02 June, 2010

What happens when instructions are not clear ?



(Picture courtesy : istockphoto via Google)

Quite obviously, they result in confusion !!
Last week, all the children in Pecan’s class had been asked to get a plastic container for recycling.

That was about it. Those were the instructions.

“Get a plastic container for recycling.”

Imagine a bunch of seven / eight year olds playing around with that instruction. Imagine a bunch of kids rolling that instruction around, exploring all the possibilities associated with it, coming up with all sorts of permutations and combinations with regard to what they think that instruction meant.

Countless possibilities emerge, don’t they ?

1. Should we get a big container or a small one ?
2. Should we get a container with a lid or without a lid ?
3. Should we get a “container container” or will a bottle do ?
4. Can the container have holes in it ?
5. Should it be strong enough to hold water or something heavy ?

and the questions go on and on and on.

The other day, I asked Pecan what they have been asked to get a container for.

“For recycling” came the answer, immediately.

“OK. So what are you all going to recycle ?” I asked

“Pchhh – the container, of course, Mummee” came the reply, sounding a tad exasperated.

OK – Maybe that question needed to be rephrased, I thought, on hindsight (of which I have plenty, by the way. I really could do with some lots of foresight, especially while dealing with the Nutty Sibs).

"I meant, how exactly are you all going to recycle the container ?" I ventured again.

Trouble, they say, never stops at one question alone. It comes in multiples !!

“We are going to take the container to school and then drop it in the recycle bin there” said Pecan, with a poker face. Those brows were furrowed, though !!

I honestly don’t know if he meant what he said or if he was right royally pulling my leg. 

Like I said earlier, trouble never ever stops at one question. So then, I compulsively had to flounder in with another question. It is a Law of Nature that I do so, and so I did.

“But if you just have to drop it in the recycle bin, why don’t you drop it in the bin downstairs ? Why do you need to carry it all the way to school, just to drop it in the recycle bin there ?” I queried, honestly flummoxed.

It was then that I found Pecan staring right past me and that was when realization hit home that there were all sorts of weird noises – something that sounded like a mix of hiccups and an oboe. Those made me turn around and what do I see ?

Macadamia was found rolling on the floor, her mirth apparently compounded by Pecan’s poker face !!!!

I mean, what ??

Asking questions has become funny nowadays ??

Or is it just me ????!!!!!

1 voice(s) said so:

dipali said...

We exist mainly for the amusement of our children!