It makes perfect sense to her

By Mir
December 12, 2006

My daughter’s class is doing their Famous People Project, and each child has to choose a famous figure in history. They then write reports on their subjects, and—on the specified day—dress up as the person they’re featuring and give an oral report in the first person.

When Chickadee first started talking about this project, she said she would probably be Laura Ingalls Wilder. I wasn’t surprised; she loves the “Little House” books beyond reason. (I did worry, just a little, about a classroom full of Lauras.) But when the time came to start working, she picked someone else. Puzzled, I asked her why she’d switched.

“Well,” she told me, “you know, the part where we dress up is really important.” I nodded, uncomprehending. She sighed. “Mom. Laura Ingalls had REALLY LONG HAIR that she wore in two braids. My hair won’t do that, it’s not long enough.”

That’s impeccable logic, except that instead of being Laura Ingalls, she’s now being… Rosa Parks.

I would’ve asked, but I was afraid that if I opened my mouth I’d start laughing. If you understand, please explain it to me.


  1. MMM

    Yeah…I got nothin’ :)

  2. daysgoby

    Please please please tell us what her outfit turns out to be?

    Are you going to be called upon to make a paper-mache version of a bus seat?

    I love Chickie. Everything in her world is so black and white.

    (No! I did not mean the pun! Honest!)

  3. Patricia

    How does Chickadee’s hair do in a bun?
    Maybe we have finally reached the point where we no longer see skin color, but instead judge each other on the length of their hair — after all it makes equal sense ;)

  4. meno

    That is the best thing i’ve heard in a while. She just didn’t notice the skin thing. Sweet!

  5. Laura

    My daughter just had “Pioneer Day” at her Girl Scout camp and she had the same dilemma. They’d made paper bonnets, so I just braided some material and taped one on either side of the inside of the bonnet. Presto-braids.

    Em was also very into reading the “Little House” books and we were reading “Little House in the Big Woods” aloud in front of my husband one night and after a chapter or two he looked up and said “So this book is pretty much a list of chores?”

    Yep. But *compelling* chores!!!

  6. Zee

    We did that when I was in middle school – only they didn’t tell us ahead of time that we had to dress up and present our report in front of the class *and* a video camera. So who’d I choose?

    Harry S. Truman.

    Oh yes. It was classic. Heh.

    I actually did have hair long enough to braid that I had to put up somehow underneath my dad’s hat. I don’t even remember why I chose Harry Truman but I do know that if I’d known I had to actually dress up as him I’d have chosen a female of some kind so that I didn’t have to cross-dress at the tender age of 12. [sigh.] It was traumatic, I tell ya.

    Anyway, I think choosing Rosa Parks is awesome. I think you need to post a picture! :)

  7. Sara

    I love Chickie. There is no understanding third grade logic. Can’t wait to hear about the results!

  8. karen

    How awesome is it that she actually knows who Rosa Parks was. Third grade? I’d say that says a lot about her mom. Way to go!

  9. chris

    Okay the comment above about the paper mache bus seat cracked me up.

    I cann’t wait to hear what she does decide to wear.

  10. Nancy

    Having a daughter the same age or so, I don’t find this all that surprising, but neither do I understand. I can’t wait to hear about it!

  11. Carmen

    Mir, you made me spit coffee out at my monitor. Too, too funny!

  12. Niki

    When my brother was 8, he played on a soccer team on the not-so-great side of town with one of his friends. Mom and Dad went to the first game, where Brother made sure they knew the number on his shirt “so they could know which one was him”. Picture – skinny little pale redheaded white kid on an otherwise all-black team. And he had no idea! I love kids!

  13. Meritt

    LOL. I guess in her mind it made perfect sense. ;)

    (Coffeekid was Martin Luther King… and he was quite upset to learn that the teacher forbid him to use a dark shade of makeup on his face to change the tone of his skin. He really wanted to look like Martin Luther King and was angry that now ‘no one will know who I am’)! :)

    I love kids. LOL.

