Kids are a writer’s best friend, bar none and this is why: Two little girls headed to bed, one with a story book, the other a journal. ‘What are you doing?’ says the one with the story. ‘I’m going to write in my diarrhea.’ ‘What?’ the other who was a bit older and infinitely more experienced with the language laughed hysterically. ‘You don’t mean diarrhea — that’s squirty poo.’ The documenter of daily events rolled her eyes and said to her older sister:’The word has two meanings, hello.’
You can’t make that stuff up and for a writer scenes like this are little gifts from the page gods. Lucky for me when I find myself in need of a precocious little imp of a character I don’t have far to look for an accurate portrayal—I’m a mom with a stack of great examples. For instance, did you know Urethra Franklin sang RESPECT? I bet you didn’t know that the birthday party was at Stella’s mom’s condom? Or the reason a 3 y/o is in the bathroom for so long is because he’s complicated and needs some piracy.
Oh. My. Gosh. If I’d known how dang funny kids were I’d have had ten more and they’d all be 4! If you want true enlightenment into the mind of a child you must eavesdrop and take lots of notes.
“Mom do you mind! Me and dad are conversating!”
“Holy crap! Look what I found in my nose!”
“Ooooo I smell someone’s stinky feet! Never mind, they’re mine.”
Weeping and wailing over the punishment of the day: “Mawwwwm please! Have some compression!”
Tall black man knocks at the door, 3 y/o answers it. “Mom! A basketball guy wants to talk to you.”
I’ve got a ton of em, but I really must go build a tiny character with a bit of an attitude. She sighs. On my headstone I would like it to read: This author eavesdropped on little humanity and died laughing. Yes, that would be lovely!