When Did Kindergartener’s Get so Smart?

Creative Commons License photo credit: dengski

When my daughter was five years old she asked me if she could eat the snow.

“Sure you can,” I said as I threw a shovel full of snow over my shoulder,
“why do you ask?”

“My teacher says we shouldn’t,” she said, turning up her nose. “My teacher
says we don’t know where it’s been and it could contain toxic wastes and

“Wow,” I said, staring at her in disbelief, “did you learn those words in

If I had said those words in front of my Mother, I would have had my mouth
washed out with soap.

“What else did your teacher tell you?” I asked, hoping her teacher had kept
the truth about Santa Claus, Global Warming and Paris Hilton to herself.

“Oh, we’re working on the alphabet right now,” she said with a smile.
“Great,” I sighed and returned to my shoveling.
“Last week we learn the Greek alphabet,” she continued, making a snowball
and hitting her younger sister in the head with it. “And next week we’re
learning how to write in Swahili.”

Wow, I thought to myself. I only knew the alphabet we sing.

As I leaned against my shovel contemplating whether all of this was good or
bad, my younger daughter started attacking her sister, flailing her arms as
best she could held prisoner in a snow suit that resembled something the
early astronauts wore.

My older daughter quickly pushed her to the ground at which point she
looked like a turtle on its back.

“Girls,” I screamed, “Why are you fighting?”

“We aren’t fighting,” my kindergarten daughter replied with her hands on
her hips. “My teacher calls this conflict with physical expression. It’s
not fighting.” She repeated for emphasis.

I picked up my helpless turtle and set her back down on the driveway feet
first.  I turned back to the front walk. I needed time to think. Had school
changed so much since I was a child?

For the first two years all I remember was going out to recess and eating
peanut butter and crackers for snack.  Hmmm, I thought to myself, I bet no
one eats peanut butter at school anymore. I pondered the issue of so many
children with allergies. Were they always around and we didn’t notice?
Were there children who occasionally turned blue and seldom raised their
hands to talk and we carried on as usual thinking that was just the way
they were?

When I finished shoveling, I grabbed my daughters and headed inside.
“How about a hot cup of chocolate?” I asked after helping them remove their

“I’d love some,” my oldest daughter squealed, “but make sure it’s real
chocolate. The fake stuff can contain wax and the stuff they put in rat
poison. And don’t put my plastic Cookie Monster cup in the microwave. The
microwave can heat up the plastic and release carcinogens into the hot

She dashed off as usual leaving me with ninety-eight pounds of wet outdoor
apparel. Obviously her teacher hadn’t gotten around to teaching the class
about what could happen to wet fabric if it’s left in an unventilated pile
for 48 hours.

“Mom,” my daughter yelled from her bedroom, “I hope you aren’t using the
Teacher says you guys have already ruined too much of the ozone layer.”

I pushed the on button with the outside of my fist, almost out of spite.
Was her teacher actually blaming me for damaging the ozone layer?

I guess I needed to meet this teacher and ask her a few questions of my
own. If she was so smart, maybe she could tell me how we’re supposed to fix
the ozone layer and when the kids might be able to eat the snow again? How
does she think we’ll get rid of all this snow by spring if the kids don’t
eat it up?

As I leaned against the dryer, I decided that I’d leave well enough alone.
Maybe my daughter’s teacher did have all the answers. And maybe,
kindergartener’s are just getting smarter everyday.

When my oldest grandchild started kindergarten, I emailed my daughter:
your house is about to be invaded by a creature smarter than you can ever
imagine. Get on his good side unless you are ready to take responsibility
for the ozone layer.
My daughter never responded. I don’t think she understood until it happened
and then, of course, it was too late.

Submitted by: Beverly Lessard 

Contact Beverly at Bvrlylessard@aol.com

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  1. OMG – this is so funny and I can picture the serious look your cute 5yo must have had on her face too.

    Isaac is in the 3rd grade and is already telling me what the fat in the meat will do to his arteries and how I need to be sure ALWAYS use the lower settings on the dryer for lower electricity use.

    Odd, when I was that age – all I wanted was the Jetsons, my Big Wheel & Cookies and milk :) I thing my biggest concern was… “hey is there REALLY a Boogey Man”?

  2. Christina @ Wonder Years Radio says:

    That’s so funny! My kindergartner comes out with some funny comments, too. But I also agree with Aurelia…we were not burdened with these “heavy” concepts at this age. We learned not to litter and how to help around the house. Otherwise we just wanted to know what was for snack…

    Christina @ Wonder Years Radio’s last blog post..How To Find Educational Books For Kids – Show #27