  14. Amy-Go

    My middle child (iridescent white skin, freckles, orange hair) loves the Samuel L. Jackson character in the new Star Wars movies. Awhile back he asked me quite seriously to buy him some brown skin so he could play dress-up as Mace Windu. And then wondered what was wrong with me when I snorted gatorade out of my nose. Go figure. ;)

  15. Sophie

    I love kids; they just don’t let little things discourage them. I think Chickie is awesome sweet.

  16. Lesley


  17. Ei

    Hilarious…and too perfect for words. I love Chickadee.

  18. Kar

    Too Funny! That made me literally spew my coffee out of my nose and one to my keyboard.

  19. Elleoz

    I hope that everything works out and that she is the best Laura Ingals Wilder anyone has ever seen. She is so sweet. To be a child again.

    I am so far behind on your life. Maybe sometime soon I will be able to catch up.

    Have a great day MIR!

  20. Aimee

    HA! Oh, that is priceless.

  21. Amy

    Ooh! I love the dress-up idea! I’m going to have my 3rd and 4th grade students research important people after vacation and I hadn’t thought of having them dress up like the person. I think I’ll try that.

  22. The Other Leanne

    Too, too much! I’m going to be chuckling about that all day. And Patricia gets my vote for best comment: “Maybe we have finally reached the point where we no longer see skin color, but instead judge each other on the length of their hair..” Big hug to ChickaRosa, and remind her she can sit anywhere she wants on the [school] bus.

  23. Jenn2

    Gosh, I just love that kid.

  24. Cele

    Sometimes it takes a child’s simple, yet logical vision to see things how they really should be.

    So, you are doing the bus seat…right?

  25. Brigitte

    Well, besides the hilarity of the dress-up part, Rosa Parks is a great choice . . . but really, Chickadee could have just braided a dress-up/Halloween wig or something.

  26. Kimberly

    Well, it’s all about the hair, of course. Isn’t it always?

    And I imagine nobody puts Chickadee in the back of the bus.

  27. udge

    Heh, Chickadee’s colour-blind. Who knew?

    Marvellous; and I hope nobody explains it to her why it’s marvellous.

  28. Christina

    So it wasn’t coffee on my computer, but tea – that is too funny and adorable! I second the paper mache bus seat…

  29. fin

    Hair is more important than skin color…

  30. Terri

    Okay, that’s hilarious. Along the same lines … my husband was talking to our 1st grader about his new teacher a while back. He asked how she compared to his kindergarten teacher, and Josh said, “they’re almost exactly alike, except that Mrs. L teaches a little different than Mrs. B.” Understand that Mrs. B is a tall, quiet, blonde woman in her 50’s and Mrs. L is a tiny, bubbly, sing-all-the-time black lady. The only similarity between them is actually their teaching style. I love that they don’t notice skin colors yet — the world would be a better place if everyone could be so color-blind.

  31. kuri & ping

    I’m a long-time lurker/reader, but this post made me spit out my coffee onto my computer monitor. Kids are great. :)

  32. Melanie

    It makes perfect sense. That’s just freaking awesome.

  33. IWantToBeLikeMir

    Wicked cool…that’s all there is to say about that wonderfully beautiful and blessed child of yours! If only everyone could be more concerned about their hair and not about the other non-important aspect of life!

  34. Lisa (aka: buzzards)

    HA HA HA!!!! This made me LOL. :) I love the mind of a child.

  35. Kris

    It makes perfect sense! Translation: When you’re on the cusp of preteendom (it is too a word!), then it’s all about the hair.

  36. Jenifer

    That’s perfect….just perfect.

  37. MarcySheiner

    What a delightful, elegant anecdote! You say so much in one short piece. Your daughter is a riot–a precious riot. Maybe she’s color blind? Anyhow, I like your blog.

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