David Bruce: The Funniest People in Neighborhoods — Children

Children

• When figure skater Sasha Cohen was a little girl, her misbehavior necessitated a lot of time-outs, so she was used to causing and getting into trouble. A California girl, she experienced her first earthquake while playing under the dining room table. After the earth stopped shaking, she crawled out from under the table and told her mother, “I am so sorry, Mommy. I won’t ever do that again.” Her mother explained to little Sasha that she had not caused the earthquake.

• Some young children are surprised that older adults have parents, too. Librarian Jeanette C. Smith once made friends with a 10-year-old girl who often came into the Minnesota public library where she worked. One day, Ms. Smith’s mother visited her, leaving as the 10-year-old girl arrived. The 10-year-old girl asked who the visitor had been, and when Ms. Smith explained that the visitor had been her mother, the 10-year-old girl exclaimed, “YOU HAVE A MOTHER!”

• TV and movie star Sarah Michelle Gellar got her start in TV commercials. As a very young child, she starred in a commercial for Burger King in which she criticized McDonald’s hamburgers. McDonald’s was so angered by the commercial that it sued lots of people connected with it, including five-year-old Sarah. She remembers once telling her friends, “I can’t play,” because she had to see some lawyers.

• The very young son of writer Amy Hollingsworth learned nonviolent ways of dealing with anger. One day, when he was angry at her, he drew a picture of a smiley face, then he crossed it out and slipped it under her bedroom door. Later, after she had talked with him and he was no longer angry at her, he slipped two other pictures he had drawn under her door: a smiley face and a heart.

• At age 13, ballet dancer Yvette Chauviré visited her grandmother in the country. Outside on a nice summer day, she danced, making up her own ballet. The next day, her grandmother overheard two women gossiping about young Yvette: “You didn’t see? The granddaughter of Mme. Chauviré? But that child is insane! Poor little girl, so young, and already crazy!”

• As a child, Hugh McIlhenny, aka “The King,” developed his incredible ability to run with the football. His mother used to send him to go to the store, and to get to the store, he had to go through a scary dark alley. Whenever he had to go through the alley, he ran as fast as he could to escape the dangers he thought were lurking hidden in the shadows.

• The creativity of young children can be amazing. Jean Little, the author of Little by Little, had an aunt named Ruth whose family had been too poor to buy her a doll when she was a young girl. Therefore, she had pretended that three kitchen chairs were dolls. She dressed them with rags, played with them, and even talked to them.

• Sometimes, young people don’t have their priorities set properly. In the 1940s, Ilene Beckerman used to make sure that she was wearing perfume and mascara before going to her class at Ballet Arts in the Carnegie Building in New York City — but her mother would yell at her because she had forgotten to wash her neck.

• The four-year-old daughter of a friend of writer Carol Tavris took a bath with a very young male cousin, during which she made an interesting anatomical discovery. That night, as her mother was tucking her into bed, the four-year-old girl said, “Mommy, isn’t it a blessing he doesn’t have it on his face?”

• Mikaela, the daughter of movie director Steven Spielberg, saw her father on television for the very first time in 1996 when he appeared on the Academy Awards show. Mikaela’s mother held her in front of the TV and told her, “Look, honey, there’s your daddy.” She burped.

• When Olympic gold-medal-winning gymnast Kerri Strug was a small child, her “gym” at home was a carpeted room that was temporarily without furniture. She spent lots of time there walking on her hands, and when her parents put furniture in the room, she cried.

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Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

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