Kids will ask anything. Anything.

Posted by jayon in Travel on March 7th, 2014

“Don’t look at that ladies’ leg/Stop staring at that woman/Stop asking questions”


Is that your real leg? Don’t lie.


These are phrases that I have heard parents and guardians regularly tell kids, it’s not polite.

And it isn’t polite, but kids everywhere are the same, regardless of geography if they see something different or something they are not used to, they will ask questions. They will also stare, and continue staring even after you have tried to drag them across the pavement. Kids have asked me weird and random questions and sometimes make me laugh until tears spring from my eyes.

Having had polio from before my first birthday, I had gotten used to all sorts of questions and was ready with an answer for all. Sometimes I feel like I should walk around with a list of frequently asked questions and direct people there. But sometimes there are some questions that just completely throw you, and most of those come from children.

So there’s a little girl that moved into my cul-de-sac recently, and I didn’t even realise that she was part of the neighbourhood until a month ago when I was on my way to work and I heard her speaking to her brother, or who I assume to be her brother.  She wanted to know if my leg was real or fake.

This was not the first time that I heard that, and not just from a child. However, the question coming from a child has one very important thing that usually lacks when I get asked by a “grown up”, earnestness. She, in all seriousness, really wanted to know if my leg was indeed, MY leg. I could see on her curious face that she wanted to know everything about me and my leg, from the very beginning and leaving nothing out. It’s all good, it’s all new information.

However, as I was in a rush to work, I could not assure her that the leg was mine from birth and I worried that she would request to see receipts that I could not produce. Before I was out of earshot, I also heard her ask her brother a question that I had never heard before; whether or not I was a zombie. That made me laugh for two reasons;

1) She was still very serious in her line of questioning and could not possibly understand why anybody would think otherwise

2) She was probably wondering whether or not she would have to move after only recently arriving

Could the woman who lived way too close to her house really be a member of the undead?  And if so, was she known to eat kid’s brains?

While kids can be annoying, sometimes they can start your day off right in the most ridiculous of ways. Unfortunately, I could not make the most of the situation and lead her to believe that I would be coming back for her brain. But in all honesty, even if I did not have somewhere important to be, I still would not have stopped to alleviate her concern of the authenticity of my lower limbs and my thirst for human brains. Kids ask too many questions and I just didn’t care enough.

Even though I may not have cared enough, she still did. A week after the “zombie” incident, the little girl decided to come directly to me and find out for sure;

“Is your leg fake?” “No.” “Did you break it?” “No.” “What’s wrong with it?” “Polio.”

She had a confused and quizzical look on her face as I walked away. I really hope she doesn’t ask me for those leg receipts.

The zombie girl saga continues…

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about Jayon UPDATE: As of 25/09/2015 Nigeria has been removed from the WHO's Polio Endemic List! Having been born in Nigeria, I hail from one of three countries where polio is still unfortunately endemic, the other two being Pakistan and Afghanistan. I had contracted the poliovirus before my ...Read More

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