Friday, August 21, 2015


I remember how they picked me up, a spindly kid,
Pinching and poking my thin ribs
Till I lay in their laps, laughing,
Weak as a whiffet;
    From Frau Bauman, Frau Schmidt, and Frau Schwartze, by Theodore Roethke

Definition of WHIFFET  :  a small, young, or unimportant person

It seems to me that there are no longer any whiffets, any “small, young, or unimportant” persons – especially the unimportant ones. The adage from the 1400’s that “children should be seen and not heard” has fallen by the wayside.
As soon as they are able to chip in with their two-cents-worth of opinion, today’s children speak right up. Not only do they speak right up, they talk back too. None of this “but Mom!” No, they have fully conceived arguments that they proceed to voice, not whining, but in an assertive and insistent tone. I’d like to smack the little buggers.


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