Category: Family & Kids

Your Vocabulary Is Far From Wretched

| NJ, USA | Family & Kids, Language & Words

(When I was three, one winter I forgot my coat when I go to preschool. It is a bit chilly outside, and the caretakers don’t want to let me go outside without some kind of covering, so they offer me a borrowed sweater.)

Three-Year-Old Me: “I don’t want the wretched sweater!”

(It took them a while to figure out that I was saying “wretched,” since they didn’t expect that to be in a toddler’s vocabulary!)

The Election Appealed To Third Graders

| Jamaica, NY, USA | Family & Kids, Politics

(I teach a class of third-grade autistic students. This morning, apropos of nothing, they came out with this.)

Student #1: “My mom is voting for Mary Clinton, because Trump is craaaazy!”

Student #2: “Well, I’m voting for Donald Trump 2016!”

Trying Not To ‘Baby’ Them

| Canada | Family & Kids

(I teach in an area with a high population of relatively conservative families. As such, large numbers of students don’t know where babies come from, but some do. I’m reading the story of the Nativity story to them, which shows Mary having a round belly, followed by a picture of her holding baby Jesus.)

Student #1: “She’s fat!”

(I should note that some of students are told by their parents that women get fat, and then they go to the doctor, who gives them a baby.)

Student #2: “No, she’s pregnant!”

Student #3: “How could she have a baby without a doctor there?”

Me: “Sometimes, if the mom and the baby are both healthy, you can manage without a doctor.”

Student #4: “But how does it get out?”

Student #5: “They cut a hole!” *mimes slashing his own belly with a knife*

Student #6: “No, it comes out of the back hole!”

(At this point, I was just frantically trying to come up with something that would steer the conversation in another direction, which is hard to do when you’re also trying to avoid laughing hysterically.)

Me: “I’m not going to talk about it because your parents have told you all different things. Hey, look at the shepherds!”

O Dear

| Kansas City, MO, USA | Family & Kids, Students

(Our biology teacher has finished explaining how your parents determine your blood type and given examples when a student in the back raises his hand.)

Student: “My parents both have type ‘O’ blood and my blood type is ‘AB.'”

(Our teacher gets a horrified look on her face. The student grins and says:)

Student: “I’m adopted.”

(The teacher let out a sigh of relief.)

Driving Himself Into A New Job

| East Haven, CT, USA | Employees, Family & Kids, Ignoring/Inattentive, Transportation

(My sisters and I are in elementary school, between the ages of five and nine.  We live about a mile away from school in a house plopped in the middle of two major roadways, which means that we are the first stop on our route before the bus we take heads to the opposite side of town for the other kids’ houses. One day my mother has somewhere to be and asks her eighty year old grandmother to babysit for the afternoon, expecting us to be off the bus at 3:15 pm on the dot. When our bus approaches the intersection for our street, she slows at the turn, cranes her neck, looks at the house, changes lanes, and drives on forward instead without even stopping.)

Older Sister: “Our house!”

Bus Driver: “Nobody is home. I can’t leave you without your parents.”

Older Sister: “No, our great-grandma is home! She’s babysitting today.”

Bus Driver: “Nobody’s home. Now sit down and be quiet. You’re not going home to an empty house.”

Older Sister: “But grandma’s–”

Bus Driver: “I SAID, NOBODY IS HOME. There’s no car in the driveway!”

Me: “Nona is old. She doesn’t drive.”

Bus Driver: “I SAID SIT DOWN. YOU’RE NOT GOING HOME!”

Little Sister: *sobbing* “I WANT MY NONAAAAAAAAAAAA!”

(My older sister and I spend the rest of the route calming down a hysterical kindergartner while the bus driver yells at us every time we ask when we can go home. After the last house on the route she drives back toward our house, but again doesn’t drive down the road — just past it. She cranes her neck again to look for a car and drives straight instead of stopping or turning.)

Bus Driver: “UNBELIEVABLE. I can’t believe your parents would expect you to go home to an empty house–”

Me: “NONA! I can see her in the doorway—”

Bus Driver: “SIT DOWN! There’s no cars in the driveway.”

Older Sister: “Our grandmother doesn’t drive!”

Little Sister: *pressing her face against the window* “I WANT MY NONA!”

Bus Driver: “NONA’S NOT IN YOUR HOUSE! STOP CRYING! YOU’RE NOT GOING HOME!”

(The bus driver takes us back to our elementary school. By now it is after four pm.)

Bus Driver: “Go back inside and tell the principal what happened so they can look for your parents! I have a schedule to keep. I can’t be babysitting until your parents come home!”

(Apparently my great-grandmother panicked after not seeing our bus come when it was scheduled to, and had to track down my mother to tell her we didn’t come home. My mother then had to track down the bus company, and the bus company tracked down the bus driver, and the bus driver informed everybody that she refused to drop us off at an empty house and instead chose to drop us off outside of the elementary school where we would be safe. The elementary school that had locked its doors at three pm when all of the students had left for home. So THEN the bus company called the school in a panic asking if they had seen us, and all of the teachers who had stayed late that evening for prep work bolted out of the building to search for us. We were wandering the parking lot. A nine-year-old, a seven-year-old, and a snot-covered, red-in-the-face, hysterical five-year-old, wandering the parking lot, wondering why we weren’t allowed to play with our Nona. The bus driver continued to insist that she knew for a fact that no one was home for us because there were no cars in the driveway, and we were misbehaving and refusing to sit while the bus was in motion. We got a new bus driver on Monday.)