Friday, January 30, 2009

Spot the Difference

I'm sorting through the newspapers looking for landscapes and robots for a school assignment, and find one of those commemorative pull-outs on Obama. Captive audience. Opportunity for quick current affairs lesson. I turn the pages and speak to the photographs. These are all the people who turned up to watch the inauguration/ these are his little girls/ this is the former President. I find two columns of thumb-nail pictures of former Presidents. I say to my boys "Can you see any difference between these men and Obama here?" and point to a large picture of Obama on the same page. The boys look down the columns and across to Obama. My six-year-old nods. He points at Obama: "He's got bigger ears."

35 comments:

Braja said...

Bless him .... :)

Maddie Grigg said...

The ears have it. x

Tawny said...

If everyone was as blind to colour as that, we would all be happier I think :)

Adventure Mother said...

Classic.. you will have to remember to embarass him with that one when he hits his teens!

Botogol said...

do you think he doesn't see it? Or do you think that at six he's already old enough to have noticed already that in our society that's NOT the first diference that one would normally point out.

Rachel Pattisson said...

That's lovely! Made me chuckle :o)

shula said...

It's a Perfectly Reasonable Answer.

Expat mum said...

That's progress!

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Excellent - you're doing well in terms of teaching them diversity, even in one of our least diverse counties in Britain!

Lady Fi said...

My kids are brown (as they call themselves)... mainly other kids distinguish them by saying, Oh he's got the orange bike / She's the one that is bi-lingual and so on...

It's only later on - from their parents - that they start to judge them on colour. I for one wish more people would be like kids!

aims said...

Yes! Why can't the world be more like the kids!

On another note - I am transfixed with watching every single move President Obama makes. He comes to my country on the 19th of Feb. I'm so excited although he'll be in the east - I know I'll be beaming that day.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Always seeing the world how it really is.

CJ xx

sunshine said...

We've all heard that "big hands, big *****" -- but have you heard the one that applies to Barack? "Big ears, huge heart"?

His heart and his brain WAY overcome his skin tone! And children tend to tune in to heart size, don't they?

We are so very lucky over here on this side of the Atlantic!! We worked hard, but we were rewarded so hugely!

Pam said...

That's definitely a story to write down and tell him later in life.

Mount Rushmore is a funny place - a place of disdain for the native Americans in South Dakota that own the Black Hills it resides in, and a national monument for Americans.
I went several years ago but jumped out of the car, took a picture and drove off, as we were on our way to Yellowstone. It was very tacky of me to do that!

Sandra Montgomery said...

Not everyone is starry eyed and treating Obama as if he is some sort of demi-god. I really am not sure what all the adulation is about. Up until a few months ago I had never even heard of him and when I did my first thought was that no one with Hussein for a middle name would ever get elected as US president. Obviously I misjudged the US voters.

That aside; the guy has no track record. As senator he voted 'present' over 130 times; you can't effect change if you aren't willing to vote yes or no. He has no experience in the area of foreign policy. He is a gifted orator [although we all know that writing your own speeches in Washington is not done], he has charisma, intelligence, is energetic and and optimistic. But he has yet to prove if he can lead.

I full realize that this is not a popular, or even welcome opinion to have, but I have never been much of a follower. I think outside the box and sheep mentality drives me crazy. I am sitting back with eyes wide open to watch and wait before I jump on any bandwagon.

greenwords said...

I love that story.

mutleythedog said...

Kids dont notice skin colour more than hair colour or eye colour. Its one of those loaded weapons we should avoid handing on... all of us.

Bumps Stump said...

Priceless! Now why is it so hard for adults to see the important parts?

Sandra Montgomery did hit the nail with her comment too. Mr. Obama is not yet ready to become a statue in the park. The jury on his Presidential acumen is still out.

Keep blogging.

You are very good at it.

Dixon

grimalkin said...

Actually that was my exact thought watching the inauguration. "Now anyone, even with ridiculously big ears, can be elected to the most serious office of our nation." It gave hope to a lot of us moms.

Sparx said...

Kids notice what they know, hey? They learn words for 'ear, eye, nose' etc quite early on but most of us don't teach them 'that man is white, that man is black'. They see that dogs and cats are different colours from each other so I guess it seems normal for people to be different too - no emotional weighting gets attached until they're older.

rosiero said...

