#280 When little kids get really, really excited

Big news, big news.

I’ve got a new girlfriend.

Her name is Leslie and she’s a kindergarten teacher.

Now, one of the things I love about her is swapping stories after work because we do such different things. I work an office job in the suburbs so I tell horror stories of yellow-font-on-white-background Powerpoints while she talks about teaching kids to tie their shoes.

A few weeks back she asked her students what they wanted to be when they grew up.

One boy wanted to be a veterinarian, one girl wanted to be a scientist, and then a shy girl got all excited, her eyes lit up, and she waved both arms in the sky until Leslie answered.

“Yes Jessica, what do you want to be?”

“Oh, oh, oh!!! I want to be a farm!!!”

Now, Leslie didn’t want to kill the kid’s creativity despite the challenges of morphing into a few hundred acres of soybean plantations so she softly challenged back a bit to see where she could lead the conversation.

“Jessica, I love farms too! There’s horses and barns and trucks! There are people driving tractors, people milking cows, and people feeding chickens. Do you want to be one of those people!?”

Jessica’s eyebrows scrunched up and she squeezed her tiny nose like a pig before looking up in a head-twisty daze.

“It’s hard to be a farm because a farm is a place,” Leslie continued. “It’s somewhere we find a lot of different things. You could be something at a farm, though. Let’s say for a second you couldn’t be a farm. Is there anything else you’d want to be?”

Jessica put her head in her hands for a few seconds before getting really, really excited again. Her mouth dropped open, her eyeballs popped wide, and she started flapping her arms like wings. She started breathing really fast as her body boiled to the brim with adrenaline and her brain fired electrons in all directions. Then she looked up at Leslie with a skyrocketing energy and the blood-boiling force of a thousand trains before jumping off the carpet and yelling out again.

“Oh, oh, oh!!!”

“I want to be a pumpkin!!!”

AWESOME!

Pre-order The Book of (Even More) Awesome after reading the first 20 pages!

Photos from: here, here, and here

101 Comments

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101 responses to “#280 When little kids get really, really excited

  1. Sophia

    reminds me of myself when my answer used to be “I want to be a frog!”

  2. Andrea

    Haha, that’s adorable! My answer was never that cute. It was always “I want to be an actress!”. Now, I’m 21 and incredibly shy. Being an actress is obviously out, and I have no idea what I want to do instead. Maybe I should consider being a pumpkin.

  3. Kyla

    Totally get it. My kids are now 18 and 14 and they still hit those moments of bursting out of their skin with excitement. So funny.

  4. Nali

    Reminds me of when I was just @ the end of elementary school….still young enough to get excited, but old enough to use SOME common sense. Haha, I wanted to be a hobo then a person who lived in Alaska with 12 dogs and 12 kids then a person who biked to Utah. Haha, loved being a kid

  5. Freddo

    So true. These kids all want to express the immortal words of Rebecca Black:

    We we we so excited. We so excited.

    • Laura

      Has Rebecca Black replaced your wife’s former love of Antoine Dodson in the world of Internet sensations? I hope not.

      By the way ………..

      It’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday …

      • I hope not, too….I really really hope not.

      • Emmy

        Everybody’s looking forward to the weekend, weekend.
        Ugh I have had this song stuck in my head for the past two days. And I only found out about her on Wednesday. I joined the facebook group ‘On a scale of 1 to Rebecca Black, how much do you like Fridays?’ I thought was particularly funny.

        • Zachary

          Sitting in the front seat,
          kicking in the back seat…
          Gets really annoying after a while, doesn’t it?
          Though, the more you listen to it, the more you end up liking it!
          Darn.

      • Don’t worry – I don’t even think my wife knows who Rebecca Black is yet (sometime she seems to live in a cave, as far as pop-culture references go), so Antoine Dodson still holds top billing.

  6. Emmy

    I remember my 6-year-old self wanted to be a mermaid, and her 8-year-old cousin told her she couldn’t because Mermaids are mammals… Hmm, don’t know how that works out. Now that little kid wants to be a forensic scientist :) But that video at the end, ZOMG he is one crazy kid!

  7. Laura

    Last night was my school’s Family Fun Night (akin to a school carnival only without any of the cool stuff, like rides or fried food). I was in the “Cookie Creations” room, where kids came in and got a cookie and a spoonful of icing and got to go to different tables to decorate them however they wanted. It was for the kids who go to our school (1st – 4th grades) and their siblings. All the kids loved it, but there was this one tiny little guy whose enthusiasm was completely unmatched. He was probably two or three, and he was so excited about cookies that he couldn’t use words to express it. He looked kinda like that little girl in the picture, hands clenched in excited fists while he trembled from the sheer thought of receiving another cookie. Upon receiving said cookie(s), he would SQUEAL in delight and participate in a solo dance party sans music. It was the most awesome part of the night, hands down.

