I love philosophy. But to truly understand it you need to work with five-year-olds. They are “so” connected with knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. They are knee deep into these things and still uncensored in their thought process.
Do you know philosophia?
Some days we use speech bubbles, this allows the group to listen better when one child is speaking, and they know where to look because the speaker is holding the speech bubble over their head.
Some days when I teach, I ask them to use their thinking bubbles. Thinking bubbles mean we have to make a connection to the story and share what we are thinking.
These are some of my favorite thoughts from five-year-olds:
- I think that adults lie because they are afraid to go to timeout.
- I think my maid is the smartest person in our house, cause she never loses things and helps all of us find our things.
- I think my brain has too much information, but my hand is still in pre-school and can’t keep up.
I am not saying that five-year-olds are not critical. They can be very critical. One little girl told me, “My family is just not right, I have to wait.” When I clarified with her about the things she had to wait for, it was all the things I hate to wait for also.
– waiting at the airport for the plane
– waiting for the Santa to show up
– waiting for the summer holiday
As I tried to get, one little boy to re-twist his PE shorts around so that his legs were parallel to his shorts legs instead of having two real legs coming out of one pants leg. (Hope you are following this). He replied, “Why? My legs still run fast.”
Five-year-olds embrace “philosophia” which literally means “love of wisdom.”
If you have not entered a kindergarten classroom – you need to. This is where real learning is often taking place. This is where no questions are too ‘stupid’ to ask, and this is where connections can be made in seconds!
If you don’t know where the title of this blog comes from-
These were the dying words of Socrates, the number one philosopher of all times, d.399 B.C.
Now a look back at expat family history –
Simens Rooster – What is he thinking?
Never underestimate the power of a young child. When it comes to brainpower, a child has you beat. The metabolic energy consumed by a child’s brain is 225% that of an adult, so this might explain why is it so hard to understand my own child’s request for a simple dinner. As I start to prepare our dinner, my child, makes a simple request.
“Mom, can we have chicken breathe?”
My son is almost four-years-old, but he does not have a speech issue or the inability to describe food, so I am stumped on what type of food he is talking about. I do the general questions Moms ask their children when we are puzzled.
“When did we have that? What is it? Did I make it? What is it? What does it look like? What is it?
I felt like a broken record because I just could not understand what he was asking for. We were lucky enough to be living in Indonesia, and my husband and I both work fulltime, we have a nanny, so I am quick to get her advice on what type of food my child might have eaten with her.
We asked about “chicken satay” and got out the wooden sticks they typically are cooked on, and my son nodded his head back and forth with “no, no, no.” We knew this was not the correct food. We then tried Ayam goring (fried chicken) this also brought out a negative response.
The following day we tried Ayam Taliwang, this is roasted chicken served with a peanut sauce, again the response was negative.
I decided that perhaps my son was not talking about the local food but about something that I had cooked on the weekends, so I started to prepare our typical American chicken food.
It is not a fried chicken breast. It is not chicken strips. It is not chicken fingers. (What is the difference between these – strips and fingers?) It is not a baked chicken where he can pick any part of the chicken he wants first. It is not easy to find out what “chicken breathe” really is to a young child.
I ask for additional help by calling in his six-year-old sister. She decides we need to try other chicken dishes from around that world that is often served in our household. She thinks it might be chicken fettuccine alfredo. She loves this, but he says “no”. Perhaps this is why she said, “It must be chicken fettuccine alfredo!”
Then we try a chicken cacciatore, again a favorite hit for us but a “no” from my son. Finally, my daughter, says it has to be chicken noodle soup.
By now every chicken in Indonesia was running for cover worried that Ms. Julia would once again try another chicken dish.
I make a huge pot of chicken noodle soup and proudly serve it up to Grant. As he shakes his head again with a “no,” I am certain that there is no such thing as “chicken breathe.” Slowly, my three-year-old pulls each and every noodle out of his bowl and carefully lines them up on the table. When his bowl is almost empty, he grabs a spoon, throws a huge smile up to me and states, “chicken breathe.”
If I had only known that “chicken breathe” was “chicken broth.” Life would have been more comfortable in the Simens household that week.
At times, in my dreams, I still see a chicken running around the world with his little beak pushed out. The chicken is blowing air all over the place, huffing and puffing. Finally, some of that air falls into a bowl, and my son is happy!
I am sure if my son had asked for Chicken Essence by name, we would have easily found it!
Sometimes raising expat children causes you to be creative. Imagine how it would be to try and explain this international treat to your children.
I always encourage expat families to share their unique stories. I also feel the printed word sometimes does not do justice to a story. Take time to build those oral stories that will earmark your time as expats so your children will benefit from knowing first hand the emotions that are part of their own life stories and then they can pass them on to others that join in the interest of their global lifestyle.
Photo – Rooster: http://bucharestlounge.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/rooster-bob-marion-rose.jpg