“Only Good People Have iPads” and Other Horrific Things Kids Say

Sometimes I think my kids do and say things solely to make me have a heart attack. Either that, or they are angels in disguise teaching me to never judge a parent’s parenting skills by what their kids say or do.

Case in point, this conversation with 4-year-old BoyWonder in the car the other day, as we were on our way to visit his friend, Elliot:

BW: I can’t wait to get to Elliot’s house. He’s going to show me all his GAMES!

My brain: Dear Lord, please don’t tell me he’s talking about iPad games.

Me: What kind of games do you think he’ll have?

BW: You know, games on the iPad.

My brain: Yep, that’s what I thought. Damn Steve Jobs and his technological genius.

Me: Honey, I don’t think Elliot has an iPad.

BW: Yes, he does. 

My brain: Dear Lord, please let Elliot not have an iPad. 

Me: Honey, even if he does have an iPad, I don’t think you guys will be playing on it. I’m sure he has lots of toys to play with. And you guys can play outside in his yard! Doesn’t that sound like fun?

BW: But Mama, Elliot does have an iPad. Every single person in the whole wide world has an iPad.

My brain: Whoa. Whoa whoa whoa. What!? Where on Earth did he get that idea?

Me: No, that’s actually not true, Sweets. In fact, most people in the world don’t have iPads. We’re very lucky to have an iPad.

BW: Yeah. Only good people have iPads. Bad people don’t have iPads.

My brain: Uh, what? WHAT!? AAAAAHHHHHH!! Oh my God, I think I just died a little inside. That is like the complete opposite of our family’s values. When did he even get the good people/bad people idea? We don’t talk in those terms. And why would he think iPads would only belong to good people?  

Okay, Annie, calm down. He’s only 4. He’s not on a political tirade, he’s just thinking in simple, 4-year-old terms. Word this in a way he’ll understand.

Me: Nope, not even close, Sweetie. There are lots and lots of good people who don’t have iPads, and lots of (gulp) “bad” people who do have iPads. Having an iPad doesn’t have anything to do with being good or bad.

BW: Mama, can we please listen to They Might Be Giants?

My brain: Really? You toss out a grossly unjust and inaccurate understanding of how the world works, making me seriously question the way we’re parenting, and now you want to change the subject? First can you please convince me that you are not going to turn into an elitist snob with an unjustifiable contempt for those less fortunate? Huh, kid? 

Me: Sure, Sweetie.

Seriously. What the heck. Thank God he said all of that to me and not some unsuspecting adult who might take his words as some sort of message he’s getting from home. I’m pretty sure I’ve probably heard a kid say something equally horrific and wondered, “What are this kid’s parents teaching him?”

Sometimes kids say the sweetest, most profound things. And sometimes they say things that make you smack your head, hide your face in shame, and pray that no one else heard them. And then they immediately move on to other things while you sit there reeling and questioning everything about your parenting. So mean.

Please tell me it’s not just my kids who have appalling things inexplicably fly out of their mouths on occasion. Pretty please, with sugar on top?

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Annie writes about life, motherhood, world issues, beautiful places, and anything else that tickles her brain. On good days, she enjoys juggling life with her husband and homeschooling her children. On bad days, she binges on chocolate chips and dreams of traveling the world alone.

Comments 5

  1. When I was little I thought all men with mustaches were nice (obviously I didn’t know the stereotype of the creepy guy with a mustache). It was because my dad and my uncle had mustaches. So maybe since his wonderful parents have an iPad, he figures it’s associated with goodness. Just like mustaches.

  2. It’s not just your kids. I don’t have kids of my own, but my nieces and nephews have said things to me that I KNOW they didn’t get from their parents. It’s just kids putting words together into thoughts that don’t quite make sense to adult ears.
    Thanks for the beautiful post reminding us not to judge. I’ll be honest, as a teacher, I judge sometimes and I should remember that kids just say things sometimes.

  3. Definitely not alone – thanks to a certain episode of “Touched by an Angel”, my kids learned the n-word and proceeded to use it. And this while we were in the beginning stages of our first adoption….from AFRICA. On another occasion, my preschool-aged (at that time) daughter said that she only wanted white Barbies, because Barbies that were not white were ugly.

    Same reaction as you: are you kidding me??? Where are you getting this stuff??? How can I have produced budding RACISTS????


  4. That is hilarious! Mostly because I happen to know the Elliot you’re referring to, and he most certainly does not have an ipad. 🙂 I was told one day that only “Good moms” take their kids out for lunch. Which was said on a day when I was NOT taking them out for lunch. The tone of voice used to deliver that line was so matter-of-fact, that I think my head spun around.

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