Note: This column appeared in the Barrow Journal on March 7, 2012.
Writing a weekly column can be challenging because I have to come up with a new topic every week. Sometimes the ideas keep flowing and other times I come up empty. It’s then that I turn to my family and ask, “What should I write about this week?” Sometimes just asking the question out loud will ignite my imagination.
Last week, however, I asked my five-year-old. In the late afternoon I let him watch a couple of T.V. shows, and between the shows I posed the question. Usually he answers, “I don’t know.” But today he said, “I’ll think about it after my show.” I nodded and then forgot about it.
But he didn’t. Later in the evening he came to me. “I know what you can write about for your newspaper column,” he said very seriously. I was all ears. He said, “You can write about what I like… I like riding my bike. I like watching T.V.”
I took the evening to consider his suggestion, and then I thought, why not? I’m sure my readers will want to know what the Hot Picks are for a five-year-old. Well, maybe some of you with grandchildren? Anyway, I interviewed my son, and here’s the scoop:
Me: “So you like riding your bike? Why?”
The five-year-old: “Because it’s fun.”
Me: “Why is it fun?”
The five-year-old: “Because it’s like riding in a car, but it has no steering wheel and no cover, and it has pedals that go up and down.”
Me: “And it has handlebars.”
The five-year-old: “Yes, it has handlebars.”
Me: “So what else do you like?”
The five-year-old: “I like riding my motorcycle [big wheel] because it’s fun, and it’s just like riding my bicycle. I can pretend I’m driving a car.”
He also told me that he likes playing with this little brother. When I asked why, he said, “Because he’s cute. And he helps me when I fall down. He helps me get up.”
“I like building my skyscraper too,” he told me. The skyscraper consists of two big boxes I taped together for him. One afternoon, however, he spent a lot of time “building it,” and he used tape, glue and string in the process.
I asked him, “Do you play in the skyscraper a lot?”
“Not much,” he said, “I have fun out here.” (In the living room, that is.)
He also volunteered that he likes to play outside with his Frisbee, and his favorite toy is his cobra snake. After that he said, “That’s enough.”
“But I need more for my column,” I pleaded. “I know you like hiking and lots of other things, right?”
“Yes,” he said, “But that’s all I feel like telling now.”
So there you have it. It was probably the most unsuccessful interview I have ever done. Usually people like to talk about themselves, but the five-year-old only had time for a brief interview because he had other important matters to tend to. He had dinosaurs to feed and kill.
When’s the last time you interviewed your child?