sh*t my kid says

The Family has a pretty strict honesty policy (detailed in the footnote here. Yes, Kidlingville occasionally uses footnotes. Apologies). This can make life difficult, or at the very least, awkward. The Kidling is very curious and asks questions about everything.

Really. Everything.

I’m usually prepared for the type of question she will ask. She wants to know why things work, how things work, why people behave certain ways… Not surprisingly, she also asks about why people look certain ways. This is not a big deal, typically. I’m usually spared the truly embarrassing moments, in part because she just doesn’t know to ask those questions. Alas, because I know The Kidling as well as I do, I wait for the question armed with the perfect, honest-but-kind response. For example, last week a friend’s dog got out and the lovely woman who brought the dog back had a beard and moustache. Not just a little shadow, but genuine facial hair. The woman was fantastic and clearly comfortable in her own skin, so when The Kidling said (loudly), “Mom! I want to tell you something funny. That girl has a beard,” I was perfectly confident responding simply, “Yes, she does. Everyone looks different, sweetie.” She isn’t too invested in gender roles (says the mother whose kid pointed out—loudly—a stranger’s nonconformance), so I figured that was all she needed. I was right. She went right back to her project with nary a thought on facial hair.

Sometimes, though, she kind of gets me.

Just Thursday we were at Kmart and she inquired—loudly—regarding the woman in front of us, “Mom? Is that a boy?” The woman was not amused. I said—loudly—in reply, “Of course not, sweetie! (nervous laughter) Of course she’s a woman! Remember when you thought I was a boy? Remember when I cut my hair and you thought I was a boy?”

Well, it turned out that if I had just shut the hell up, The Kidling would have explained her reasoning without all of The Mama’s hemming and hawing and attempts to soothe a bruised ego. She went on, “But she has a very deep voice.” And she did. So does Alice, so we talked about different types of voices and that was that.

And, of course, sometimes she really gets me. Like Sunday, when we were running errands at Target. I had run into a friend and we were chatting when “a person of abnormally small stature” walked by.*  Merriam-Webster wasn’t particularly helpful in producing an adequate synonym for me, so I quote their definition. Can you believe it suggested pee wee, pygmy, runt, AND shrimp!?! Really? Let’s substitute offensive words for other offensive words. Thanks, folks.

Anyway, the very small adult walked by and The Kidling was frantically—and loudly—trying to get my attention (have you noticed a theme here?):

The Kidling: Mom! Mom! Who is that?! Mom! Who is that?

The Mama: (I knew exactly who she was talking about, but didn’t want to make the idea of the “other” so concrete by knowing without being told) Who, Alice?

The Kidling: Who is that? That guy?

The Mama: Which guy?

The Kidling: (points) Is that a real-life person?

The Mama: Yes, dear. Of course he is a real person.

The Kidling: I thought he was a mascot.

The Mama: (Fuck!)

Now, readers, pardon me for indulging in the exact thought I had at that moment, but seriously. I was completely prepared to talk to The Kidling about very small people, very large people, freckles, wrinkles, red hair, facial hair, underarm hair, skin color, eye color, wheel chairs, walkers, and the myriad ways in which people can be physically different. I was not, however, prepared to talk about mascots.

Fuck.

__________

* http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dwarf?show=0&t=1332734784 Sorry, dear readers. A JD makes a gal pretty paranoid about proper attribution.

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About The Mamahttp://kidlingville.comProfessional talker, editor, emailer, problem solver, adjunct lecturer, blogger, and mother to the brilliantly absurd Kidling.

19 thoughts on “sh*t my kid says

  1. I’ve been very anxiously awaiting the day when either of my children say such things, though thankfully, it hasn’t happened yet. When reading one of Tevye’s books, I had to define the word “rotund” for him. I’m hoping that he doesn’t mention when a person fits the description.

    • He very well might. Alice only recently realized that “fat” and “tall” are not synonymous with “big.” At various times, she has described her 5’6″ 140 lb soaking wet father as both fat and tall. I explained to her that neither were actually the case. She was perplexed, but thankfully has not–loudly–proclaimed a stranger to be big and fat… yet…

  2. Oh dear. I remember so many embarrassing moments, Once I was in an elevator with my son when he was about 4 and a woman stepped in and he said in a loud voice “MOM WHY IS THAT LADY SO FAT?!”. And I was trapped in the elevator at that point.

    • Oh no! Whhhhhyyyyyyy do they have to be so candid? Sometimes I wish I could turn the “observe” function in her brain off when my embarrassing comment radar starts to beep. Alas, my embarrassment is good blog fodder…

      Cheers!

  3. I’d like to thank the Gods I do not believe in for letting Stacie redirecting me towards your blog… Your kids and my kids will get along just fine.
    The Clown

  4. Ah, yes. Flashing back to the time when my darling younger son said — loudly — “Whoa! She has a BIG BELLY!”

  5. so hilarious. but I’ve been on the other side, when a kid I didn’t know told her mom that I “look weird.” her mom was clearly uncomfortable, but chose to react by laughing. for the record: never laugh in this situation.

    • Yeah, I’ve been on the other side several times, so I know better. And for what it is worth, I sure as hell don’t want Alice to learn to laugh when folks seem different. What on earth was this mother thinking? Perhaps she was just paralyzed by embarrassment? Still, she probably will know better next time.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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