When youngsters say things that crack you up, write them down

When youngsters say things that crack you up, write them down

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Back in the late 1950s the TV personality Art Linkletter published a collection of amusing utterances from the mouths of children. He called it Kids Say the Darndest Things. The book was hugely popular, and no wonder. Linkletter was mining a rich vein — and an inexhaustible one. I've often wondered why more parents don't bother to write down the sayings of their own youngsters the way my wife and I did.

When our three sons were little, I kept a diary. Along with luncheon appointments and tennis match scores and opinions of books and movies, I began more and more to fill its pages with snippets from the boys' conversations. I don't mean "cute sayings" from when they were learning how to talk. I mean serious (to them) dialogues, candid observations and some highly original thinking. I still smile when I read these pages today.

Let me share a few of my favorite entries with you:

At bedtime I sat on the edge of Davey's bed and questioned the boys about what they wanted to be when they grew up.

"What do you want to be, Davey," I asked, "a ballplayer?"

"No," said Davey. "An artist."

"How about you?" I said, turning to Tim. "What do you want to be?"

"Winston Churchill," came the grave reply.


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