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Little Kids Like To Flap Their Gums

, , , , , , | Right | January 18, 2023

A mother and her young son are checking out at my small convenience store. The little boy has seen the selection of chewing gum and wants some.

Mother: “No, [Son]. Those aren’t candies. You can have them when you’re older.”

Son: “But I want some!”

Mother: “No. You swallowed them last time, remember? You’re not meant to swallow gum. If you swallow too much, it will stay in your tummy forever and you’ll be all round from too much gum!”

With uncanny timing, a very heavily pregnant woman walks into the store. The boy locks eyes with her baby bump and then looks up at the woman.

Son: *Pointing* “I know what you’ve been up to!”

And with that, the mom shooed her son out of the store, abandoning their purchases.

This Family Takes “Sink Or Swim” Very Seriously

, , , , , , , , , | Related | January 18, 2023

My brother has been stubborn as a mule since the day he was born, often to his own detriment. My mother has learned that sometimes the only way to steer him away from something is to let him suffer the consequences.

My brother is quite young when a neighbor invites our family to spend the afternoon at their backyard pool. My brother can’t swim yet, so my mom has him on her hip as she stands in the shallow end.

Brother: “Mom? I wanna swim.”

Mom: “You don’t know how to swim yet.”

Brother: “Yes, I do!”

Mom: “You’ve had one lesson.”

Brother: “I can swim! I’ll show you!”

They continue to argue until my mom agrees to let him try to swim. He sinks like a rock. The second he hits the bottom, my mom bends down and picks him up.

Mom: “You can’t swim, honey.”

Brother: “Yes, I can!”

Once again, they argue until she agrees. This time, she lets him go and watches closely. Once again, he sinks like a rock. She waits a few seconds, watching his eyes get wider and wider under the water as he sits on the bottom.

Then, she bends back down and picks him up again. He takes a deep breath and blinks the pool water from his eyes.

Brother: “I can swim.”

Mom: “No, you can’t.”

Brother: “Let me try one more time!”

She does. He sinks. She watches his eyes get wider and wider. She scoops him up again.

Mom: “You can’t swim.”

Brother: “I can’t swim.”

My mother still tells this story whenever we go swimming with family friends — while my brother goes off and swims with the rest of us, without sinking to the bottom.

This Whole Thing Is A Bit Sus

, , , , , , , , | Right | January 17, 2023

My coworker and I are helping a dad and his kid in our store. The kid is a cute little boy, probably no older than seven.

They finally whittle their options down to two products. The boy wanders around the store holding them, while the dad, my coworker, and I stand around chatting, waiting for the kid to pick one. 

Eventually, the kid comes back up to the counter and all but smashes his face into one of the boxes. 

Dad: “What— No, you don’t need to do that! What are you doing?”

Kid: “I was trying to smell it!”

Dad: *Pauses* “Why were you trying to smell it?”

Kid: “I was trying to smell if it was sus!”

Dad: “…”

Coworker & Me: “…”

My coworker has a better straight face than I do, and I absolutely lose it.

Me: “You can smell sus?!

Dad: *Sighs* “That’s a big word in our house recently. Everything is sus.”

Me: *When I finally stop laughing* “Kiddo, how… how do you smell sus?”

The kid, not fazed at all, shrugs.

Kid: “I dunno.”

The kid then walks over to the wall and starts shaking his leg around. 

Dad: “Okay, what are you doing now?

Kid: “I’m trying to open the box!”

All Of Us: “No! You have to pay for it first!”

They ended up buying one of the boxes, leaving my coworker and me (and probably the dad) with one of the strangest interactions we’d ever had.

Trust An Editor: Literacy By College Is Not Guaranteed

, , , , , | Related | January 17, 2023

I was watching my niece, who was in either kindergarten or first grade.

Me: “I think one of the most fun times in my life was college. I finally got to meet a lot of other geeks like me.”

Niece: “I don’t want to go to college.”

Me: “Oh, but college is great! Why don’t you want to go?”

Niece: “Because they would force me to learn to read!”

Me: “Trust me; you’ll be reading long before then — and probably loving it, too, going by your genetics.”

Niece: “Oh.”

My niece is now in fourth grade and reading books well above her grade level for fun.

Though come to think of it, I haven’t checked what her thoughts on college are lately.

Technically Correct: The Best Kind Of Correct, Part 2

, , , , , , | Related | January 14, 2023

My kid has a tendency to wander off while in the store. While she has promised not to this time, she forgets her promise, starting to wander again.

Me: “[Kid], get back here and stay by the cart! You promised!”

[Kid] dutifully comes over to the cart.

Me: “Thank you!”

I turn my back to the cart to look at a rack that has winter pants on it. Out of the corner of my eye, I see the cart start to move. In her cleverness, [Kid] has decided she can both wander off and stay with the cart.

Me: “Get back here! That’s not what I meant!”

Thus caught, [Kid] behaved for the rest of the trip.

Technically Correct: The Best Kind Of Correct