“A” For Effort

My wife Robin is a library tech at two elementary schools. She takes her job seriously, knows all the books and matches readers to these books with great precision. It is a gift and a labor of love for her.
Recently, while a third grade class was visiting her library and checking out books, a boy asked “do you have the book The Human Body?” Robin contemplated a moment …”yes we have it. You need to ask your teacher if it is appropriate for your reading level”.
The lad inquired his teacher and she answered with an absolute “no”. This transaction did not escape notice of another student in the class. It became evident that the “forbidden” book piqued her interest.
A little later, the lass approached Robin with great confidence and with adult eloquence asked “where do I find the book The Human Body?” After twenty-plus years of dealing with thousands of elementary school-aged children, Robin’s intuition kicked in. She understands that reinforcing a manipulative action should never be rewarded.
Robin looked her square in the eyes. At that point they both knew this little sprite was aware that the teacher said “no” earlier. “Divide and conquer” is a ploy the eight-year-old has likely used very successfully in her short life, and now she was testing yet another adult with it.
“We have the book, but it it is not age appropriate for you”, Robin answered. The little girl’s determination drove the question “why”.
Robin said, “If you read it you may have questions for your parents. I’m not sure your parents are ready to have that conversation with you yet.”
The gears quickly turned in the little girl’s head. “What conversation?”, her tone of voice was turning condescending. “About where babies come from”, Robin chimed.
“Oh, THAT conversation” the eight-year old stated with adult-like arrogance. “I’ve had THAT conversation with them and I KNOW where babies come from.
They come from God!”
“Right. Now go ask your teacher if the book is age appropriate”, Robin motioned to the other side of the room.
And that was that.



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