Involving children

My boss's youngest daughter is about... 6 I think.

I have to admit her personality is very forward and not what I'm really comfortable with - as in, very forward. Still, I do admire that kind of confidence and I think it should be encouraged. Girls go far with that sort of self-esteem.

I was playing with my ds while waiting for my computer to wrap up so I could go home. She comes in, fountaining cookie crumbs from the jar she just raided.

'What's that?' she asks.

'It's Magic and Magic - it's a puzzle battle. See. You have to match up three in a row.'

I tilt the screen towards her.

'Can you see anyway I can match up three?' I ask her. This is not an question entirely for her benefit. I was stumped.

She thinks for a moment, but responds quicker than I expected.

'Yea, if you move that guy-' she sprays crumbs on my shoulder as she speaks '-to there and then you can move that one to here.'

I was impressed. I hadn't told her any further mechanics and she picked it up instinctively. It wasn't a bad idea either. 'Alright,' I said, 'that's clever.'

Of course, I didn't have enough moves. We watch dutifully as my opponent takes his turn.

'I have a ds and Harry Potter at home,' she tells me. My character is getting a beating.

'Ohh,' I say appreciatively. 'You have the stylus, right? Do you need to draw runes and stuff?'

'No-o,' she says slowly.

'Pity, it would have been cool. You'd have to memorize the runes like Harry and everything.'

Her mother has been watching us, smiling, as we go through this conversation. 'Come on,' she says now, 'we gotta go.'

'Aww! But mu-uum.' She literally says this.

'It's cool, man.' I pat her on the shoulder. 'This ain't going anywhere.'

My computer wraps up and I put away the ds. It takes about ten minutes to close up the office, in which she spends most of that time ducking around me but pretending not to.

/Oh, you're walking in this direction? So am I! Fancy that./

It's quite funny.

I respond like I would to my colleague - I assume she knows what she's doing and ignore her. My brother, on the other hand, sees her and goes 'why, hello there~!'

I think children know when you treat them like children. Treat them like short adults, they seem to appreciate it more.