The Penny

Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.

[Thursday, March 24, 2011]


You know how four-year-olds go through the "why" phase? Why is the sky blue? Why do we have fingernails? Right, so one of my first graders is in that stage of language development.

I got a chance to chat with him after school, keeping him distracted during a meeting with his parent. He is always fun to chat with, and today was just like every time I talk with him... except that the assistant principal was listening. I don't think she has ever talked with him (well, she doesn't sign, and you kind of need to in order to have an effective conversation with him), and she was floored by how "interactive" he is.

What is that dark stuff in your teeth and how did it get there? (fillings)

Why does hair turn gray?

Does that mean you're a grandma? (yes, directed to me--guess I'll have to flesh out his concept of "grandma" meaning mother's mother, not just gray-haired woman)

How do lava lamps work?

Will it be dark at 6:00?

Why don't french fries make you grow tall?

Older brother has a big computer--is that because it ate a lot?

Do hot dogs count as meat?

And he informed me that he cannot drive because he cannot see over the steering wheel. And that he doesn't want to turn 9 because he really likes the number 8.

He made an impassioned plea for doing homework on the bus (his bus ride is like 45 minutes) instead of at home. He gets grumpy doing homework because he doesn't want to do it when the moon is in the sky. The moon means it's night time. Night is for sleeping. He asked me to explain that to his father.

Related to our gray hair conversation, he told me that his mother dyes her hair and asked me how much hair dye costs. (He's really interested in how much things cost.) Like $25? I told him it's about $10 if you want to do it at home. But it's more like $100 if you go to the salon. Palms slapped against his cheeks, he exclaimed, "One hundred!" then whispered, wide-eyed, "Oh my god."


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