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    Cutty Out The Attitude

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    (I am working in a kindergarten where over half of the kids are Maori. The Maori word for scissors is ‘kutikuti,’ which is pronounced ‘cutty cutty’.)

    Me, to a child: “Can you pass me the kutikuti please?”

    Mother: “What did you say to my child?”

    Me: “I asked her to pass me the scissors.”

    Mother: “Don’t talk baby to my child. She’s smart enough to use adult words.”

    Me: “I wasn’t. I was using the Maori name for scissors.”

    Mother: “No, you said cutty cutty. That’s not Maori. I’m Maori, and I think I know Maori when I hear it.”

    (The child interrupts. She grabs her mom by the hand and drags her off to a poster on the wall which has a few art objects and their Maori names under them.)

    Child: “Mom, why do you always have to pick fights with people? I’m very disappointed in you!”

    (When her mother left I gave the kid the biggest sticker I could find to put on her good behaviour chart.)