When very young children try too hard to act nonchalant


Apropos of nothing (but perhaps filed as an addendum to the "stories from school" category), I was reminded of a story from the aftermath of the Nisqually Earthquake that struck Seattle in 2001. Mind you, this story is fourth-hand by now, but it's still cute.

A young student, whom I will call "Billy", returned from school the day of the earthquake (which struck in mid-morning).

Billy: "Hi, Mom. I'm home."

Mom: "Hi, Billy. Anything interesting happen at school today?"

Billy: (trying to sound nonchalant) "Nothing much."

Mom: "What about the earthquake?"

Billy: (surprised) "Who told you about the earthquake?!"

Update: Corrected Mom's question. And I deleted all the comments arguing about religion. If you want to debate child rearing, do it somewhere else.

Comments (5)
  1. Nathan says:

    Is the website 404 ? I’m getting failed to connect errors. Google provided other links (#3) as http://www.ce.washington.edu/~nisqually/index.html (no maximus)

  2. John Vert says:

    My 3-year old daughter’s quote from the same earthquake – "Mommy, tell Daddy to tell God to stop shaking the house!"

    The management chain is clear in the mind of a 3-year old.

  3. Hexar says:

    Mom: "Hi, Billy. How was school today?"

    Billy: "Nothing much."

    Non-sequitur?

  4. Firas says:

    I think it’s an ok response in a conversation, even if it provides a quantitative answer to a qualitative question (re: non-seq.) If not much happened then you can assume that school was ‘just alright’. I have no idea why I’m even wasting my time on typing this though :)

  5. Sridhar says:

    My 4 year old son on the same earth-quake – "Elephants ran on the roof".  I didn’t bother to explain tectonic plates to him.  Now he is old enough to understand with flash animations of earth quakes and tsunamis.

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