(originally, this post was wrote in June of ’07)
My step-daughter, Doodle, is a kindergartener at a private Adventist school locally. My husband is a former Adventist and Doodle’s mother is a practicing Adventist.
For those of you who don’t know, 7th Day Adventists tend to be pacifistic. They are vegetarian as well. The church and schools teach conflict avoidance versus conflict resolution.
I frequently pick Doodle up from school. And recently, we had an interesting time on our way home. Doodle decided to sing to me. She sang me “The Farmer In The Dell” as they had just sang that in class.
(In my best Doodle impersonation)
“The famer in the dell,
The farmer in the dell,
Hi-ho the merry-o!
the farmer in the dell!
The farmer CHOKES his wife,
The farmer CHOKES his wife!”…
(me) “Wait! What did you say, Doodle?”
(Doodle) “The farmer CHOKES his wife!”
(me) “Don’t you mean, the farmer takes a wife?”
(Doodle) “No, the farmer chokes his wife. That’s what my school taught me.”
(me) “Honey, the farmer takes a wife. We don’t choke people. It’s not nice. You see, the farmer TAKES a wife. He didn’t have one before. And the cat TAKES the rat, the rat TAKES the cheese…”
(Doodle) “Oh, well, I just want to sing it the way my school taught me!”
Later that evening after my husband, the Corporate Prince, got home I told him about Doodle’s version of the song. He said, “But that’s how it goes!” I quickly straightened him out and informed him of the correct words. However,that’s how he learned the song when he went to a private Adventist School growing up. My reaction was of disbelief. What are they teaching her? Actually, I believe my exact words were, “What are you people teaching her!! That it’s ok for farmers to choke their wives??” We laughed over the mistake. More, we laughed over the image of quiet, gentle 5 yr old Doodle belting out the tune her way.
A few days later at a school function, we ran into Doodle’s mom, Disney Princess. Once again the story was repeated. To my horror, Disney Princess said, “But those are the words!” and started singing it. Disney Princess had attended private Adventist school as well. Once again, I asked, “What are you people teaching her!” CP corrected the words for her and we all had a good laugh over the mistake.
Doodle has since started singing the song with the correct words. I’m happy to report that the farmer no longer chokes his wife. That is, unless, we need a good laugh!
Kids… Gotta love ’em!