Stumped By Kids

I don’t have kids.  But if I was a parent, I think I would be stumped on a daily basis.

One of the girls I work with at the library seemed to be in a bad mood when it was time for her session.  As we walked to the room, she asked me if I ever got so angry at someone that I swore at them.  Hmm… how do I answer?

I asked her do you mean use very bad words?  She said “Yes, like the f word and the other one that starts with m.” I was surprised.  But she said all her classmates use those words (she’s in grade 3).  I don’t remember learning the f word until I was 13 or 14.

She was in a better mood at the end of the session.  There was still some time left and she wanted to watch videos on the iPad.  Her favorite videos are slime videos.  But this time she was watching videos of people with long nails, children born without limbs and so on.  Then she clicked on a video “11 year old transgender”.  Hmmm…. she watched in silence for a few seconds and then asked “What’s a transgender?”

I told her, I don’t think she really understood.  But she got bored with it and switched to another video about a girl who keeps cockroaches as pets.  It was gross.  This kids keeps hordes of cockroaches in her bedroom.  My student was happy I was so grossed out by it and kept saying “look at this!”  I would then make the most gross out face I could.

The other girl did a bit of homework after she finished reading.  She’s not really suppose to do homework but we use our own judgment.  I typically don’t help her unless she’s really stuck.  I was watching her write a sentence.  “The monsters sleeps in garbage cans.”  I told her it should be sleep not sleeps because monsters is plural.  Then I wondered if monster is a collective noun.

But she looked at me and said, “no – it’s sleeps”.  So I made a snooty face and told her “Fine… if your teacher finds the error, don’t blame me.” She looked at me but continued with her work.  After a while, she covered her work with her hand so I couldn’t see what she was writing.  Then she asked me to help her spell a word.  I made her try first before giving her the answer.  As she wrote out the word,  I noticed she had already corrected sleeps to sleep.   Sneaky little kid….

One thing I am always conscious of is my mood.  If I had a bad week or a bad day, I try not to let that show.  I’m pretty sure kids pick up on these things.




I felt really tired today.  I didn’t start doing any work until 11:30ish.  I’m not sure why I felt like this.  I even had to lie down in the afternoon.  I was still feeling crappy when I went to my volunteer work.  My first student (7 years old) chose Sugar Sugar Rune – a manga story.  She likes looking at the pictures but doesn’t really want to read the words out loud.  But today I had a bit more luck convincing her to do that. I couldn’t understand any of the story.  She explained a bit to me.  I helped her with the big words and there were some French words too.

There was still some time left so she wanted to play hangman. The last time she played hangman, she kept looking at the bulletin board beside our table.  I saw her looking at a the board, counting the letters and then looking at the table, making sure she had the right slots for the letters.  It didn’t take me long to figure out which word she had picked.  I pretended to guess all the wrong letters and with one more leg to go, I “guessed” all the right ones.  I told her afterwards how I won.

Today she put out _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  , an eight letter word.  I ran through all the vowels but she said there wasn’t any.  Hmm…  By the end of the session, I managed to guess “s _ _ _  g g _ _ ” .   She drew a scowl on my face, several strands of hair, fingers, eyes, nose, mouth… she seemed so happy to get her revenge.  I was sure the word was squiggly but she just grinned and said no.  Next week, I’ll force her to read “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire“.  It’s one of my dad’s favorite books. She’ll probably be in her late teens if and when she finally finishes it.  I’m determined to have the last laugh.


He’s a 5 year old boy – a member of my extended family.  He also has some psychic abilities.  His parents noticed orbs floating around his bed when he was just a baby.  A family friend explained to them what they were.  When the child could talk, he would sometimes point to an empty spot in the room and say “he’s there” and then “he’s gone”.  His parents have been very calm about his ability and don’t make a big fuss out of it.  The other day, his parents asked him what he wanted for his birthday.  They expected him to say another Lego set.  Instead, he told his dad “I want God to bring your grandfather back.”

His father was puzzled and asked if he meant the kid’s grandfather.  He said “No daddy, your grandfather, not my grandfather.”  His parents aren’t religious and he hasn’t been exposed to any religious teachings.  The father’s grandfather passed away years before the kid was born.  After a brief chat with their son, the parents find out the dad’s grandfather “visits” frequently.

I thought his ability would diminish as he gets older but maybe it won’t.  His grandmother also has some of these gifts.  It’s her father who is the one “visiting” his great grandson.

These things have always intrigued me so I find all of this fascinating.