Sunday, June 12, 2005

Riddles and Kids

I guess you must have heard it somewhere - how Kids say the funniest things. Just on Sunday, my eldest niece was reading to us - the extended family of twelve - a riddle from a book, which goes something like this: Why did the girl go to prison? This really had us all baffled and scratching our heads. When the answer was revealed, it was everything except what it is supposed to be - a kid’s riddle. And I have my niece as living testimony to that. The answer: because she stole a man’s heart. I tried hard not to laugh out loud without much success. But her aunt was sharp, asking in her most innocent tone, “Do you know what it means by stealing a man’s heart?” Without thinking, my niece replied, “Yes, of course, it means killing a man loh!” And she nearly killed me there and then! But her aunt, half laughing, remarked almost gratefully, “Correct, correct, correct” Did I mention that my niece is in Primary three? She seems too young to understand, which is obvious from her reply, or maybe not.

Kids do really know a lot nowadays, or they make you think they do. For my niece, I really have serious doubt about her age at time. Take that Sunday; she was in high pink boots with matching skirt, which I know from her mum that she has chosen on her own. The result is that she looked more like a secondary school teenager. It can be quite traumatic and a turmoil knowing her. On one hand, there is something nostalgic about the way she talks, responds and thinks - while, I was once like her, when I am in secondary school, that is. Ok, ok, so no big deal about it, kids now grow up a lot faster. What are troubling are the stuffs they are learning from friends, books, TV and the internet. Kids have great learning capacities and are generally very impressionable. My niece was a fan of the once very popular Channel 8's Chinese drama series "Holland V" It is said that she laughed and cried along with the fortune of the main characters. So who would still bet against her understanding what "stealing a man's heart" means within the next few months? Or perhaps, she already understood and was just faking innocence. In which instance, only the baby-crazy Gahman would be proud.

PS: Apparently, my nephew, who is in Primary Two, already knows the expletive, "f**k" from his school friends. Hmm…what was I doing at his age? I presume barely off the milk bottle.

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