Friday Field Notes: Mennonite Weddings

I am happy to announce that my favourite blog series is back! Coming at you fresh from the mouths of babes are the most hilarious, bizarre, strange and adorable things I hear kids say each and every week. I interact with anywhere between 20 and 100+ kids per week from all over the region, and I hear some pretty fantastic things. Here are the highlights from the past week (plus the Friday before). Enjoy. I certainly do!

Mennonite Boy: I’m going to a wedding on the weekend.
Me: Oh, neat. What will you do at the wedding?
MB: Play with my cousins.
Me: So is there music at the wedding?
MB: NO! Haha. No.
Me: Oh, so what happens at the ceremony then?
MB: First they sit down in two chairs. The preacher says something. Then they stand up. The preacher tells them to hold hands. Then the preacher says something and they sit down. Then they are married.
Me: So what else do you do besides play with cousins? Do you eat food?
MB: Well YEAH, what do you think we’re gonna do, STARVE or something?!

This then spurred on more Mennonite Wedding conversations which ended abruptly when one kid yelled,


I don’t know, buddy. I don’t know.

Mennonite Boy (the same one from earlier), picking up a tiny boy and dropping him on the ground.
Me: Uh, D, probably not a good idea!
MB: You’re right. It’s not a good idea. It’s a GREAT idea!

Mennonite Boy (again, the same one): I’ll just write it in primitive marker.
Me: What’s a primitive marker?
MB: It’s black.
Me: What makes it primitive?
MB: It takes an hour or two to wash off.

(words cannot express how much my heart aches with love for the boy in the next dialogue…)

A: Miss B, C is talking and I told him to stop and he won’t.
Me: You look very frustrated. C, do you see how A is upset? He’s trying to tell you to stop talking to him.
C: (blank stare)
Me: A, how do you feel when C talks when you’re trying to listen?
A: REALLY UPSET. I’m trying to LEARN THIS CLASS, but he keeps talking and I can’t LEARN when he is talking.
Me: And you want to learn what I am teaching?
A: YES. I need to learn this class so I can PASS GRADE FOUR and then so I can GET ON WITH MY LIFE and DO SOMETHING WITH MYSELF. But I can’t do that when HE IS TALKING. SO PLEASE STOP BECAUSE I CAN’T LEARN LIKE THIS.
C: (blank stare)
Me: C, please move. A would like to get on with his life.

Me: Have you started yet? What’s your seed story?
G: The time I went to Universal Studios.
Me: Good. What’s your next step?
G: I’m gonna make my seed story grow.
Me: You’re gonna make it grow?!

(cue southern gospel choir)

Mennonite girl, staring: You’re small.

Little girl walking down hallway at the end of the day, crying.
Me: Oh honey, what’s wrong?
Girl: My…sob…pen….my….sob…
Me: Pardon?
Girl: My pencil case broke!

(Discussing what makes a good “appreciation”, “put up” or “warm fuzzy”)

Me: What’s something nice you could say about someone?
Boy: Nice shirt.
Me: Yes, but can we make it even better than that? What if that person wasn’t wearing that shirt the next day?
Boy: You had on a nice shirt yesterday.
Me: Let’s make our appreciation about something other than how someone looks. What could we say about someone’s personality, or about something they’ve done that we really like? Nothing about their looks.
Boy: You’re my friend even if you’re wearing an ugly shirt today.
Girl: If you think someone is ugly, you should just say nothing to them probably.
Me: Sigh.

Me (trying again): Do you know Mrs. Lydia*? She teaches grade two out in the portable. She is a very good friend of mine. What if she said, Miss B, I LOVE your hair today. It would make me feel good. Mrs. Lydia appreciates me because I have nice hair. Now what if the next day it rained and I walked into school with my hair all wet and crazy and it looked awful? I would feel like Mrs. Lydia doesn’t appreciate me because my hair wasn’t nice anymore. But if Mrs. Lydia had said, Miss B, I love it when you walk into the room smiling. You light up the room wherever you go! Then, I would know that Mrs. Lydia appreciates me no matter what I look like.
Boy: But what if someone doesn’t smile?
Me: Sigh.

*Yes Lydia, I use you as an example when you’re not even in the room!

Non-stop Talker: Know what my sister always does? Puts hamster food in my oatmeal.
Me and others: Oh ew, gross, that’s awful!
NsT: It’s actually pretty good!
Me and others: More ews
NsT: But my mom says it can still hurt me even if it tastes good so I’m not allowed to eat it anymore.

Me: Please take your head out of the shelf.

NsT: I’m going to make the greatest masterpiece I have ever made in fifty five years!
Me: Oh, are you fifty five years old?
NsT: No, I’m six.

Weird thing I witnessed (no dialogue necessary):
During a work time, a girl gets out of her desk, walks over to the teacher’s desk, picks up a wad of sticky tack, smells it, puts it back in the desk, then returns to her seat and continues working.

Me: Please put your shirt on properly.

“Getting on with life” kid, different day, after witnessing a classmate cry over a loose tooth (oh the drama!).

A (dead serious): Life just hurts so much.
Me: What makes you say that, A?
A (extremely distraught): Sometimes you fall. Or you have a loose tooth. Not to mention all those other injuries you can get. It just hurts.
Me: Does that scare you?
A: (eyes wide, looking like he’s going to cry) Yes. Yes it does.

Broken pencil case girl walks by at the end of the day (again), hugs me and asks: “Who are you?”

Overheard by a friend:

Boy: Mrs. Lydia, do you wear your glasses to look like a teacher, or do you need them to see?

Have a wonderful weekend. Don’t let life hurt too much :o)


13 thoughts on “Friday Field Notes: Mennonite Weddings

  1. Something about A just speaks to my soul. Maybe it’s that I spent most of my childhood being ready to get on with life, and now that I have, well, it’s sort of anti-climatic. It’s funny how when a child talks like that, it seems ridiculous, and yet adults act like that all of the time, and that’s pretty normal.

  2. Oh my :D Oh my oh my. I just scrolled down this page buckling over in laughter reading these! Thank you for taking the time to record and share! I can so appreciate the randomness that comes out of kids’ actions and words day-to-day…one of the many wonderful things about teaching! I really like ‘A’. I think he made me laugh the most. Keep posting these!

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