One of my favorite things about little kids is how their interpretations of the world around them are so much different than ours as adults. My daughter, Amber, is now 16; but,when she was little, she came up with some real doozies. It’s not difficult to imagine my surprise and distress when she came home one day as an innocent first grader to tell me that she had learned how to French kiss at school and she was now an expert. I was completely aghast! To be honest, I’m not even sure that I had heard the term until I was much older than first grade, so I was completely at a loss when that’s all she wanted to talk about that afternoon when she got home off of the bus.
Oh how excited she was! She’d learned something new and she just couldn’t wait to show me all that she’d learned at school. My mind was racing as I struggled to decide how to handle this new phase that my 6 year old daughter had entered.
With a perfectly serious expression on her face, Amber started blowing slobber bubbles out from between her lips until – after only a few moments – she had saliva bubbles covering her entire chin. I was completely disgusted.
“Amber,” I said, “that is extremely gross. Please don’t do that.”
“They don’t think it’s gross,” she replied.
I was now at a further loss. How did we go from talking about French kissing to the complete mess of slobber dripping off of her chin and onto shirt? It was almost more than I could handle.
“Who is ‘they’?” I asked. “Who doesn’t think it’s gross?”
With a look of complete exasperation, followed by a stomping foot and a pout on her face, Amber replied, “You weren’t paying attention! You weren’t even listening to me!”
“Yes I was, and please stop blowing those bubbles. It’s gross,” I said. “Now, who is ‘they’?”
Rolling her eyes drastically, she replied. “The French people! Geesh, Mom! Who did you think?”
Ahhhh! The French People! Of course! How could I have missed that?
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