|| ON THE OTHER HAND
A CONTRARIO SENSU
Shaping up for snack time
My 4-year-old son, Ben, was pacing around our 5' x 2' kitchen island, waiting for me to make him a snack. "Why are you walking in circles?" I asked.
"I'm not," he replied matter-of-factly. "I'm walking in rectangles."
-- Frances Jordon
Math vs. logic
Once while grading papers, I came across my younger sister Rachel's math lesson. One of the problems read, "Mrs. Brown bought a dozen eggs. She used five in a cake. What part of the eggs is left?" Rachel's answer? "The shell."
-- Emily Andrews
If it ain't broke...
Three-year-old Ruth had heard someone use the word "ain't" and was trying it out in conversation with 4-year-old Benjamin. Benjamin corrected her: "Don't say 'ain't.' It's a bad word."
"Why is it a bad word?" asked Ruth.
Benjamin replied, "I don't know, but it's from another language called 'Broken English.'"
-- Carrie Hoppe
While reviewing fractions with my 6-year-old daughter, I asked her what part of a candy bar she would receive if she divided it equally with her two sisters. "One-third," she replied.
"What if you had to share with Mom and Dad too?" I asked. "Then I'd get one-fifth," she answered.
Using our friends with 10 children as the next example, I asked her how much she'd get if she shared a candy bar with them. "One bite," was her well-reasoned answer.
-- Julie Moller
Thpelling without teeth
When our 6-year-old, Jody, was learning to read, she had just lost her top front teeth. One day we were playing a word game to guess opposites. When I asked her the opposite of tall, she said short. When I asked the opposite of hot, she said cold. When I asked the opposite of fat, she said skinny. Then I challenged her: "Give me another word that means skinny and starts with 'th'."
After thinking long and hard, she finally exclaimed, "Oh! I know! Thhhlender!"
-- Judy Maxwell
Our family had been talking about how our souls go to heaven when we die.
"Oh, I get it," our 9-year-old son, Jacob, exclaimed. "God recycles!"
-- Mr. & Mrs. Bob Weaver
The case of the little cow
When my son, Stephan, was about 2 years old, we took a trip to the state fair. We were observing the animals in the livestock section when we spotted the baby calves. Having recently been taught the difference between capital letters and smaller letters, Stephan piped up, "Look Mom, there's a lower-case cow!"
-- Heidi Donlon
When you put it that way...
While studying Hungary in geography class, we learned the country's capital, population, location, and culture. When I asked my children if they knew what the most famous Hungarian "dish" is, I thought the answer (goulash) would be obvious. Until 6-year-old Justin raised his hand and guessed, "A plate?"
-- Heather Dykema
History in the making
My 8-year-old son had been enjoying watching a television series on the Civil War with his father, but friends invited him to go swimming at the same time as the last installment. Faced with a difficult decision, he finally chose swimming over finishing the series. Before he left, though, he ran to his dad and asked, "You'll tell me how it ends, won't you?"
-- Amy Giannini
A grammatical misstep
After reading the biblical story of Ananias and Sapphira to my 7-year-old son Samuel one day, I was impressed as he narrated it back to me. He captured the drama of Ananias's instant death after lying to the Holy Spirit-but the mood was broken when he described Peter informing Sapphira, "The men who buried your husband's feet are standing at the door."
Peter's line should have read, "The feet of the men who buried your husband are standing at the door."
We had an impromptu grammar lesson, as soon as I stopped laughing!
-- Karen Carr
West Lafayette, IN
It depends on where you start
My 8-year-old daughter, Maggie, was dawdling through her spelling assignment. Trying to urge her along, I asked, "What does calendar start with?"
"January!" she quickly replied, grinning from ear to ear.
-- Julie Moller
A new measuring stick
While my daughter, Elisa, was studying standard measurement, her little sister Tanya put together a puzzle nearby.
"Elisa, what unit of measurement would we use to figure the height of the door?" I asked.
"Feet," she replied.
"Good! What unit of measurement would we use to figure the length of a pencil?"
At that, Tanya piped up, "A leg?"
-- Naomi J. Hannay
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