“Wanzaponna Time” and Other Mysteries of Childhood
Spending time with young children provides moments of great comic relief. Each of my children contributed freely. I vividly remember the year when the concept of a wish list had entered our firstborn’s consciousness. In November, the big, clunky letters spelling out modest wishes were cute. By December 1, the list had become impressive. But by December 15, it seemed worrisome, frankly—what if she thought all those items would actually be there on Christmas morning, just because she had written them on a list?
I decided it was time for a little economics lesson. “Honey,” I started gently, “do you know that if Mommy and Daddy actually bought all the things that are on your list, together they would cost more than a thousand dollars?”
“Mommy,” came the swift reply, “then you should DEFINITELY buy them separately!”
Another memorable contribution came when one of ours was in second grade. It’s only fair that I set the stage with three key pieces of information:
A. The child had saved for quite some time to buy a lizard known as a bearded dragon. It was an enormous and risky investment for a seven-year-old; the child handed over $80 to the pet store owner and in return received a fragile-looking creature no bigger than my thumb.
B. Our lengthy, traffic-laden commute required me to listen to “traffic on the eights and when it breaks” or, as usually seemed the case, when it brakes!
C. A new pill had come on the market, and its makers apparently had bought up approximately 50% of all radio advertising.
One morning, when we had almost reached our destination, a concerned little voice from the back seat asked, “Mommy, what is reptile dysfunction?”
“Nothing you need to be concerned about for a very long time, honey.”
Of course, as our children grew older, these stories became fewer and I miss them. Working at a school has been a happy provision of sorts in this regard. Student compositions displayed on the first-floor hallway usually are ready when I come looking for a smile. Where else will you read that “Wanzaponna time there was a princess”? A budding theologian on the second floor offered that “God wants women to be chased,” and an applicant to the upper school wrote about the River Ufraides. This last gem is best enjoyed when read by someone like Miss J. or another friend ready to supply an appropriate Southern accent.
At times, a child’s observation is noteworthy not because it’s funny but because it is profound. I recall a conversation about God with a ten-year-old that took place between admission assessments. He observed: “He made the Earth; he makes the rules…!” (Oh, that we all might have such clarity.)
But now school is closed, and aside from the occasional contribution by a far-away granddaughter (“Oma, pretend that all the energy you had to run is gone!”) there is a dearth of good children’s stories. Chances are that after this extended period at home, you are equipped to supply my need. Do you have a good story? Send it to email@example.com and you may see it in a future blog post.
About the Author
Imported from across the Atlantic, where she learned to love languages, old cities, and a great cup of coffee, Margot has served at Trinity Christian School since 2003. Her awe of God and the work He is doing at TCS increases with each passing year.