Sunday, 10 August 2008

Kids = sponges

I just came back from seeing one of favourite people, my 1-year-old niece Mizzy. She's just invented a new way of pronouncing my name. Clever gal.

Mizzy's such a fast learner. She'll pick up anything. I heard from somewhere that kids this age are like sponges so we ought to be careful what we show and teach them. And they're always eager to share with others what they've learned. It's probably us who are not quite prepared for it.

All this reminds me very much of a story told by Australian writer Catherine Veitch to her friend US travel writer Bill Bryson. This one is from Bryson's book on Australia, In A Sunburned Country.
In the 1950s a friend of Catherine's moved with her young family into the a house next door to a vacant lot. One day a construction crew turned up to build a house on the lot. Catherine's friend had a four-year-old daughter who naturally took an interest in all the activity going on next door. She hung around on the margins and eventually the construction workers adopted her as a kind of mascot. They chatted to her and gave her little jobs to do and at the end of the week presented her with a packet containing a shiny new half crown.

She took this home to her mother, who made all the appropriate cooings of admiration and suggested they take it to the bank the next morning to deposit it in her account. When they went to the bank, the teller was equally impressed and asked the little girl how she come by her own pay packet.

"I've been building a house this week," she replied proudly.

"Goodness!" said the teller. "And will you be building a house next week too?"

"I will if we ever get the f***ing bricks," answered the little girl.


dzul said...


rol said...

I keep trying to imagine the look on the poor mother's face. Ouch indeed!

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