    But in all seriousness, yellow on white Powerpoints are really terrible.

    • OMG, just the thought of this little guy made me serisouly laugh out loud. But to be fair….cookies ARE really exciting

    • Lara

      Gah! And powerpoint presentations where all the slides are a plain white background and all the font is uniform and black are almost just as bad. Those presentations are usually accompanied by someone who speaks in a monotone voice. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

      • Laura

        One of my favorite ways for someone to present a Powerpoint presentation is to put at least 3,000 words on one slide and then read the whole thing to me word for word.

    • awww.. that little buddy sounds AWESOME.. anyone who gets that excited about cookies is a little kid after my own heart.. I wish we could see his solo dance party, cookie in hand..

      As for powerpoints, I totally agree with all of your sentiments above.. I’m a bit of a powerpoint snob, to be honest, because my presentations are generally pretty awesome.. yup – I’m bragging about my ppt skillz.. I’m quite a catch, ladies.. too bad I’m already taken..

  8. LOL!!! My youngest brother use to want to be a cheeta and then a power ranger when he grew up!! My daughter wants to be a vet.

    I love seeing kids get all excited, they tickle my funny bone. When my daughter gets all excited about something her eyes get big and she talks louder. Sometimes she gets SOOOOOOOOOOOO excited that she can’t even get her words straight enough to make a complete sentence and she stumbling trying to talk. Great stuff!!!!!

    • Oh, the video up there reminded me of this past Christmas with Lilly. It was going to be her last one with just her…no little brother running around trying to open her stuff… anyway…everything, and I mean EVERYTHING she opened she was so excited about. She’d start ripping the paper off, her eyes would get huge, her mouth would drop, and she’d say something like, “OH!!! A paint set!! I always wanted this!! This is exactly what I wanted!!” She would do that with every gift, until she opened this one that was a pair of pink socks. Now…I bought these before she told me she didn’t like pink anymore, but I gave them to her anyway. She opened it up, looked at them, and gently placed them in her pile without saying a word.

      • jdurley

        That’s hilarious! She reminds me of my niece. She would always say “Oh, I’ve ALWAYS wanted one of these!” Which is hilarious coming from a 4 year old kid.

  9. jdurley

    Aw… that story is so cute! Kudos to Leslie for gently steering the conversation!

    When I was 5, I wanted to be a giraffe. Plan B was to be a lamb.

  10. wendywithaurora

    I have journals filled with such stories told, from birth to a century old, evoking elation, enthusiasm, emotionally charged, endorphin inducing, where they’d been, where they were going; all the people, places and things seen; dreams of all yet to see and be! Star filled eyes is the one sure thing and when you read between the lines you get to share some bubbly feeling:
    Sooooo, all my senses WERE on Leapy Lee’s “Little Arrows” target, back in #310… hence my “child-like” excitement that day!
    I thought you were going to make this announcement Feb. 14th.
    You are very creative and have done so beautifully today.
    I hear so many people these days say to others who get excited, “Take a chill pill!” ,”What’s wrong with you?”, “Grow up!”
    I love “Road to Avonlea for this very reason,” Everyone’s free to-be; no labels, no pills; individuality is honoured and embraced!
    “The Big Orange Splot”,a book by Daniel Pinkwater, helps grown-ups and children to see uniqueness is beautiful, AND “Blast from the Past!” One of the bestest movies ever…Well, I say slow down, feel the beat… get into it excited and stay young at heart!
    There’s no law abiding elation that I know of?!
    Let’s raise a toast to Neil and Leslie…
    a child-like wonder of excitement and laughter…that your times together are FANTABULOUSLY AWESOME:D

  11. Siouxzie

    I’m 27. I am an overgrown child. I get this excited about really little things…like puddles, and the perfect vanilla milkshake, and Legos. My boyfriend? He’s a 6-year-old boy stuck in a 34-year-old body. He gets Happy Meals every Tuesday (because his girlfriend is awesome) just for the toy (I eat his chicken nuggets). He loves coloring books. And he’s really freaking cute when he gets excited about little things…like grizzly bears and trees and playing in the snow with the dog…

    People think Peter Pan syndrome is a bad thing. I think if you can continue to find joy in the little things in life, you’ll lead a full and rich life. What’s the harm in that?

