The Wit and Wisdom of Braden (Part One)

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“A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.”  ~ Oscar Wilde

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There are days when I wish I could crawl inside my son’s head and figure out why and how he thinks like he does.  The things that come out of his mouth totally blow me away most days. Most days there appears to be no rhyme or reason to the thoughts that pour forth from his little brain, and yet you can tell by the serious expression on his face that he’s given the matter a great deal of consideration.  And to him, whatever it is he’s been pondering – and the conclusions at which he’s arrived – make complete sense.  To him.  As for me, I’m usually left scratching my head.

Take, for example, a conversation I had with Braden about a year ago.  He was six and had clearly spent many a sleepless night coming up with the following conclusion:

“Mom?” Braden began, “Are girls like cows?”

“Huh?” I asked.  “What do you mean?

“Wellllll…” he said, “mommy cows feed their babies milk from their bodies, and human mommies  feed their babies milk from their bodies, too.

Uh oh, I thought.  Where is he going with this?

“Yesss…that’s true,” I said.

“Well, then…girls are like cows, right?”

Hmmm…while he’s somewhat on the right track, I take exception to being compared to a cow!

And that’s not all.  Around this same time, girls and children must’ve been on his brain because the next conversation I’m about to reveal came about only a few hours later.  Once again, with no context and completely out of the blue…

“When I get married and have children, I’m never gonna take my wife out on a date!”  Braden declared.

Whoa!  Dude! (I thought to myself).  You’re only six!  

What I said out loud, though, was, “Why not?  Don’t you think your wife would like to go out to dinner with you once in a while without your children?”

“Well, yeah…but don’t you have to pay for someone to watch your children?”  he asked.

“Well, sure,” I said.  “You have to pay a babysitter so that your children will be safe.  You wouldn’t want to leave them alone and let them get hurt, right?”

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“Well, I’m not going to waste my money on a babysitter.  Why can’t they just watch my children for free?”

“Because that’s not the way the world works, Buddy,” I replied with as much patience as I could muster.

“Then I’m not going to take my wife out on a date,” he stated quite simply.  “Or, I guess my wife can pay for it.  That would work.”

What?  Whose kid is this? (I thought to myself).

“Okay,” I responded, “but I think most married couples share their money; so if your wife pays the babysitter, then you’re paying the babysitter because your wife’s money is your money.”

With a look of utter distaste and more than a little shock, Braden replied, “Huh?  What do you mean?”

His reaction was almost too much and I almost lost my composure right then and there.  Instead I responded in a very serious tone, “Well, when you get married, lots of times you and your wife take all of your money and all of her money and you put it in the same pot and you both use it.  You share the money.”

“What?” he shouted.  “Oh nooooooooooooo….!!!!  I’m not sharing my money with a girl!”

Whoa Buddy!  I have my work cut out for me or my future daughter-in-law will seriously hate me!  Thank goodness he’s only seven!  This gives me plenty of time (I hope) to correct his thinking before he starts dating and expects his date to pick up the bill!  As for the whole babysitter thing, well I guess I could be persuaded to live close and help out with that little expense when the time comes.  Ha!

Published by C.H. Armstrong

C.H. (Cathie) Armstrong is 1992 graduate of the University of Oklahoma and is the author of THE EDGE OF NOWHERE (Penner, 2016), ROAM (Central Avenue, Feb. 5, 2019) and co-author of DÉJÀ YOU: STORIES OF SECOND CHANCES. She is represented by Tina P. Schwartz at The Purcell Agency, LLC.

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