Do you have a grandchild that just won’t sit still? Do you hear yourself repeating the past, “If you don’t sit still in that chair, it will fall over and you might get hurt!”…and then it does and he does. Through the sobbing “I told you so” slips off your tongue, but the lesson is lost. Introduce the classic poem, Fidgety Philip by Heinrich Hoffmann, to your grandchild for a fun way to bring up a discussion on the importance of listening and safety. Who knows, your grandchild may even sit still while you read this classic poem together!
The Story of Fidgety Philip
by Heinrich Hoffmann (1800s)
“Let me see if Philip can
Be a little gentleman;
Let me see if he is able
To sit still for once at table:”
Thus Papa bade Phil behave;
And Mamma looked very grave.
But fidgety Phil,
He won’t sit still;
And then, I declare,
Swings backwards and forwards,
And tilts up his chair,
Just like any rocking-horse –
“Philip! I am getting cross!”
See the naughty, restless child
Growing still more rude and wild,
Till his chair falls over quite.
Philip screams with all his might,
Catches at the cloth, but then
That makes matters worse again.
Down upon the ground they fall,
Glasses, plates, knives, forks, and all.
How Mamma did fret and frown,
When she saw them tumbling down!
And Papa made such a face!
Philip is in sad disgrace.
Where is Philip, where is he?
Fairly covered up you see!
Cloth and all are lying on him;
He has pulled down all upon him.
What a terrible to-do!
Dishes, glasses, snapped in two!
Here a knife, and there a fork!
Philip, this is cruel work.
Table all so bare, and ah!
Poor Papa, and poor Mamma
Look quire cross, and wonder how
They shall have their dinner now.