given day and tried their best to put the children of the observers within seeing and hearing distance.  My friend Jen* and I observed our children, her Ian and my Drew, one morning shortly after Jen had delivered her fourth child.  After seating the children in a circle, Sister Margaret Mary addressed Ian:  “When you and your family go to Florida on vacation next week, why don’t you leave baby Sam with me and the other sisters?  We’ll take good care of him.”  Ian, looking down at his crossed legs, replied, “Sorry, Sister.  I can’t leave him.”  After assuring Ian that the sisters would LOVE to babysit Sam for a week, Ian continued to decline her generous offer with an emphatic “Can’t!”  Finally, Sister asked him, “Well, why can’t you leave Sam with me and the other sisters?” to which he responded, “’Cause ya gotta have ‘BWEASTS,’ and my mommy takes her bweasts everywhere she goes!”

“Bweasts” aren’t the only body parts that pique a child’s interest.  In defining the spinal column on a test, one bright student wrote, “The spinal column is a long bunch of bones.  The head sits on the top and you sit on the bottom.”  Another student explained the circulatory system in this way:  “The blood circulates through the human body by flowing down one leg and up the other.”

“How Do I Love Thee?”:  When asked to provide a good title for a love song, a classroom full of nine-year-old Southern country- and hip-hop-music fans collaborated to come up with a few great answers.  In no particular order, my favorites are as follows:

“Oh, Honey, You’re As Sweet As Big Ol’ Bag Of Gummy Worms”

“Hey, Baby, I Am Stuck On You Like Dog Poop On Your Shoe”

“Lovebug, You Make My Heart Burn”

Who says romance is dead?

Whether in church, at school, at home or in a car, kids really do say the darnedest things.  Next time your own child or grandchild makes a funny, take the time to document it while it is still fresh in your mind.   Who knows; given a sufficient number of children and grandchildren, you might someday have enough material for a book!  Absent that, you’ll at least have a treasure trove of amusing stories to relate to those kids when they have children of their very own!

By Cara Sheridan O’Donnell.

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