All the better to LISTEN to the world's troubles.

Shakespeare's Housekeeper said...

Lovely story.
I've just done an 'Honest Scrap' on my blog, and number two is the fact that i'm so proud my DD's first boyfriend is black.
We live in an area that has no black community- he lives a good twenty miles away, and his family are from St Kitts.
DD and The Writer have spent time in multi cultural areas but having been brought up in an area myself where there has never been a black community,i'm constantly asking him questions about his heritage and giving him quick glances when he thinks i'm doing something else....but he gives as good as gets- he's always asking me about my Scottish heritage, and whether my hair is really a Celtic red colour or does it come from a bottle.


BTW, bought your book Judith ( in a charity shop!Is that worse than friends keeping it in their toilet?)and have devoured it in a couple of days.
Smashing read.

SHxx

louise said...

I have just put up a link to your blog on my new infant one - I hope this is okay - if not you can send me a rude remark!
http://dragondays.wordpress.com

annie said...

There was a new boy in the class when my daughter was in Y2 - I asked her to describe him and she said he had a green coat, I said no I am still not sure, she said that he had a Dalek lunchbox, so did lots of the others, well his Dad had a big car. We went on like this for some time until we went to the school - that's when I saw him and realised he was the only black boy out of a school of 400. She had not seen the difference at all - it's the same with disabled children - what happens to us that we do as we get older?

The Scribbler said...

Obama's coming here the 19th and my girls are thrilled! Last summer my eight year old sent him a letter and wrote that she tries to stay up and watch politics but she usually falls asleep. I gave it to a Superdelegate while I was in Portland to pass Obama. She said she was sure he'd appreciate my daughter's honesty.

lizzy said...

This is a priceless quote - I have read to all my family members and each time the laughter just goes on and on. Thanks so much for sharing this. Wow! I love that 6 year old and I don't even know him!

SueBee said...

Judith, I love your blog and have bought your book. Can I ask if you could split the blog entries into years and archive 06, 07 and 08. It would make it faster to download to read. At present when I open the site I get all your entries from 06 onwards. Many thanks,Sue

pearcey said...

Hi Judith,

I have just finished reading you r book - which I realy enjoyed. I have just left the beautiful North East and moved with my family to Somerset and feel like a Wife in the South. Your book has made me cry and laugh in equal amounts. Cry because I miss all the things in the NE you describe so well - we have had many, many happy days in Northumberland and have yet to find places here I love so much. Also, the isolation and loneliness you describe at the beginning of your book I am experiencing now - I hope like you I gain some feeling of contentment soon. The descriptions of your children and family are lovely and I am sure your book will be a lovely gift for them in the future. Thank you.

halfmarathongirl said...

That's brillaint. My six year old and one of his best friends are different colours, and the friend's mum told me that when they were playing at her house, both children had been at pains to impress on her the fact that they were identical twins.

This is my first time at this blog. I was drawn to visit having just finished the book - a fantastic read which made me laugh and cry on the tube to work (very embarrassing when one's attempt at smothering a laugh turns into a snotty snorting noise!!)

Anyway, think your writing is fab and I'll be back to read more.

Ladybird World Mother said...

!!! That is so sweet.

Lulu LaBonne said...

I'm loving hearing my 6 year old nephew refer to him as Iraq Obama

plot on a hill said...

Fabulous........from the mouths of babes. x

I love this blog.

Judith you are so clever, but I also love Northumberland.

http://reluctantmemsahib.wordpress.com said...

I think that's wonderful. I remember once questioning my youngest about a new friend, trying to ascertain what the friend looked like, so that perhaps I'd recognise her at school and know to say hello. I delivered a litany of questions to which little Hat, sitting on the back seat on the school run, boredly replied, ''I don't know'' to every one. Finally I asked, ''OK, does she have long hair or short hair''. I don't know. ''Oh c'mon Hat, that's not hard!''. I DON"T KNOW, IT"S IN A PLAIT!

allgrownup said...

How very sweet your innocent little man is blind to colour!You must be doing something right :-)
I read your book whilst on holiday in bleakest Cumbria (a place I have grown to love, and was a very apt setting!). I loved it, and looked you up on here, so glad you're still writing. I'm about to become a mum for the second time, it's lovely to read your experiences and realise I am doing ok after all!

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