Sarah Simpson

Sarah Simpson

Sarah Simpson Column: Life from the perspective of young children

Here we are, back for another edition of My Children Say the Darnedest Things.

Last month, my kids’ school had a fall fun fair. I wrote about it in a previous column “Fall fun fair fairly fun”.

SEE RELATED: Fun Fair Fairly Fun

One of the stations located around the school featured a temporary tattoo stand. The seventh graders manned the station, applying cartoon tattoos of various shapes and sizes to the hands, arms, and cheeks of the school’s younger students.

My Grade 1 daughter dutifully waited in line, handed over her ticket, and selected a Toonie-sized tiger head for her forearm. She loves tigers.

(As an aside, it was the most expensive temporary tattoo I’ve ever bought! That ticket cost me 50 cents! The least she could have done was buy a bag of chips to share with her mom but that was pretty much ruled out when her big brother cleaned out the chip stand, essentially using all of the tickets I gave him on bag after bag of chips.)

Anyway, the older student who applied the tattoo did a bang-up job because days, if not weeks later, the darn thing was still hanging on to her arm despite numerous showers that should have washed it off.

One night, a week or so after she got her tattoo, I overheard my daughter and her dad talking.

She’d asked to borrow his phone so she could take a picture. Then she said the following terrifying thing:

“I’m the kinda girl that takes a picture of her tattoo when she’s six and then waits until she’s old enough goes and gets it done again for real.”

Oh dear.

A week or so later, she was talking about tattoos again, and about people getting “whole murals” on their arms and that she didn’t need her whole arm done, she’d just redo hers right on her forearm like it is now.

This is where my age leaves me conflicted.

I’m at that age where I still remember the strict parenting styles of old. I felt like saying, “Young lady there’s no way in hell I’m going to let you get a tiger on your forearm! No employer in their right mind is going to hire you looking like that…”

Then I realized that I’m also way more easygoing of a parent than my mom ever was. While I do question my daughter’s judgment, I also realize she’s still only six years old and she’ll likely grow out of the phase of wanting a tiger on her forearm. Let’s hope anyway.

Plus, I know my kid, and any employer would benefit from having her and her future tiger tattoo on their payroll. Let’s maybe just wait a few (dozen) more years though.

The gems that come out of this young lady’s mouth sometimes leave us gobsmacked. I don’t know where she gets them.

The other day we were running errands and we needed to make a quick stop at the grocery store because I hadn’t planned dinner that night very well and needed to stop for a couple of things.

So, there we were, together at the grocery store — in the seafood section — and she looked to her left then to her right and said:

“It’s really disturbing how the live animals are forced to stare at their dead siblings until they become them.”

Read that again. It’s kind of profound in a way.

She’d been looking at the live lobster/crab tank and then swivelled around to see all of the frozen fish in boxes inside the cooler across the aisle.

I mean, what do you say to that? She’s not wrong.

So, I said the only thing I could think of: “Fish sticks or popcorn shrimp?”

She grabbed my hand in hers and replied: “Popcorn shrimp please.”

I like to think she picked that because there were no shrimp in the live tank.

My son isn’t as loquacious as my daughter but he often comes up with comments that leave us shaking our heads as well.

We had a really pleasant Halloween night, trick-or-treating around the neighbourhood. The kids were even shocked to see a real police officer wandering the streets, handing out candy to children.

My son was shocked she was participating instead of arresting everyone.

“We get to legally rob people of candy!” he said.

“Well, yeah, just once a year it’s OK,” we conceded.

“What about stranger danger?”

“Uhh… well, you’re right kind of. Sometimes we just have to trust that those who are participating are inherently good.”

House after house, he fearlessly marched up to the door to receive his free candy. We were delighted to hear both kids say thank you every time. It makes us proud.

The evening was mild and the most laid back it’s ever been for us as a family. It was really nice.

That is, until we got to the schoolyard.

It turns out, the scariest stop of the night didn’t involve stranger danger or scary decorations at all. The most frightening place, for my son anyway, was when we stopped at the school where the principal and school secretary were there handing out candy.

Of course he’d be afraid! They’re the adults in charge at school!

I assume it’s kind of like those poor fish at the grocery store.

For a kid, it’s really disturbing to have to look at the scary grown ups until they become them.

ColumnistComedy and Humour

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