When They’re Too Young To Count, Take Advantage

, , , , , | | Right | May 20, 2019

(A boy of about four is looking at football stickers with his granny.)

Boy: “Can I have three?”

Granny: “I’ll let you have four.”

Boy: “Aww! But I wanted three!”

Me: “I’ve got to say, I’ve never seen someone talk themselves out of an extra pack of stickers!”

Thirsting For Some Punishment

, , , , | | Related | May 13, 2019

(A friend of mine told me this story. She is meeting her eight-year-old granddaughter at the annual spring fair in our village. Note: ours is small village so the fair is tiny — two rides, one raffle ticket booth, one shooting range, and four stalls that sell sweets and toys.)

Granddaughter: “Grandma, I’m thirsty. Can you give me money to buy something to drink?”

Friend: “I already gave you ten euros.”

Granddaughter: “I spent it all.”

Friend: “And what about the 20 Euros that your godmother gave you?”

Granddaughter: “I spent that, as well.”

Friend: “Well, if you spent all your money, you just have to go home to get something to drink.”

Granddaughter: *outraged* “Clearly you WANT ME TO DIE OF THIRST!”

(And no, my friend didn’t give her any more money.)

The Hidden Truth

, , , , , , , | | Related | May 7, 2019

Many years ago, my family lived in the Washington, DC area. We often went to visit the Smithsonian Institution museums which line the National Mall between the US Capitol and the Washington Monument.

I would usually pick my daughter — at the time of this story, four years old — from preschool and deliver her to my wife’s office. I would then go to my second job. This one afternoon, however, I got finished extra early, so I picked up my daughter and we went to the Air & Space Museum, which is one of my daughter’s favorites.

We spent a good hour in there during a very busy summer day. After we’d seen our fill, I told her we needed to get going to mommy’s office. As we were walking out, she walked to the right side of a display that was in the middle of the hallway, and I went on the left.  

However, at the other end — maybe 12 feet — she didn’t meet up with me. Panicked, I quickly ran around the right side, then to the left. I couldn’t see her. I started calling her name, but my voice was easily drowned out by the crowd present. I quickly found a security guard, and he called in a missing child. We kept looking around until he got a call that a young girl matching my daughter’s description had been found. We went to the security desk, and there was my daughter. Since there was nothing sinister about her disappearance, I didn’t file a report, and I also didn’t bother to tell my wife.

Twelve years later, my wife and daughter flew back to DC to visit old friends for my daughter’s 16th birthday. One day, they decided to go to the museums. When they went to the Air & Space Museum, they walked by where I’d lost her years before. That’s when my daughter told my wife, “I remember this spot. This is where I hid from Daddy when he wanted to leave, but I didn’t.”

So, the ugly truth came out: she had deliberately hidden from me; it hadn’t been an honest misplacement. And who got in trouble for not telling my wife about the incident? Not the little girl who hid from Daddy, but the husband who thought, “No harm, no foul.”

A Good Sign For The Future

, , , , | | Right | May 2, 2019

(When I go to start my shift, we are out of the food item literally in the name of the restaurant, so we put a sign on the door. As most people don’t read signs, we also tell everyone about it at the hostess stand. I have many interactions with incredulous people throughout the shift, but this one restores my faith in humanity. A family with two kids about ten to twelve comes in.)

Me: “Hi! Just so you guys know we’re out of [food item], as well as some other stuff…”

Parent: “Whaaaaat? Really?”

Kid: “Yeah, didn’t you read the sign, Mom?”

Me: *internally* “OH, MY GOD! NEVER CHANGE, CHILD! NEVER, EVER CHANGE!”

(They left, like most people, but it’s amazing that a kid had a better ability to read signs than most of the adults who came through that evening!)

Don’t Worry; It Gets Batter

, , , , , , | Related | April 24, 2019

(I am about five years old, my brother around eight. It is a weekend. We have woken up before our parents and want to be up before they do. We also want pancakes. We’ve been sticking our heads out our door and calling down the hall to ask them if they’re going to get up. I can’t remember the first part of the conversation went, but I remember this part clearly.)

Brother: “Could you make us pancakes?”

Dad: “Maybe later.”

Me: “Do you mind if I make pancakes?”

Dad: “No.”

(I turn away from the door and start to pout.)

Brother: “What are you sad about?”

Me: “He said no!”

Brother: “But that means yes!”

(He then explains how “do you mind” and “no” mean “I don’t mind.”)

Me: “But… I don’t know how to make pancakes!”

(Somehow I had conveniently forgotten that fact when I asked if I could make them myself. To the best of my memory, that morning ended with me on a stool beside my mom trying to make “the biggest pancake ever” and asking her to make the batter fill the entire pan.)

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