Our apartment is the place where the kids from the neighborhood congregate. On any given day, you can stop by and we will have at least one extra child hanging around, if not several. Part of the reason they like it here is that I’m not a huge disciplinarian. I mean, yes, I have rules and I expect everyone to obey them. But I’m far from scary and, to be honest, most of the time these kids run all over me. It’s gotten so bad that to get them OUT of the apartment, I promise them a coveted thin mint from my stash of Girl Scout cookies in the freezer. No one can get a cookie until they are standing on the other side of our door! This technique works wonders, but I’m a bit worried; I’m getting low on Girl Scout cookies and I don’t plan on being in the States until July.
So why do I do it? Why do I say “okay” when countless kids ask if they can come over? Mostly, because I’m too tired to argue and tell them, “No.” But there is another reason: the things they say.
You want comic relief? Listen to kids’ conversations. I’ve got a 6 year-old and a 10 year-old and they have friends anywhere from ages 5-13. From misinterpretation of popular sayings to putting on foreign accents to secret crushes, these kids will keep you entertained. And sometimes, they say the best stuff right to you. Like tonight.
They were whining about not knowing what to do — there were five of them, and only four could play the Wii, there’s only one iPad, and I was on the computer. I thought I’d found a solution. “Why don’t you girls play a board game?” I said. “You know Monopoly or something like that?”
One of the older friends lifted her eyebrows, “Sorry to break it to you, but there’s new thing called electricity.”
“I played board games all the time as a kid.”
“That’s different. You were born before electricity was born. We’re from the modern age.”
I laughed at her sense of humor. What a funny kid. Born before electricity was born…
Thing is, the more I think about it, the more I’m sure she wasn’t joking.