    • wendywithaurora

      Siouxie, Please see #309 as well then, and thank you alot! I know several women who legally changed their names when “The Peter Pan and Wendy Syndrome” came out. I’m so glad I stayed true to my own. James Barrie was a brilliant, loving and clever man, who wrote Peter Pan, then came the awesome movies, “Hook” and “Neverland.” It’s all good:D
      Mr. Barrie quoted, “Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others, cannot keep it from themselves”…and like the REM song, you sound like “Shiney happy people”, so Shine on, Shine on:)

  12. Lara

    Congrats on the new gf, Neil :) I was really hoping the “flapping her arms like wings” link would take me to the Ducks post :P

    I always wanted to be a mermaid, and quite honestly, am still hoping that some day, I’ll get bit by a radioactive fish and sprout gills. I SCUBA dive now, but with all that gear, it just doesn’t feel very free. Someday…

  13. wendywithaurora

    youtube: shamrock song
    aurora 3356
    ages 50 and 53, hey why not…it’s all good clean fun…
    Happy Day:D

  14. debbie

    hey, do you know what else is awesome???
    origami balls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Beth

    I work at a two-story Barnes & Noble. I LOVE watching kids (and adults) walk in so excited to see that many books. The kids run in the door, straight to the escalator, then pause to look back at mom and dad and make sure it’s okay for them to proceed. The looks on their faces are awesome.

    By the way, I put your first book of Awesome on staff reccomendations during the holiday season. We sold every copy. I was very proud. Looking forward to the next!

    • AA

      I get like that all the time if I haven’t been in a book store for awhile or it’s a new one I found. The process is ALWAYS the same. I get a huge smile, maybe do a few tiny skips to get their faster, a couple of turns to take everything in and get my bearings and then i probably just stand their shaking and grinning (like an idiot lol) before diving in to see what books I can find.

      Awesome job by the way, working in a bookstore is very near the top of my “jobs I want to have one day” list

  16. the most excited i have EVER been was as a kid too on christmas eve, which is why i related so much to that video. the night before christmas and i couldn’t stop jumping on my bed yelling “eek eek eek eeek eeeeek”

    it wasn’t just like a wheeeee. there was a definitely pronounced “k” in there, which made it very weird. and the jumping up and down did NOT help my ability to sleep that night. needless to say, i got up at 4 am and played with the stuff in my stocking (we were allowed) until it was time to get down to business…

  17. Quick question: Can anyone figure out of that picture of a farm is an actual photograph, or some sort of crazy realistic painting or CGI’ed farm?

    I can’t tell, and it’s sort of freaking me out.

    • “This farm is located on Yuton Road just west of Normal, Illinois. In Normal, Yuton Road becomes Raab Road.”
      That’s what the caption says under it from the person that took the pic~Rascaille Rabbit on Flickr

      • jdurley

        No way, man. That’s gotta be a painting. A painting of the farm located on Yuton Road blah blah blah, sure, OK. But it’s gotta be a painting. It’s sorta freaking me out, too, Freddo. Something’s just not quite right with that farm…

        • Lara

          Naw. The contrast has just been bumped up a bit in the pic. But the dilapidated buildings do look awfully creepy.

        • Freddo

          jdurley – I’m really glad I’m not the only one.. I was pretty worried that all my playing of very realistic looking video games has caused my to be unable to determine if something is “real life” or if it’s just the landscape of some game I’m playing..

          The absence of zombies on the farm led me to believe it might be “real life” but I still wasn’t 100% sure..

        • Emmy

          Lol, well know that you’re not the only two either… That is very very creepy. The sky is slightly too perfect and blue, the grass slightly too soft and even and the buildings just slightly too 3D-looking… Let’s hope it’s been edited! Otherwise we might just be at the start of the end of the world…. or the zombie apocalypse. Never mind that there’s no zombies there *yet*, Freddo :P

    • Janene

      Maybe the photo is one of those HDR photos. It takes multiple pics and merges them so that the colors are more intense, so it’s a real photograph that almost looks painted or touched up.

  18. Amanda

    My husband is in law school and he recently stated that he’s decided he wants to “farm wind” – not be a wind farmer and gather alternative energy, but just have a farm and act like he’s working when it’s windy outside. I think he’s being over worked in law school…

  19. I love how my son, Sam, says “I want to beeeeeeee…SAMMY!” when I ask him what he wants to be when he grows up. It’s so great, because we know he will be!

    • wendywithaurora

      that’s both sweet and fantastic…MR. Plumbean in “The Big Orange Splot” by Danile Pinkwater would like that alot! We need more authenticity in the world:) So, Grow Sammmmmy grow!!

