Children Of Cancer

, , , , , , | Right | January 16, 2018

(A customer and her daughter, who can be no older than four, walk up to the service counter.)

Customer: “Can I get a pack of [Cigarette Brand], please.”

Supervisor: “Sure.”

Girl: “No, Mommy, don’t.”

Customer: “But Daddy asked me to get them for him.”

Girl: “But they’re bad.” *to Supervisor* “Don’t get them.”

Supervisor: “I have to, or I’ll get in trouble.”

(My supervisor goes over to the drawer and grabs the cigarettes.)

Girl: “No! Don’t get them. They’re bad for Daddy. Don’t!”

Customer: “It’s okay, honey.”

Girl: *looking more and more upset by the second* “No, it’s not. Don’t scan them. Please.”

Supervisor: *trying to act as sweetly as possible* “I’m very sorry, but I have to. It’s my job. I’ll get in trouble if I don’t.”

(She scans the cigarettes.)

Supervisor: “That’ll be [price].”

Girl: “No! Don’t! Mummy, don’t buy them. They’re bad for Daddy. They’ll kill him.”

(The customer pays and the supervisor hands them the pack of cigarettes.)

Girl: “No!”

(As her mother tried to drag her away, the little girl folded her arms and scrunched up her face in that cute way four-year-olds do when they’re angry. I’m glad my supervisor took that one; I don’t think I would have been able to go through with the purchase with a little girl basically begging me to spare her father’s life.)

Why Not Throw In The Easter Bunny, While You’re At It?

, , , , , | Right | January 9, 2018

(A little kid understands horns, but he can’t understand how antlers fall off then grow back.)

Little Boy: “So, the animal dies, then the antlers fall off?”

Me: “No, they fall off, and then a new pair grows while the animal is still alive.”

Little Boy: “But the animal dies?”

Me: *getting frustrated* “No. It’s like losing a tooth. You lose one, and a new one grows in, but this happens to some animals once a year.”

Little Boy: “But the tooth fairy makes me lose my teeth.”

Me: “Well, the antler fairy makes them lose theirs.”

Little Boy: “And then she takes them, right?”

Me: “Yeah!”

Little Boy: “But how did you get that one?” *pointing at the antler*

Me: “Well, the antler fairy brings them to zoos so we can tell people about them.”

Little Boy: “But what about Santa?”

Me: *confused* “Santa?”

Little Boy: “Yeah, doesn’t he like to keep the antlers?”

Me: “He keeps some, but the rest he gives to the antler fairy.”

Little Boy: “Ohhhhhhhh.”

And Jojo Was Her Name-o

, , , , , , | Learning | January 6, 2018

(Years ago, when my youngest aunt first attended school, she had until then been called “Jojo” by family and friends instead of her birth name. This wasn’t an issue until she started school.)

Teacher: “[Aunt]? [Aunt]? I guess she’s absent.”

(After roll call is done, my aunt raises her hand.)

Aunt: “You didn’t call me!”

Teacher: “I didn’t? What’s your name?”

Aunt: “Jojo!”

Teacher: “There’s no Jojo on the list; your name can’t be Jojo.”

Aunt: *getting upset now* “Yes, I am! I’m Jojo!”

Teacher: *light bulb goes off* “The only absent person is [Aunt], are you [Aunt]?”

Aunt: “NO! I am Jojo! My name’s Jojo!”

Teacher: “[Surname] is your last name, right?”

Aunt: “Yes!”

Teacher: “Then you’re [Aunt].”

Aunt: “NO! I said my name is Jojo!”

(She then proceeds to have a full-on tantrum, so the teacher drags her to the office and calls my grandmother to try to resolve the issue. My grandmother just laughs.)

Grandmother: “OH! Jojo is her nickname. I didn’t realize we were only calling her that. Yes, this is [Aunt].”

Aunt: *stomps her foot* “Mooooooom! You’re dumb! My. Name. Is. Jojo!”

(Forty years later, the family will not let my aunt live it down.)

Bringing A Kid To The Movies Is Not Inconceivable

, , , , , , | Hopeless | January 5, 2018

(It’s the 30th anniversary of one of my favorite movies. My husband, a movie buff himself, gets us tickets, but our sitter cancels at the last minute. Without another alternative, we decide to risk it and bring our three-year-old son along. We’re able to get a ticket for the seat right next to those we already bought, and plan to take turns taking him out if he interferes with anyone else’s enjoyment of the movie. To our delight, he’s very well-behaved and only needs to go out once, to use the restroom. The movie is nearly over, and we’re watching the climactic sword fight between two brilliant swordsman.)

Inigo: *on screen* “I want my father back, you son of a b****.” *stabs his opponent*

(There’s a moment of silence where the impact of this hits the audience, which is exactly when my son gasps.)

Son: “OH, NO!”

(The whole theater cracks up laughing, and it just ruins the dramatic tension built up over the previous 90 minutes. I am horribly embarrassed, and quickly vow never to bring him to the theater again. We start to head out once the show is over.)

Patron: *spots my son* “Hey, is that the kid who…?”

Me: “Yes. I’m so sorry!”

Patron: “Naw, it was hilarious!” *crouches down to the kid’s level* “Give me five, little buddy! That was awesome!”

(Several others overheard, and also hastened to reassure us that they found it humorous. In fact, we didn’t receive a single negative reaction. Not even so much as a glare. Still, not planning to bring the kid to the theater again any time soon. But thank you, theater patrons, for having a heart!)

Talking To A “Hiya” Power

, , , | Hopeless | January 3, 2018

(My toddler’s first word was “hiya,” and it’s probably still her favourite one. Strangers usually take her open nature very well, and I tell them that if they talk to her they’re her friends for life. Our apartment block’s ground floor consists of commercial units, so it’s a common occurrence to meet delivery drivers when leaving the car park. We are going out for a walk, and [Daughter] is in one of her make-friends-with-everybody moods.)

Daughter: *to everyone and everything* “Hiya! Hiya!”

Delivery Driver: *turns around as he’s carrying a load into the shop* “Hiya! How are you?”

Daughter: “Hiya!”

Delivery Driver: “Hiya!” *brings load inside*

Daughter: *to shop owner* “Hiya!”

Owner: *looks up* “Hello.”

Daughter: “Hiya!”

(The driver comes back out.)

Delivery Driver: “Hiya! You’re a chatty wee one, aren’t you?”

Me: “Oh, yeah. She’s friends with everyone in the world!”

Delivery Driver: “Ah, I wonder where she gets that from?”

Me: *laughing* “Me, too!”

(We keep walking, and we get to a corner at a bottleneck when a delivery truck stops.)

Delivery Driver: “Hiya!”

Daughter: *silent, but she recognises him so she smiles*

Delivery Driver: “Ahh, are we all shy, now?”

Me: “Yep, when you talk to her first, she’s quiet. She wouldn’t stop talking up until now!”

Driver: “Ah, that’s okay. Come here!” *he holds up a lollipop* “I got two of these; here you go!”

Me: “Oh, wow! Say, ‘Thank you,’ [Daughter]!”

(I lift her up to the door to take it.)

Me: “Thank you so much!”

Daughter: “Hiya!”

Driver: “Hiya! You’re a great girl! You be good for your mammy, now!”

Daughter: *waves* “Bye bye!”

(This isn’t as rare of an occurrence as you’d think; she is literally friends with everyone, and strangers often give her things. I’m hoping that I can teach her to be just as generous!)

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