I’m reading outside in our apartment complex today when two of the kids come up to me.
“What are y’all doing?” I ask.
The older one holds out his half eaten pastry – it looks like some kind of donut hole filled with chocolate.
“You’re eating! That looks good!”
He nods, and then speaks.
“Can we go in there?”
He’s pointing to the fenced off pool area behind me. Now, I’m not a parent, but I don’t think that it’s a good idea to let two kids who can barely speak English and aren’t old enough to attend school go hang out by the pool.
“You’ll have to go ask your mom and dad if you can.”
They scuttle back to their apartment. I continue to read, listening to a conversation in Korean between the mom and the kids.
They come back out. “She said we could go.”
I’m not exactly sure what to do with that info. So I’m supposed to let them in? Am I now obligated to watch them?
Sensing trouble and confusion, I try to change the conversation.
“You guys were making a cool house out here yesterday.” He agrees, but tells me they’re not allowed to build a house with the chairs and a plastic tub anymore. Must not have been approved by the authority figures.
But my plan doesn’t work. He’s persistent (I guess most five-year-olds are) and gets back to the topic at hand with a slightly more pouty tone.
“I want to go in there!” he says, pointing again and squinching his face.
This time, though, he points a little higher. In the direction of our apartment.
“Oh, do you want to go visit the hermit crab?”
“Yes. Crab!” he said. His sister nodded.
Much better idea. I take them to visit the crab, thrilled I don’t have to babysit non-swimmers poolside.