Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Look up

When I was little, there was mean little trick we did to younger kids, and I didn't know enough to feel guilty about it. It had hurt my feelings when I was younger, but still I passed it on.

It started "Look up." It ended, after a while with "Gee, you're dumb."
I was reminded recently that I had told a relative NOT to teach my kids that fake "game." I'm still glad I asked that it not be done to them. The entirety of the rhyme, which has hand motions, was
"Look up. Look down.
Look all around.
Look at my thumb.
Gee, you're dumb."
I never wanted my kids to think for one joking moment that they were "dumb." I always stopped at the "look up" part, and life has looked up for all of us.

photo by Sandra Dodd


  1. I hadn't heard the ditty phrased that way before. When we were kids, the one we heard was:

    "Look up. Look down. Look all around. Your pants are falling down!" (accompanied by being pants-ed during that last sentence)

    Both ditties are unkind.

    I like stopping at the "Look up." part, too :-).

    P.S. - So glad I clicked over to your site to comment, because I saw the magnets listed in your sidebar. Yay!! I've been out of the unschooling-lists-&-chats loop this summer, so am a bit behind on what's new.

  2. (by e-mail; comment-posting problem)

    Wow, this one resonates with me today. I didn't play this game (or have it played on me), but it's the kind of game that I would not want played with my little boy either. Depending on who was playing it, I might say "Please don't teach him that," or, I might be afraid to say that, since I might be told I'm "too sensitive" or to "lighten up."

    Thanks for what you do. I learn so, so much, every single day.

    Pittsburgh, PA

  3. (by e-mail, permission to share):

    Hi Sandra,

    There was another one that was done to me when I was about 9. A boy I really liked at the time asked me if I thought I was pretty. I said yes, and he said, yeah, pretty stupid, or something like that. It did hurt my feelings and actually had a much bigger effect on my already lacking self esteem. I like how you turned this around for your kids. I never forgot that moment and it really stunk.

    I love reading your "Just Add light and Stir". Great reminders and thought provoking on our unschooling life journey.

    Peace and love,

  4. I had never heard that rhyme as a child before - no doubt because I grew up in a different country.

    But I have heard part of it - in the movie "Animal House" in the melee at the end, Otter says "Look at my thumb" to Greg before punching him, then adds "Gee you're dumb". I never knew it was a reference to something outside of the movie.

    Another little thing that irritates me like crazy is the thing where people point to your chest then tip your nose when you look down.

    Robyn C.


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