This story is about Little Timmy (not his real name) and his statement about foolery that only a child his age could muster with such cuteness, truthfulness, and staying power.
Three-year-old Timmy was usually a menace in the daycare center, taking toys away from other children, tossing food onto the floor, and being a general, overall pain—things that Miss Susan (not her real name, either) got use to handling the few months he had been left in her care. One particular day, though, Little Timmy was unusually menacing, wreaking major havoc with the other children, talking back to Miss Susan, even threatening to throw his tiny little fist at her, leaving her feeling perplexed and exasperated. What to do about Little Timmy? she mused.
At the end of the day, when Timmy’s father arrived, Miss Susan took him to the side and kindly told him all about his son’s exceptionally disruptive behavior that day. She felt some relief but didn’t know if this would solve the problem.
The next day, Miss Susan felt weary not knowing if she and the other children would have to face Little Timmy’s wrath once again. But, when he arrived, she was shocked when he walked up to her and said with heartfelt sincerity, “Miss Susan, I sorry I was actin’ a fool” (emphasis on fooool). What could she say? She tried not to laugh after hearing something so totally unexpected from this little boy. She hugged him and thanked him and off he went to play with the other children. This happened over a year ago, and to this day Little Timmy has not been “actin’ a fool,” and Miss Susan can hardly wait to see him.
I have never met Little Timmy, but I sure would like to someday, especially when he’s old enough to understand the power of words and how he brought joy and laughter to so many people—Miss Susan, my husband Michael, me, and who knows how many others. You see, now, when Michael or I do something that just leaves the other baffled, eyebrows raised, and head a-shakin’, declaring in the voice of Little Timmy, “I sorry I was actin’ a fooool!” works every time and we fall into a fit of giggles and laughter. Words from Little Timmy live well in our household. Thanks, Timmy!
Photo (Flickr CC) by Kids Work Chicago Daycare