The late Art Linkletter put it best when he said that kids say the darnedest things. Working at an elementary school for the past few months has made me privy to the inner-workings of a child’s mind. They generally do not care to tell you what they’re thinking at any given moment, nor will they hold back in telling you what they really think of you, especially if you’re not their parental unit or guardian.
When kids see someone who is older than them, they have to ask them how old they really are. I got a mixed reaction when I said I was 22. Some asked why I wasn’t married and/or had a kid. The specific question was “Do you have a son?” I explained to the kids that I was still in school and that I didn’t really have time for that sort of thing.
Over time, I’ve come to get to know a lot of my kids. They know I’m a full-time student, lover of history. They even know I like to game, though I didn’t explain Dungeons or Dragons, I did wear my dice t-shirt so they know that I like to play games that involve dice. “Like Yahtzee?” one kid asked. “Yeah, like Yahtzee.”
My third graders seem to be most vocal about making your business their business. While some of them are blatantly defiant, they are also pretty endearing when you get right down to it. Apparently my name, Natasha, is a bit difficult for some to say. (I’ve been dealing with that my whole life) so several call me Miss Nawtesha.
Miss Nawtesha doesn’t like to raise her voice at the kids, even though they like to think so. They like to disobey, but they also tell me that they think I’m the best counselor that they’ve ever had. That makes me feel really great.
Miss Nawtesha, while she is a good counselor, is a bit boring, especially because her name isn’t really Miss Nawtesha. I asked my third graders why tey decided to call me that and one replied, “Because it sounds more hood!” Hood, to a girl from the suburb, okay. Miss Nawtesha is also single. To elementary school girls, this is a shock. Apparently the in thing is to trade boyfriends and gossip about who is dating who. Hmm, I guess it doesn’t get much better as you get older, but I digress. It’s not just third graders who are taken aback by this. My fourth and fifth graders were pretty shocked when they asked me if I had a boyfriend and I replied, “Nope.”
“But… why?!” I explained that I’m in school, that I work a couple of jobs and that I really do not have much time for dating. Certainly, if I had a boyfriend I’d make time, but that’s neither here nor there. I told a couple of white lies about my dating past just to make myself not look like a *total* loser in front of my kids.
A few weeks after the initial “Do you have a boyfriend?” torture, a third grader was on the playground and she asked, “Miss Nawtesha, do you still not have a boyfriend?” To which I replied, “No, Sally, I still do not have a boyfriend.” “And how come?!” “Well, Sally, I just really do not go anywhere to meet new people.”
“Aw, Miss Nawtesha! You gotta get up in the club! You gotta show those men your dance moves!” She then proceeded to show me few moves that I could probably only duplicate if I’d consumed 2 or 3 Long Island Iced Teas.
There you have it though, obviously a 9 year old girl has more knowledge of meeting men than I do. Not really, I just *detest* nightclubs. I can do most bars, but I hate clubs. I have space issues and being all up in someone’s business just does not appeal to me. Digression aside, I do need to get out and meet more people. I have wonderful friends whom I’m very close to. I do like the idea of going to a bar, say Mia’s, and meeting people for drinks or an appetizer. I’ve done it before and it’s a good time. I’m not as socially inept as my kids make it sound.
Miss Nawtesha, out!