Putting Out The Fires

, , , , | | Friendly | May 17, 2019

(When I was around four or five, my parents, my grandparents, and I are on a small trip through Canada. When we decide to stop at a steakhouse restaurant for lunch, my grandmother quietly complains about everyone smoking inside, despite the fact that there are “NO SMOKING” signs everywhere. This was nearly 20 years ago, so I assume the smoking laws — even in Canada — were not as strict. She doesn’t kick up a fuss or bother anyone about it, but she does continue muttering about it while she looks at the menu. Being a rule follower myself — and having smokers for parents who are very strict about smoking areas — this bothers me, as well. I ask to be excused from the table. My family allows it, thinking that I am just going to go play at the arcade. Nope. I approach one of the tables where an older couple is smoking, and I point at the “NO SMOKING” sign hanging on the wall. Mind you, we are placed pretty much in the middle of the restaurant. A little American girl in a white, frilly dress approaching a table of strangers is very noticeable.)

Me: *in a loud voice* “Excuse me, but isn’t that a ‘No Smoking’ sign on the wall?”

(Conversations go silent. The man frowns while the woman awkwardly laughs and says:)

Woman: “Yes. Yes, it is.”

Me: “Then why are you smoking?”

(The couple looked at me, then at each other, and then doused their cigarettes on a plate they were using as an ashtray. The rest of the patrons followed suit, and I happily thanked the couple before going back to my table. My grandmother was super proud and my grandpa snickered. My parents, on the other hand, decided that we needed to eat quickly and leave because it was hunting season.)

For Her Nothing Else Matters

, , , , | | Learning | May 14, 2019

I worked in an English language preschool as a teacher’s assistant.

There was a five-year-old little girl with blonde hair, who always had pink clothes on, and she was a little shy and very polite.

One day, in our after-school club, one of the teachers put a CD on and a song by Metallica started playing. The little girl calmly walked into the middle of the room and started head-banging. Not only were the staff laughing out loud, the other kids were also amazed.

She was doing what she had seen her older brother do, her mom later explained.

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.)

That Age-Old Problem

, , , , , , | | Learning | May 11, 2019

(I’m talking to a six-year-old student. I’ve told her my age a dozen times but she never remembers it.)

Student: “Ms. [My Name], how old are you?”

Me: “How old do you think I am?”

(She sits quietly for over a full minute.)

Student: “You’re six!”

Me: “Uh… no, I’m not six. You’re six; do you think we’re the same age?”

Student: “No.”

Me: “Okay, how old do you think I am?”

Student: *after thinking again* “You’re six.”

Me: “No. I’m a little older than that; do you want to guess again?”

Student: “You’re ninety-eight.”

Me: “No! Not that much older. I’m only nineteen.”

Student: “Oh, that’s like really old. Even older than ninety-eight!”

(Thanks, [Student]… It wasn’t until working with kindergarten that I was ever called old, but these kids manage to make me feel ancient every time I visit their class.)

Should “Lay” Down Some House Rules

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

(My husband and I are hanging out in the kitchen, and my five-year-old son is playing in the living room two rooms away.)

Husband: “I haven’t gotten laid in forever.”

Son: *shouting from living room* “Well, maybe if you were better at it, Daddy!”

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