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    Poking A Hole In Politeness

    | Chepstow, Wales, UK | Parents & Guardians, Siblings

    (I am about five years old, and visiting an abbey with my family, including my sister who is about six. There are lots of deep holes in the ground. I see my mum and gran talking and try to jump one of the holes… and fail. Apparently, this is what happens next: My sister wanders over to my mum and gran and waits politely for them to stop talking.)

    Mum: “What is it, [Sister]? Go play with [My Name].”

    Sister: *in a bored tone of voice* “Can’t. [My Name] fell down the hole.”

    Mum: “What?!”

    Sister: “She fell down the hole. Over there.”

    Mum: “What? When?”

    Sister: “A few minutes ago.”

    Mum: *panicking* “Why didn’t you tell us?”

    Sister: “You and Gran were talking. It’s rude to interrupt.”

    (My family has never let me live down falling down the hole. My sister’s only reaction to her delayed response in the story was to say ‘well, it wasn’t as though you were going anywhere.’”)

    That’s A Weight Off Of His Shoulders

    | Cornwall, England, UK | Children, Parents & Guardians

    (My family is on holiday in Cornwall. It is raining but, being British, we decide not to let that bother us. My brother is two and riding on my dad’s shoulders with his umbrella conveniently keeping them both dry. I am seven and I walk alongside them with my own umbrella. We’ve been walking for a long time before my dad freezes and turns in a full circle, panicked.)

    Dad: “[My Name], where’s your brother?”

    Me: “He’s on your shoulders, Dad.”

    (My dad has a moment of realization as my brother starts to laugh.)

    Me: “How did you think you were keeping dry?”

    Double Oh-Vey

    | Edmonton, AB, Canada | Children, Sons & Daughters

    (My eight-year-old son and I are walking down the street. I see a group of Orthodox Jewish men (beards, black suits and broad-brimmed black hats) coming toward us on the other side. My son is watching them intently, and I am hoping that I can answer any questions he might come out with. He looks up at me excitedly.)

    Son: “Look, Mom! Secret agents!”

    Parental Approval Is A Mountain To Climb

    | USA | Parents & Guardians

    (I chose to attend a school that’s half an hour away from my house because I live in the rural part of my state and the high school I live in the boundaries for is less than satisfactory. My dad and I have just helped a family move into their new house.)

    Dad: “This craziness is why I would never want to move.”

    Me: “I would want to move somewhere up near [current school].”

    Dad: “Well, you should’ve just gone to [boundary school].”

    Me: “Where there are drugs and guns and gangs?!”

    Dad: “Psh… there aren’t guns.”

    Me: “Yes, there are! There have been people shot! Would you want your kids in that environment?”

    Dad: “That’s nothing! You know I had to walk through the jungle with nothing to eat and I had to climb up and down a mountain with landmines and people dying every second.”

    (This is how conversations with Asian parents always end… no matter how difficult your life is, theirs have always been worse because they had to climb a mountain, or swim across a lake…)

    A Fish Out Of Agua

    | Puerto Rico | Parents & Guardians

    (We’re in Puerto Rico for the day on vacation. None of us speak Spanish, though my father fancies himself an expert because he read a ‘learn Spanish on your own’ book several years ago that focused on Castilian Spanish.)

    Father: *snootily* “They don’t speak proper Spanish here!”

    Mother: “He’s been here five minutes and he’s already telling the natives how to speak their language.”

    (A few hours later, we see a sign my sister is curious about.)

    Sister: “Hey, Dad, what does this sign say?”

    Father: “I don’t know.” *walks away*

    (He couldn’t even translate the first word: ‘agua,’ meaning water!)


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