You’ll Understand When You’re Older

, , , , | Related | October 28, 2020

I have five younger sisters, two of whom are in college and living away from home and three of whom are in upper elementary school, ages eight, nine, and ten. While video chatting with my parents and youngest sister one day, I mention that I am so happy my baby took a long nap that day, because it means I got one, too. Cue this question from the eight-year-old.

Sister: “Why are babies and grown-ups so obsessed with naps?”

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All Reading Is Good Reading

, , , , | Related | October 24, 2020

As a nine-year-old child, I am as voracious a reader as my twin brother isn’t. I am reading adult sci-fi; he is years below his age bracket. It’s not because he isn’t clever, but because he is unmotivated and stubborn. Oh, so stubborn.

My parents consult with paediatricians, special tutors, and his teachers. They sit to read with him every night. They try every technique and every recommended book that is meant to attract young boys. They try books on any topic he has interest in. They try punishment and reward and everything in between. Nothing works. He just refuses to read. He’d rather watch TV or play computer games, and he isn’t willing to negotiate terms. A one-hour-for-one-hour compromise is not on the table. He’d rather choose spite.

Finally, after more than a full year of watching this play out — and, admittedly, having reached my limit of petty jealousy from seeing my brother get “extra attention” from both our parents — I take matters into my own hands.

I interrupt my parents and brother “reading.”

Me: “Come with me.”

I drag my brother by the hand to the computer, dial into the Internet, and go to the one fanfiction site I know of at the time. I search around for a high-rating story of my brother’s lifetime favourite game and OTP pairing and begin to read the story out loud.

After the first chapter, I walk away.

Me: “It’s all yours!”

My brother replaced me on the seat, clicked the next chapter… and quietly began to read. He stayed on that site for the rest of the night while I tried to badger my dad into reading “Snow Crash” out loud to me.

He is now an adult and an absolutely phenomenal speed-reader… who still basically only reads fanfiction.

Dad never did read me “Snow Crash.”

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Elephants Never Forget; Not So With Humans

, , , , , , , | Related | October 22, 2020

My family is playing board games one night, and we are playing a game where you build a city and place people in it to gain points. My mom places her tile but doesn’t have any people to place on her tile so she doesn’t get any points.

Me: “That’s what you get for spreading yourself too thin. Wasn’t that Napoleon’s problem?”

Brother: “No, he attacked Russia in winter.”

Me: “Then who am I thinking of?”

Brother: “Alexander the Great. But he also attacked Russia in winter.”

Me: “But he had elephants.”

Brother: “No, that was Hannibal.”

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Winging It Makes The World Go Round

, , , , | Learning | October 13, 2020

My sister is working on her personal statement, and I’m reading it over to give her advice.

Me: “Hey, you should mention that you did [Youth Program] and learned leadership skills!”

Sister: “All I learned is that no one really knows what they’re doing and we’re all just making it up as we go along.”

Me: “Yeah, that’s what leadership skills are.”

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Dragons Are Fine, But Female Gamers? Come On!

, , , , , , | Friendly | October 12, 2020

As a teenager, I am an avid fantasy reader. My brother and I are both into tabletop roleplay, as well, and we both have separate groups of friends we play with regularly. Also, I wish it didn’t matter, but as this story will unfortunately show that it very much does, I’m a girl.

Me: “Hey, do you think I could join your group for the next campaign? My group is having a bit of downtime due to life and other responsibilities at the moment.”

Brother: “I don’t know if we’re gonna do another one just now. I’m kind of worn out as GM. I just wanna play for a bit, but none of the others are interested in the position.”

Me: “Oh, I could do that. I don’t mind at all!”

Brother: “Oh, cool! That’d be great! We can do a test run in two weeks and see how everyone thinks it works!”

I am thrilled and immediately set to work preparing. Since I am ahead in my school studies and on top of all my homework, I decide to use our free study period for prep work.

Some guys from another class happen to be seated next to me, and of course, they spot my pile of rule books and papers.

Student #1: “Wait, what are you doing with those?”

Student #2: *Snickering* “Yeah, girls can’t roleplay!”

Since I am busy, unwilling to bother class, and also uninterested in debating with morons, I just raise an eyebrow, look over at them, and go:

Me: “Okay?”

When they didn’t manage to come up with any intelligible answers to that after a few seconds, I returned to my books and ignored them for the rest of the class. If anything, their comments spurred me to prepare even better to make sure of an epic test run for the people that I thought knew better.

I turned out I was wrong; when my brother had let the group know a — gasp! — female was going to be the GM, they all decided it would probably be so bad it wasn’t even worth showing up. 

Joke’s on them, though; my brother joined my group, instead, and we had lots of fun for several campaigns to come. His old group ended up disbanding since no one would step up as GM for them.

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