  20. Magda

    Neil you sly old dog! Congratulations :p

  21. Olivia

    I cannot decide the best part of the post. The video, the news about Leslie, or the actual post. :D Congrats hahaha loving it as always

    • Freddo

      I should like the video more than I do, but it sort of reminds me of this video:

      And despite most people finding this video funny, I sort of find it terrible. I’m not sure why the parents are laughing.. if I’d tried to pull this in my house growing up, I don’t think my parents’ reaction would have involved much laughing..

      • Lara

        Guess his parents shouldn’t expect a #287 any time soon.

        • Janene

          This video makes me sad. Sad that he doesn’t like books, sad that he hasn’t learned to be gracious, and sad that, based on his parents’s reaction, he probably won’t be taught how to accept a gift with grace. Boo. :-(

      • Laura

        Uhhhh, my parents wouldn’t have been laughing either. They would have probably repossessed all my gifts until I learned not to be an ungrateful little poo-head. Then again, I would never have said anything like that anyway, because every gift made me excited … ESPECIALLY books.

  22. Daisy

    This post reminds me of my nephew. He’s 3 years old and rarely shows emotion unless he’s REALLY upset or angry. But once in a while, for an example, during christmas, he had this out burst of excitment. He got his much coveted Buzz Lightyear. This was SO exciting he was jumping up and down and wouldn’t let anyone touch that toy for a good week. This is the end of March, and he still gets excited wearing his cowboy hat and boots, pretending to be Woody. Kids are AWESOME!

  23. AA

    This post IS awesome, I”m 22 and I totally get like this too sometimes, as others mentioned :) Although for me, it usually involves spinning/dancing around my house and a whole lot of waving my arms as I tell whatever it is I’m trying to tell. And then a whole lot of laughing!! Sometimes excitement builds up and you just gotta gotta let it out!

  24. Bartjan

    Awesome indeed :D

  25. I want to be a pumpkin

    AWESOME!

    very nice

  26. My little guy Noah is like this! With his bouncing blonde curls, he is deffinately the best person to watch getting excited! At the moment he gets especially excited when I pretend to be the wolf from 3 little pigs. Hilarious to watch him screech with excitement!

    Check out my blog: http://thebookofpoo.blogspot.com/

    If you like, follow and share. Please feel free to recommend your blog to me too!

    • karine

      Hi Neil, I just wanted to say that I would be really interested in a “parents’ book of awesome” I am a mother of 5 and I think that some parents need to be reminded of how awesome their kids are… I’ve already got a list for you :)

  27. I still get like that as an adult.

  28. Janene

    I do love when little kids are genuinely excited about something!! I also like it when my dogs are uber-excited; well, most of my dogs. When Obi has a bone, he prances proudly around. When I come home, Jake does this gravelly, howl-bark hybrid and then he bounces up and down like Tigger. And then there’s Duke, the ankle biter who literally bites everyone’s ankles–little “love” nips– when he’s excited. He’s not been aggressive at all, but it hurts anyway. Not a fan of that, but the other two make my decade everytime.

  29. Megan

    I think I wanted to be a firetruck!

  30. I wanted to BE Peter Pan when I grew up…not Wendy…Peter Pan :) How I could be someone who never grows up when I grew up, I never quite figured out… :S

  31. Awww! That’s SO adorable!! lol :) sweet

  32. wendywithaurora

    this just occurred to me, with all due respect:
    Leslie-Neil-Some…Awe:)

  33. Last time I saw my friends little boy he ran up to me, was so excitement and gave me the biggest bear hug and said “Annette, I missed you so much”. AWESOME!!!

  34. Deangela Rivers

    Everybody wants to be something when they grow up the little was shy but a little to excited about what she wanted to be so she came up with things that were to impossible for her to be, and plus she was shy so she just found something silly to say to get it over with. I am pretty sure and she get older she will be able to determine what she really wants to be.

  35. mallory

    This reminds me of a girl I went to school with who said she wanted to be a bull.

  36. Nate

    My 2 year old nephew said he wanted to be a pancake when he grows up.

  37. Ashley

    The kids I babysat said: “The Mayor (because I want to rule the world!)”, “a princess” and “a carrot”!

  38. When my cousin was young his teacher asked him “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. He replyed “I want to be an engineer”. Teacher asks again “OK, What does an engineer do?”. Cousin’s response ” He drives train engine’s” :)

  39. Pingback: Writing anyway « Shit on My Life

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  41. lol my best freind used to say she wanted to be a fire truck and i used to be like ‘hm im not sure what a want to be maybe a dog or a monkey’ and she’d be say ‘ya go for it!’ lol were older now but those were the days.

  42. Candace

    Too cute.

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