Never Ask a Woman Her Age

If there is one lesson in life that is important to remember, it’s this:  Don’t play memory games with a four-year-old. My shortest best friend came to visit me yesterday, and she brought two card games with her, Go Fish and a matching game. Since Go Fish had been a disaster last time she came (meaning I was mercilessly slaughtered on my birthday), I chose the matching game.

I should have known I was not headed in a good direction as soon as we started when my little friend asked, “How old are you?” Obviously, she knew that anyone my age should not be playing games where the goal is to remember where something is. The outcome was never in doubt as you can see from this picture. Notice the long string of matches Miss N. had. My four measly matches are above hers.


If four-year-olds are so darn smart, why do they insist on having the same thing read to them over and over and over again? I would like to think it’s because they can’t remember the story. That would make me feel better about the memory game. But I know that’s not the case because N. knows if I skip even one word when I read her favorite story at my house. I got tired of hearing The Three Little Pigs on my iPad every time N. visited, so yesterday I brought out the box of children’s books I keep in a closet and said, “Let’s pick out something new to read.” I forgot that in that pile of books was a Strawberry Shortcake storybook that she loves. Of course, she insisted we read that one. I begged, I cajoled, I pleaded to no avail. There was no remedy except to read it to her. But, I outsmarted her because I made sure I wouldn’t have to read that book ever again when she comes to my house. I gave it to her. As she left the house, turned to me and said, “We can read The Three Little Pigs on your iPad next time,” I’m sure that wasn’t me with my hands over my ears yelling, “Nyah, nyah, nyah, I can’t hear you!”

About Coming East

I am a writer, wife, mother, and grandmother who thinks you're never too old until you're dead. My inspiration is Grandma Moses who became a successful artist in her late 70's. If I don't do something pretty soon, though, I'll have to find someone older for inspiration.
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34 Responses to Never Ask a Woman Her Age

  1. pattisj says:

    What a cute little friend you have there. She does look awfully smart for her age. I never understood why there was always ONE BOOK that was read over and over and over…I guess I just liked “The Night Before Christmas” all year long.

  2. Robin says:

    lol! She’s beautiful, yet serious. Perfect. Wonderful story, Susan. I have a 3-year-old friend who beats me at memory games, and I haven’t a chance against my 7-year-old friend.
    I have favorite books that I love to read over and over and over again. Thankfully nobody has to read them to me anymore. 🙂

  3. Jiawei says:

    Glad you have a shorty best friend, although she looks stern! Does she always look like that? Or is it a “bad” picture?
    My five year old girl has a favorite these days, “Mom, how many times have I told you ….?” Last time it was, “How many times have I told you to be quiet when I’m reading?” So I went along gladly. That was my favorite, too!

    • Coming East says:

      That is too funny about your five-year-old, Jiawei! She sounds like a tough cookie like my Miss N. Miss N has the sweetest smile, but she can also look quite stern when I don’t do what she wants me to do. Scary!

  4. This one made me laugh out loud! I’ve been there so many times!

  5. Grandson’s favorite book was The Polar Express which he had memorized. When oral book report time came around (in the first grade!) I was a bit worried about that book report, but apparently he had it all under control.

    • Coming East says:

      I don’t remember my kids requesting the same book over and over and over again (except maybe Runaway Bunny with the youngest), Georgette, but they liked their special song at bedtime with their back rub. So do my granddaughters, even though they are ten and fourteen.

  6. Patti Ross says:

    This is a great post for lots of reasons. Friendship. Reading. Playing. All good things, albeit frustrating at times. My only suggestion on books to read (without re-reading every time) would be to get a copy of Animalia–it is all pictures. But each page is a hodge-podge of items that start with the letter of the alphabet in question–sort of a where’s Waldo sort of thing and great for smart little whipper-snappers to create new stories each time about what is “found.” Have you thought about taking her to Vegas or Atlantic City? As someone else already noted, she does seem to be a 40-year old in reality!

    Keep having fun!

  7. Amy says:

    Miss N is so cute! I can see why you said that she was intimidating…

  8. Lenore Diane says:

    I love that you have a shorty best friend. I had -ahem- an older couple I visited when I was a shorty. What wonderful memories are being made, even when the memory surrounds Strawberry Shortcake or The Three Little Pigs.
    P.S. Excellent move on sending her home with the Strawberry Shortcake book. I suppose you won’t be sending her home with your iPad next time, though. 🙂

    • Coming East says:

      Ha-ha, LD! No, I think I’ll hang on to my iPad. I thought about having the Three Little Pigs mysteriously disappear from my iPad library, but knowing how smart N. is, she would tell me to put it back on. There’s no messing with her.

  9. At least you have four matches!! She would have had all of them if I were playing! She looks like the ultimate contender there… very cute! Loved this post! DAF

  10. notquiteold says:

    Classics are classics. You can never get too much of the “Three Little Pigs”. With my oldest nephew, it was “The Three Billy Goats Gruff.” More than thirty years later, I still can recite it by heart.

    • Coming East says:

      I’d like to expand N’s repertoire, NQO, and introduce her to other classics like all the original versions of Grimms’ Fairy Tales. Or maybe that’s a little harsh. Ha!

  11. Al says:

    Sweet, sweet story, Susan. What a great little friend. Next time I see you, I’ll let you borrow my copy of “Scuffy, the Tugboat”. Patty still reads it to me almost every night.

  12. Adorable! I think it’s all great. They like to win; they like to hear your voice reading the same thing over and over!

  13. Fun post. It is humbling experience. Over Christmas our family played several games I played with the boys as children such as Set and Chronology. They absolutely whipped me! At first, they looked surprised, then amused, then pitying…but I assured them that I was very happy for them to do so well. I know in many ways my brain doesn’t work as well, but I think my improved judgment makes up for it! That’s my story and I am sticking to it!

  14. Val says:

    So that’s why my family kept giving me my favourite books! 🙂

  15. Dianna says:

    Cute post! I remember when Marshall was a little boy, he had one favorite book that he wanted read every single night. One night, I decided to hold two pages together and turn them both at the same time. Nope – didn’t work! Thanks for reminding me!

  16. First of all she is beautiful and the serious look on her face tells me she is really a very short, youthful looking 40 year old. I loved this story! I remember my kids calling me out on “skipping” pages while reading their favorite books.

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