Tuesday, March 18, 2008

the danger of baby dragons

i guess you could say i like miseducating children. there's something about the whole 'tabula rasa' concept that makes me want to mess with kids' beliefs. much like the impulse to mess up a perfectly organized office table (that was my lame attempt at justifying the state of my room). this is also why my friends rarely allow their children to spend time with me. unfortunately, my nephew and niece are not spared of my little hobby.

one of my favorite stories involves the then 3- or 4-year-old nephew of a good friend. he was wearing long, loose shorts when i saw him.

me: why are you wearing a skirt?
the poor unsuspecting victim (tpuv): this is not a skirt!!!
me: that's a skirt.
tpuv: (clearly getting upset) THIS IS NOT A SKIIIIIIIIIRT!!!
me: (with all the calmness of the adult i often pretend to be) that's a skirt.
tpuv: (at the top of his poor baby lungs) THIS!!! IS!!! NOT!!! A!!! SKIRT!!!
me: (enjoying now) that's a skirt.
tpuv: (running away) MAMA!!! WHY AM I WEARING A SKIRT???

later that night, i taught tpuv that fire hydrants were dogs' toilets, a tutorial that compelled his aunt (who, surprisingly, is still my friend to this day) to call and scream at me the next day for putting the wrong info in her nephew's malleable brain. in other instances, i have taught a group of 7-year-olds at a children's party that they should water the souvenir cookies shaped like flowers so they would grow. closer to home, i've had to tell my own nephew that we had a baby dragon in the backyard.

this particular one wasn't my fault entirely. we were upstairs one time, quietly watching tv, when the screech of a cat in heat pierced the air. wide-eyed juancho had to ask, "what is THAT???" so instead of explaining cat sex to the child (not that i could explain it any other time), i told him that it was a baby dragon.


of course after that he begged me to show him the mystical animal, so i had to tell him the dragon usually hid from people ... and naughty boys (i'm his godmother. i am slightly in charge of his moral life. sue me.).

i admit this is not very healthy ... mostly because i forget to take back the things i say. just the other day, i heard juancho saying that he saw my 'pets' playing with each other on the floor. only then did i remember that i told him some time ago all the ants that lived upstairs were my pets and he shouldn't kill them. he's going to have a rich imagination (and a genuine love for insects and dragons) thanks to moi.

i'm still waiting for the baby dragon topic to resurface. if all goes well, i'll remember to correct it before he enters high school.


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