Sunday, July 09, 2006
PERSONS UNDER THE AGE OF 10 LOVE (AND UNDERSTAND) THE NERD
*Hey buddy, you better believe I'm no dummy.
The nerd gets on remarkably well with children, toddlers, infants, newborns and fetuses at various stages of development. She, however, refuses to baby young people simply because popular opinion dictates that anyone under the age of 10 is, in fact, an idiot, responding only to unintelligible baby talk and constant smiling of the face-cracking variety. Frankly, baby talk and all of that cooing, peek-a-boo garbage makes her very uncomfortable so she refuses to partake in such silliness.
Instead, the nerd talks to persons under ten years of age (this age range includes the above-mentioned children, toddler, infants, newborns and fetuses at various states of development) just as she would talk to any adult. For instance, check how she deals with a random aunty’s strange(r) toddler granddaughter during an encounter at the mall last year: Baby
Our nerd engaged the toddler in talks ranging from the virtue of celebrity chefs—a la Rachel Ray—to the housewares faux pas, committed by countless Pakistani families, of not having matching dinnerware and silverware, to the pressures to get hitched faced by South Asian women of a certain age. Sure, the toddler didn’t have much of an opinion on the matters discussed, but she seemed FASCINATED by what the nerd had to say and the nerd could almost see her little brain cells dancing a happy thanks-for-not-talking-to-me-like-I’m-retarded dance.
Some would say that toddlers are too young to participate in grown up discussions. This is not true. The nerd’s own cousin’s daughter, soon to be 5 years old, used to be able to walk her through her picture books, talk to her about the weather, her mother’s bad mood, her baby sister’s cold or her opinions about the educational system at the age of 2.5 years. Was she just smarter than other toddlers? Well, yah, because she IS related to the nerd, after all. We must point out, however, that this particular toddler was not coddled like most children are; instead, her parents are also proponents of the socializing method practiced by our nerd.
So, reader, the next time you come across a person under 10 years of age, please restrain yourself from becoming a dancing monkey. Go ahead: ask the little person what she thinks about the Bush administration’s foreign policy, the radical emergence of American Modernism as a cultural and literary movement following World War I, or the appeal of reality television programs. Chances are, that while she might be too young to respond, she’s never too young to listen and to comprehend.
Or maybe she is too young to comprehend. In which case she’ll probably just spit on you and, utterly disgusted, you’ll return the bundle of joy to her mother and be glad that you’re not breeding just yet.