RAMBLINGS KIDBITS #1 (guessing ages)
I love to guess kids' ages. I'm talking about little kids with ages ranging from about four to eight. I like to make a big deal of it. First, I'll say "I'm going to guess how old you are and what grade you're in. (And so we are playing a game.!)
There is one rule-of-thumb that I follow. That's to guess a kid's age just a little bit higher than I really think it is. A kid doesn't like to have you come up with a number underneath his or her actual age. You may recall when you were growing up how you were always anxious to grow older. By the way - just what is the age when we all begin to think the other way around? (It probably varies.)
In the process of this age-guessing, some funny things happen. Here's one instance:
I was packing up my instruments (I'm a musician) after a program and three kids were standing in front of me, watching with curiosity. There were two little girls and a slightly older boy. The girls might have been sisters; one appeared younger than the other.
Anyway I went into my routine and directed my opener to the older girl. The other two watched with much interest. I did my usual scanning of her height, and explored her young face. After a minute or two, I made my judgment in a knowing tone of voice, rendered in measured, authoritative tones: "You are"SIX years old! You are in the FIRST grade!" Her hands were folded behind her back as she nodded with a pleased but perplexed expression.
Next, I turned to the smaller girl. Solemnly I appraised her and then said "You are"FIVE years old! You are in KINDERGARTEN!" She nodded shyly and as she did, the boy, who had been watching intently, grabbed my arm and demanded: "Guess my age!"
I turned and gazed at him with an even more dramatic pause."You are"..EIGHT years old!! You are in the THIRD grade!!" He appeared quite astonished and exclaimed: "How did you do that?!" I stared into his eyes and said with great deliberation: "I can tell by LOOKING at you."
For an instant, he studied my face with great intensity and suddenly blurted:
"I'll bet you're"TWO HUNDRED YEARS OLD!!"
I thought that was hilarious. Wouldn't you?