The kids around here say a lot of funny things. Some are due to poor language skills, sometimes ignorance, sometimes just funny things. Many of them are from Meredith. She's having a hard time learning the whole "better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt" bit. Here are a few of our favorites:
1. The other day I decided to make some oatmeal/raisin cookies. Amber makes great cookies but doesn't like raisins so these I have to make myself. Amber decided it would be a great learning experience for Meredith to see that dads can, on occasion, cook like mom does every day. Obviously as a child the best part of making cookies is licking the beaters. I remember doing this with my mother. So I made sure to leave plenty of batter stuck to the utensils to keep her busy and out of my hair. Her response when I handed her the beaters - "I can't eat this. It has raw eggs in it." Now where would a 3 year old learn something like that?
2. One day after homework time I had to make a quick run into town. 3 or 4 of the kids went with me and Okuhle was one of them. She is one of our oldest girls, and by far the most outspoken one. The kids here love to learn new songs and sing along, so we were all singing along with the music in the car. Between songs she says to me "We decided that you aren’t white, you’re colored." Colored in South Africa is defined by anyone that isn't white or black. That would include Indian people, Chinese people, anyone that is "brown". In this area that typically means part white and part black. Of course, my logical response was "Why do you think I'm colored?" thinking that maybe it was because I tend to tan pretty easily. She replied "Because you're such a good dancer." So, following the stereotype, I say "If I'm a good dancer, shouldn't I be black, not colored." Okuhle's response? "No, you're not that good."
3. The other day we were in the car and I wanted to compliment Amber. I turn to Meredith and say "Your mother is beautiful". Nodding very gravely she responded "Yeah...almost."
4. On another occasion Meredith & I were watching something on TV. It happened to show a whale swimming in the ocean. She turns to me and says "I think a whale could swallow a elephant, but whales don’t swallow elephants because it would get stuck in the blue-hole." I assume she meant blow-hole. Again, I have no idea how she knows that whales breathe out of blow-holes.
5. All the children here have daily chores to complete after school. The least desirable job is picking up dog poop. Two of our young boys, Mokhosi & Mpho have been picking up poop for about 2 years now. The rule is you can't get a new job until you learn how to do the one you currently have correctly. Obviously they don't learn too quickly. So recently some of the kids have gotten kind of lax in regard to doing their daily duties and we had to crack down on them a bit. The day after getting a pretty good talking-to Brian happened to see Mokhosi and asked him if he had picked up poop. When Mokhosi said "no" Brian was a bit miffed that obviously what had been said the day before hadn't sunk in. Because he was apparently ignoring instructions, it was decided that he would need to be punished with an additional job. About the time Mokhosi was in the middle of said job, Brian happened to run into Mpho, Mokhosi's scooping partner. Brian asked Mpho if he had done his job and the response was "yes". Brian asked if Mokhosi had helped and Mpho also replied in the affirmative. So Brian goes back to Mokhosi and asks if he had indeed done his job that day. Mokhosi's response was "No, Uncle Brian. I didn't pick up poop today. It was my turn to carry the bucket." So I guess the poor guy should get a pass on his next scheduled punishment. Although in the immortal words of Maggie O'Tool, "If you really didn't do (whatever I was being punished for), this is to make up for all the times I didn't catch you."