Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mouths of Babes

As it turns out, yesterday I was not the one to meet with Ainsley's class. That job ended up falling on Lynley's shoulders. The only slight problem with that little change in plans was that Lynley had no idea what the topic of discussion was. So, from the start, she was already a step behind. All she had to do was boil down the fact that she was the Executive Director of Information Technology Services for a medical school.

No problem, right?

Later that afternoon when I picked up Ainsley I asked how everything went. Ainsley said, "great!" I then asked what Mommy said. Ainsley stated that Mommy said she went to work on a laptop and was a doctor.

Hmmm. It seems as though the wires got crossed a bit.

Later on that evening I asked Lynley about her experience. Her story lived up to every expectation of what a conversation with a group of 5 year olds could be. Mrs. Lewis introduced Lynley and explained that she was Ainsley's mother. As a conversation starter, she explained that we Dungans had many animals.

This was a relief to Lynley. That was a safe topic. It was a great ice breaker. She felt she could handle this.

Or, could she?

Almost as soon as Lynley stated that we had 3 dogs, 4 cats, a guinea pig and several fish, the kids started chiming in, each one trying to out do the next.

"Well, Mrs. Dungan, I have a dog."

"I have 2 cats"

"I have 2 cats, too."

"I have a new puppy."

"I have a dog and he eats his poop."

"I have a cat. He is old and he is going to die soon."

Almost immediately the kids began to out do each others dead animals. It had not taken long for Ainsley's classmates to completely derail Lynley's presentation. In fact, it took less than a minute.

Sensing Lynley's shock at the direction of the conversation, Mrs. Lewis, quickly steered the conversation back to Lynley's work. Finally, she could talk about something other than death and poop.

Or, could she?

She would only tell me that she felt far more confident standing in front of a mob of angry college students mad that they received Dell instead of HP laptops than she did in front of 13 five year old children (and this is the highly qualified and experienced mother of the twerplets.)

Her story reminded me of just about ever time I have met with a group of 4 or 5 year olds. It amazes me what comes out of the mouths of babes. If you are ever looking for a warm chuckle, it is well worth your time to visit a kindergarten.

You will be amazed at their ability to derail purpose.

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