The Perseid meteor shower was its peak and best viewed during the nights of Aug. 11 and 12. (Black Press photo)

The Perseid meteor shower was its peak and best viewed during the nights of Aug. 11 and 12. (Black Press photo)

Sarah Simpson Column: Out of the mouths of babes: the questions, comments and observations of kids

So, I had originally planned to tell you all about a courageous Cowichan woman who, along with a bit of help, came to the aid of a gentleman who’d found himself in some trouble in the water. By all accounts, the woman had helped to save the man from drowning.

The woman’s friend called and told me the story and said her friend ought to be recognized. I agreed. When I called the hero, however, she didn’t want the story to go in the paper, so here I am, staring at a blank page.

I won’t let you down though. You’ll just get another story about my family, and for the most part, you seem to be receptive to those.

In truth, the reason I began writing about my family is because so many of the “good news” tips I received from you readers resulted in people not wanting to be recognized for their heroics/achievements/good deeds etc. While it’s sort of cool that some people just want to do good for the sake of doing good, it sucks a bit for those of us who need to write and/or read about something good every now and then! Good news is good for all! Please do keep that in mind. If you’re reading a bit too much about my family, send me a story tip that includes somebody who wouldn’t mind actually talking to me about it.

So… here we go with another round of Kids Say the Darnedest Things. All kinds of new questions and new uses of vocabulary words have been popping up now that the kids have learned how to read.

My daughter told me today that my shorts “look like Grammy would wear them”. She loves her Gram and I don’t think she meant the implied insult but still…

“How come the word harmony has harm in it?” my son recently asked his dad. Solid question. He’s about to learn dad and mom don’t have all the answers after all.

“Dad has the biggest ears in the group,” my daughter declared during bedtime one night. The randomness of her observation was funny enough but “the group”? She clearly meant our family. But lately she’s referred to us as a group as if we’ve been assigned to each other for a class project or are trying to get a discount somewhere.

Around bedtime Aug. 11, we were talking about getting up to see the Perseid meteor shower when one of my children wondered what would happen if a meteor crashed into the house. It’s a natural question given every cartoon ever created has at least one episode featuring the town being under threat of extinction due to an incoming projectile. My kids have seen their fair share of those episodes. (Yes, I let me kids watch TV. Judge me if you will, but do so quietly because I don’t need to hear it!)

Anyway, my husband explained to the kids that meteors generally burn up in the atmosphere and very few actually make it through the mesosphere, and if they do manage to make it to the earth, then they’re called meteorites.

As if that wasn’t enough for my six-year-old and eight-year-old to digest, my husband, who has a knack for knowing all sorts of random facts, then went on a bit of a tangent and told us that NASA only has four functioning space suits (the kind you would use on a space walk) and they were worth $15-$22 million back in 1974 when they were made. That’s the equivalent of $150 million now. Each.

(FYI, I fact checked my husband’s claims. His numbers come from a Business Insider piece in July, 2021 called What makes NASA spacesuits so expensive?)

The rest of us are so used to hearing his random facts that nobody balked at all at this new information.

“The first space suit was made of wood,” deadpanned my daughter. As if she didn’t already have us laughing, she follow up quickly with: “It didn’t work.”

“How did they test it?” replied my son without hesitation. “A great sacrifice?”

Where do they come up with this stuff? Kids say the darnedest things. And I’ll continue to keep telling you about what my kids say unless you send me a story tip so I can tell you about something else!

ColumnistComedy and Humour