Kids are a mystery to me. They can go from sweet to screaming to pathetic in twenty-five seconds flat. They can love a new dish so much one day that you make a huge batch to freeze, and then they refuse to take another bite until they’re eighteen. (I did that to my mom. I am sorry, especially because the universe is exacting revenge on me.) They can shed heart-rending tears over a baby doll languishing on the shelf at Target, yet refuse to even pick up their identical baby doll at home, let alone feed the poor starving thing.
But where they mystify me the most is in the area of tact. Kids seem to have a fine-tuned sense of the most inappropriate things to say in public. And, of course, they say them. For example, we hope the plump girl in the formal dress did not hear the Maiden shout, “Look Mummy, a fat princess!” Unfortunately, the guy with the eyepatch did catch her “Look, a pirate!” For a “pirate”, he was very graceful about it.
Yet despite their penchant for inappropriate comments, sometimes kids will amaze you by knowing just the right thing to say.
For example, the other day I was upset about something, and the Maiden was concerned. She wants everything to be a giant smiley face– like in that commercial they keep running on TV (I’m so annoyed by my inability to find the hidden happy faces that I’ve never been able to figure out what they’re actually advertising). Therefore, when anyone’s face isn’t Botoxed into a giant grin, she’s bothered, and when you add tears to the mix, she’s definitely worried.
Seeing me sad, she came running over to ask what was the matter. I told her that Mummy was okay, but that when she’s sad, she can get a nice hug from her Mummy, but I can’t get a big hug from my Mummy because she lives so far away.
“That’s okay,” said the Maiden confidently, giving me a hug. “That just means you can get a hug from your little girl, instead.”
Awwww, what a sweetheart. I can almost forgive her that stew I made that she won’t eat.