NYC kids are a funny bunch. I generally try to avoid children in my day-to-day life, and fortunately live in a neighborhood where they aren’t prevalent, but my brief encounters with kids in this city never cease to entertain. I’m not sure if it’s the constant exposure to adults and adult conversation or just city life in general, but these kids operate on a very sophisticated level. They are inquisitive, opinionated and worldly, much more than I was when I was bopping around in my favorite Gymboree outfit and messily eating Cheerios. Perhaps they are mere parrots and repeat what they overhear. Regardless, they’re fooling me.
On Monday I boarded the Subway and sat down next to a kid that was approximately 5-years-old. His feet stuck straight out in front of him, his little legs nowhere near the length to comfortably sit on the train bench. I was reading when he politely tapped me to say, “Did you know the best way to eat an apple is diagonally? It’s much better than eating around the circumference.” Before I could exhale an astonished, “Ohhh really?” he continued, “That way the apple doesn’t turn brown and oxidize before you get back to where you started.” What?! This little kid knows more geometry than most sophomores in high school! What’s the formula for circumference anyway? πr²? 2πr? Oh god, I bet this kid wouldn’t hesitate like this. It’s definitely 2πr. Not only does he know geometry, he’s well-versed in fruit science and oxidation! When did I learn the word ‘oxidation’? Definitely not that young. Does this kid know that you can buy powder from the grocery store to prevent apples from turning brown? Some bartender told me that when he was making me a martini once. The best part about this conversation is that neither Genius Boy or I were eating apples at the time of the conversation. As we approached my stop the kid turned to his mother and politely asked, “May I have my apple now, please?” Have a great day, buddy. Hope your apple doesn’t oxidize prematurely.
The other day I was crossing the street and saw a girl holding her dad’s hand at the crosswalk. Admittedly, I am a terrible age approximater, but she was probably 4 to 7 years-old (holding dad’s hand age, OK?). She turns to him and asks, “So how long do you think it will take for the Democrats to control Congress again?” I was obviously in the presence of the next Hillary.
Lastly, I was picking up some groceries and ventured down the cereal aisle, arguably the best aisle in the grocery store, however, also the aisle most likely to encounter unruly children. I have loved the cereal aisle ever since I used to sit in the grocery cart and grocery shop with my dad. Even at a young age, I strategized my cereal purchases, mainly around whatever free toys were advertised on the box and swearing, pleading, promising to eat every last bite of the cereal even if it was something I hated— just so I could get the toy. Pleeeeeeease can we get the Apple Jacks?! I’ll eat the whole thing, I swear, just look at the Hot Wheels you get with it!!! <arms flailing wildly> This is typical child-in-the-cereal-aisle behavior, right? Apparently not in this city. I saw a kid pick up a box of Chex and say to his mom, “Let’s get this one. It’s on sale and has whole grains.” Son, there is NO toy in that box. No sugar overload. Nothing that will turn the milk an unnatural hue. At least go for a box with HP7 pictures on the front. COME ON. The mother obliged and off they went with their healthy cereal, down the frozen foods cases, as the kid politely helped his mom pick out organic Amy’s meals as they continued.
Apparently paying $20,000 – $30,000 annually for a NYC private elementary school education is worth something.