Note: In Pod Twelve, Grammy talks about the memoir she wrote about grieving, and she and Eli talk about what people can do when they are feeling sad. Grammy reads a funny poem to Eli, and Eli and Grammy talk about humor and act out a funny story from when Eli was young. The activity for the day is for parents and children to work together to record a funny story about their child—in a story, a video, a drawing, or in audio recording only on a smartphone. Click here to start at the beginning of the Poem Pod series.
Grammy: Hi everyone, Eli and I are here, bringing you Poem Pods. What are they, Eli?
Eli: Fun poems for fun people.
Grammy: You’ve got it! We are getting pretty tired of our masks, but we are still smiling underneath them. Sometimes, it’s hard for people to smile, though, when things get tough. Right, Eli? Right, Poem Pod Boy?
Eli: Oh my. Enough with the Poem Pod Boy, okay? But yes, sometimes it is hard to smile when things get rough.
Grammy: What do you do when things are hard?
Eli: Usually I go up to my room and play video games and stuff, and I kind of just get lost in that.
Grammy: You lose yourself.
Eli: Yeah. What do you do, Grammy?
Grammy: I usually do one of two things: I dance around in my house to loud music, or I write, but also sometimes I’ll go for a hike or a walk in the woods. Eli, do you remember Poppa?
Eli: Yeah, a little bit.
Grammy: Poppa was Ed. I was married to him, and 10 years ago, he passed away. That was a very hard time in my life, and, Eli, what did I do?
Eli: You wrote a book, Grammy.
Grammy: Yes, I was inspired to write a book. I wrote Divine Renovations, and it was different than anything I had done up to that point. I had only written magazine pieces, or pieces for the newspaper, or for actual magazines. I had a lot of help on the book, but I got it done, and I was happy with how the memoir turned out. Eli, do you remember what a memoir is?
Eli: Yes, it’s a book that a person writes about their life, or a part of it.
Grammy: Yes, A plus! It was kind of a serious story, but there were funny parts to it. But serious stories are okay to tell.
Eli: Yes, totally fair, Grammy. When you have a story—happy or sad—sometimes you just have to tell it.
Grammy: You know sometimes the reason I tell stories, Eli, whether they’re happy or sad is to help other people understand that we’re all happy sometimes and sad sometimes. Other people have lost people they’ve loved, and they were happy to read the book because it helped them understand why they were so sad. So, to balance the sad with the happy, today’s poem is a fun one that I think you might relate to, Eli. I don’t know about you all out there, kids, but when I was a kid—and when my kids were growing up—there were a lot of stuffed animals in our beds! This poem was inspired by stuffies! My summer intern told me it was her favorite in the book of poems that she read. It’s called:
On top of my bed
Are animals galore.
Rabbits, bears, pigs.
Many more than just four.
When I climb under my sheets,
The covers all a tumble,
I say “Ah yes, that’s right.
I’m in my nighttime jungle.”
Eli: I like that story. I can definitely relate to it because I have a bunch of stuffed animals in my bed.
Grammy: I know one of them. I know his name.
Eli: What is it?
Eli. Yup. I think there’s another one you know, but he’s at my house.
Grammy: Oh, Teddy?
Eli: Yeah. Ted’s brother.
Grammy: Ted is a stuffed teddy bear who’s at my house, and Teddy is his brother who lives at Eli’s house.
Eli: I get into weird stuffed animals.
Grammy: Thanks, Eli. When you stay over, a lot of times, we have great conversations at bedtime, right? We share the stories of our day?
Eli: Yeah. I always ask you if you have a funny story.
Grammy: And, do I deliver?
Grammy: Well, most times.
Eli: Yeah. Most times.
Grammy: And that’s because I’m super funny, right?
Eli: Yeah, I guess you are funny.
Grammy: I am super funny. Only in my mind. But you are funny too, Eli. I have lots of funny stories about things you did as a young boy. Like this one: On a long car ride to visit Auntie Molly when she was in college way up north in New Hampshire, we had been driving for almost three hours and had run out of things to talk about. I told you a story about a book. Eli, let’s act out that conversation, like we’re having it now, okay?
Grammy: So, this is how it went. I said: “Eli, I am reading a book about astronauts and the U.S. space program. It’s very interesting, and I’m learning a lot.”
Eli: “Grammy!!! Pay attention to the road!”
Grammy: “I am Eli.”
Eli: “No. You just told me you are reading a book up there!”
Grammy: See that was so funny. We had a misunderstanding. I had some explaining to do with Eli. When I said, I was reading, I didn’t mean I was reading right then in the moment! I had to explain that.
Eli: That brings us to today’s activity, which is for kids AND parents! Parents: The things your kids say are priceless. Find a way to record some of the doozies—in a notebook, in the Notes app on your phone, in a video. Some way. You will love looking back on the stories years from now.
Grammy: And just as a note, I love the Notes app on my phone. I also love the Voice Memos app. If you don’t have a lot of time, and you don’t have a notebook, you can tap it and dictate whatever it is that you want to say—and then you close it, and you save it, and it’s there! And kids, you can tell your own stories. When you say or do something that you think is funny, you can write it down as a story, or as a poem, or you can draw a picture, or you could ask a grown-up to use his or her phone, and you can use the Voice Memo app, and then they’ll have your voice too. And you can say why you think it’s funny.
Eli: That’s how we record history, so we remember it.
Grammy: Children are small for such a short time. It’s really important that we tell their stories, and we don’t forget them. Please share your stories with Eli and I on my blog or Facebook page. We might come up with more stories to share with you on social media.
Eli: And we have some funny videos on our YouTube station too!
Grammy: If you look in the blog part of today’s Poem Pod, you’ll find the link to that YouTube station.
Eli: It’s also called a channel.
Grammy: Channel, eh?
Grammy: Okay, thanks for teaching me that.
Eli and Grammy: Alright, that’s the end of the twelfth Poem Pod. Thanks for joining us. Let’s all keep smiling under these hot and stuffy masks, even though they’re hot and stuffy!
Grammy: Please share any and all of these posts!