Learning from children (HLD 159)

28 Aug 2020

Ever since we moved into our current house, which is next door to a church that runs a day care from its premises, I’ve been keeping note of the interesting conversations I’ve heard from over the fence. The church provides no entertaining snippets for me, but the day care is a hoot.

I don’t have to sit close to the fence to eavesdrop – the kids and the carers are quite loud. When we first moved in it took a bit of getting used to, but nowadays, like sirens, aircraft noise, or male bodily function noises, it’s something that is part of the environment.

Over the years, I’ve heard the following instructions from next door:

NOBODY is allowed to say the F word;

You DON’T put your head up someone’s bottom; and

This isn’t Brazilian ju jitsu class.

There have been numerous instructions from the carers to give this or that back to whichever child was deprived of it, and I’ve been party (while sitting in the sun in the courtyard drinking coffee) to a lot of education classes where we have all learned an awful lot about the solar system, recycling, animals and other languages, and I have listened and often joined into the singing sessions.

It’s quite entertaining – unless you’re on a phone call where you’re trying to sound just a tiny bit professional when the very loud call of “he poked his finger up his bottom!” comes from across the fence. That statement very rarely fits into conversations you are having. I’ve tried, believe me.

I am waiting eagerly for the day when my grandchildren contribute to my further enjoyment in this area. I have already learnt that my grandson is a ring leader. He learned where the dog treats are kept and managed climbed up to them – and taught the dog how she could also climb up to stand right next to the dog treat bowl.

He is also the best adviser about blog content. His opinions are fairly succinct. “George what am I going to write about today?”. “Trucks”. “George, I need to find something funny to write about, I’ve done too many serious ones”. “No”.

Wouldn’t it be nice if all the answers to life’s queries were so straightforward?

Please don’t use the F word unless it involves Food, keep your head out of other people’s bottoms unless you are a medical professional, and confine Brazilian jujitsu to padded rooms. Thank you.

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