Friday, January 16, 2009

The Hartwell Chronicles ... little people are peculiar

Little children make me nervous, very nervous.
I’m not sure when this all began, because I used to love children.
I was a camp intern in high school, volunteered at an elementary school’s first grade in college and was even an America Reads tutor.
Sure those experiences had their ups and downs.
One little boy tried to put glue in my hair at the camp. He got shut down real quick.
Another called me fat while I was trying to help him with his illiteracy. I responded with “At least I can read.”
And first graders act worse than a pack of wild animals. I need therapy from dealing with them.
I was fairly able to deal with children during those brief encounters. Nothing too strange happened.
Now, I am starting to recognize children have many peculiar habits. And it frightens me!
It’s a lot worse than them just playing in their dirty noses and wanting to touch you. No, they do weird things like lick you.
I am not making this up!
This little girl came up to me and just licked my shirt one day. I was mortified!
She couldn’t have been more than five, but clearly thought it was acceptable.
Her mother said “Oh she likes to act like a dog sometimes. Just ignore her.”
Is this normal? Am I the only once concerned that little Susie thinks’ she’s a shar pei?
But wait it gets better.
I was talking to a woman in the office the other day when suddenly I felt something on my leg. Her daughter took a liking to my leg and started to rub it ever so softly (but hard enough where I felt it and got nervous).
I stopped mid-sentence and gave her a frantic “What are you doing?” look. Maybe I should have said that aloud.
I started moving around and eventually she stopped. Her mother said nary a word.
I know little children are curious, but there are some boundaries.
I mean really, who touches a stranger’s leg? I was molested by a munchkin.
All my interactions with children aren’t “peculiar.”
Most times they provide comic relief, although they do test my patience at points.
I took a picture of one little girl more than a year ago. She asks to see that picture on my camera every single time she sees me
“I don’t have it anymore,” I try to explain.
“But why?” she asks.
“Because I downloaded it.”
You can see where this is heading.
I can deal with older children slightly better. Note the word slightly.
Middle Schoolers make me nervous too. They’re these little balls of adult hormones wrapped in the bodies of babies.
And I always feel like I must validate my coolness to high school students. They have these judgmental eyes that cut you to pieces.
Nonetheless, the “Peculiar People” Award goes to little children.
Here’s hoping they grow out of it. Then again, I kept most of my childhood quirks...
Perhaps we’re all just a bit peculiar.

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