Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 4
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Browning out: Spending quality time with children

This week there’s an important story that I would like to tell. It involves a long-lost love, epic fight scenes and some downright great humor. Oh wait, that’s “The Princess Bride.”

Really, my story is this: Little kids are maybe the most hilarious creatures on the planet. Let me set the scene. There is a cafeteria bathed in yellow light, the smell of chicken nuggets and overcooked pizza permeate through the air. There I am, standing in the elementary school cafeteria. There are approximately four adults in the room besides me, and we are outnumbered by at least 15-to-one.

It’s a mad house. In case you don’t remember, elementary school lunches are all about who you sit with and what you talk about, not about the food. (Probably because it all looks vaguely similar even though they are supposed to be very different meals).

When I first started mentoring, I was asked whether I was my mentee’s mother. If you do the math, this would mean that I would have been pregnant at age nine. Very dark. I would have found this offensive except that I think anyone who is not exactly the same age is like some alien creature to them. Within my past few weeks of mentoring, I’ve been asked whether I went to their school (so, you know, elementary school age), whether I was in high school, and then, when I said I attend college, they all gave me the strangest look. Their response? “Are you married?”

I don’t know whether to view this as a social stigma or to blame this on the fact that the only older people that they’ve been hanging out with are their parents, but it’s mildly concerning at the least.

But anyways, back to the story. I enter the cafeteria and find the usual suspects sitting at their usual table. The drama this week: Someone lost at bump. (For those of you who don’t know what this is… I guess you never had a childhood, I’m sorry for your loss).

I was intently listening to the story when I noticed that the kid sitting across from me at the lunch table was making a face. When I asked him what was up he responded, “Yeah, [insert name here] doesn’t like me very much anymore since I accidentally roundhouse kicked him in the face.”

I looked at him in awe.
“Accidentally?” I asked.
“Twice,” he responded.
“Accidentally?” I repeated.
He leaned across the table, “It wasn’t an accident.”
“I think his hatred might be justified,” I told him cautiously.

When did children become such badasses, you ask? I’ve been wondering the same thing. To follow up to that kick-­ass (or kick-face) conversation, I did learn that the incident was, in fact, at a karate club, so I guess it’s a little more justified. But still, the next time someone tries to bother me, I know exactly what my next move is going to be: a roundhouse kick to the face.

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