how to talk with a 5 year old

Ally and I are going to a Bar Mitzvah in Miami later in the year, and when I found out about it I started panicking about all of the 5 year old cousins I’d be surrounded by.  I’m not so good with the lil’ ones, you see.  I don’t know how to talk to them, or what even to talk to them about.  They’re quite dumb creatures if you think about it.  They have few reasoning skills, and their abilities to carry on complex conversations are limited (to put it lightly).  They’re still in that phase of their life when they’re not psychologically capable of handling emotions in an appropriate manner, so they cry a lot.   Hell, when I introduce myself and hold my hand out expecting theirs in return, I’m usually met either with silence and overwhelming shyness, or a crusty booger-covered set of toothpick fingers.

So how am I going to deal with a long weekend—mere days before I begin taking upper division university courses about complex algorithms and low-level machine representations of data, no less—talking with these developmentally primitive miniature humanoids?  I’ve decided to come up with a few talking points to initiate conversations that would both be engaging for me, and dumb enough for them to understand and relate to.  Here’s what I’ve come up with:

  1. “I can solve a Rubik’s cube in about 1 minute.  What colorful toys are you that good at?”
  2. “I see you have hot dogs in that mac & cheese you’re eating.” [side note: I totally expect to be referencing the food on their bibs] ” I once ate an entire package of 8 hot dogs—including buns!—in under 5 minutes.  Boom goes the dynamite!”
  3. “Come on, think about it logically.  What sort of physical explanation can you come up with for how those reindeer stay in the air?  It’s just not feasible.”
  4. “If you were an animal on Arthur, what kind of animal would you be?  I call lion.  I’d never go hungry with all of those aardvarks around, that’s for sure!”
  5. “Don’t hang out with little Suzie too much.  Before you know it middle school will roll around, and you’ll be stuck in the ‘friend zone’ when it actually counts.”
  6. “Back in my day, garbage men used to hang off the back of the truck!  It’s never too late for you to change your aspirations, kid.  If you really put your mind to it, you too could hang off the back of a garbage truck someday.”
  7. “So your twitter background is a photo of elmo, huh?”

Hopefully Ally has seven or fewer 5 year old cousins.  I’d be completely stumped with what to talk to number eight about.

Let me know if you can come up with any.

2 Responses to “how to talk with a 5 year old”

  1. PLK says:

    Hey kids, I have an ipod so that I can listen to all my cool music. Too bad that when you go to kindergarten you'll have to listen to “Take my Teacher Home” lessons on your ipod, instead of Eddie Spaghetti songs. (True by the way!)

    Ha, ha … funny blog! You've got a great start on those conversation starters.

  2. Diane says:

    Holy effing shit. This is the funniest damn thing I've read in a long time. Maybe if she has eight cousins you could talk about your ability to grow facial hair and how you can make the letter of the day (“M”) if you shave to look like a lumberjack.

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date Mar 7th 2010
author Mike
category Life
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