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Just A Thought Kids Do The Craziest Things
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To me children are so interesting in the way they think and act on it. I can remember when we first moved into our home in 1956 and looking out the kitchen window at our irrigation ditch just past our property line. Often, I would observe children at the water. The girls would just be standing and peering at the passing stream. But not the boys, as they were either throwing rocks in it or thinking about jumping across it ... much to my relief I never saw one do that. Sometime later, the ditch was cemented over and no longer an accident waiting to happen.

Recently, we were at our 5-year-old grandson's birthday party. As time went on, the boys in the group became bored and were looking for something to do, so although there was a bowling game available, they took it a step further and used the plastic bowling pins to hit ants in the sink. One Saturday looking for something to do, our son and a couple of other neighborhood kids decided instead of a lemonade stand to make money, they would put on a show of their own original music. Armed with a drum set, saxophone and harmonica, they sat in the corner of our yard, facing the street and drove every person passing by crazy. Playing as loud as they could to attract attention backfired and they made nothing, much to their surprise.

One little boy fishing with his family on the delta pulled up a baby octopus. He begged his mother to keep it and she encouraged him to return it to the water. So he devised a small hammock out of available items. His originality and compassion for the creature made his mother chuckle. While at a pumpkin patch on another occasion a little 4-year-old boy found a way to solve his problem. Although there were facilities available he decided to stand on a hay bale and relieve himself. However, his mother nearby caught him just in time and stopped as she ran to the scene yelling, "No, no!" Puzzled by his mother's reaction, the boy thought it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Years ago, a group of our local high school boys came up with what they considered was a fun plan. They were found by a night watchman sliding down hills at the Del Rio Golf course on ice blocks. Astounded at the act, he gave them a severe reprimand and sent the bunch home. To the boys, it sounded good at the moment of action.

Then there's the girls' side of the coin. I had a good laugh when my kindergarten age granddaughter decided to document her brother's act of running outside in his underwear when the grandparents were taking care of them. She put every little detail in book form with her drawings of his dash out the door to the back yard, jumping on the trampoline and other activities, and his grandfather's capturing the kid and bringing him back inside. The finished pictorial report was then stapled together. When the kid's mother returned home, she was given the finished product. However, was that tattling, probably in a more subtle way, you think? A time that I was most surprised by one of my kid's actions was when my son was in kindergarten. A girl in his class talked him and a friend into pulling down the back of their pants, showing their underwear while running through the schoolyard at recess. The two boys were taken to the office to be reprimanded. Even though they suffered the consequences there remained a sort of pride thinking that they were actually streaking.

Some of the things kids come up with are about a plan, some as my kids always told me, just happened. My advice to my kids was always to think before you leap, a philosophy to live by.

Sheila Arellano is a retired reporter for The Escalon Times and a longtime local resident. She continues to contribute occasional columns.