Both of my daughters are an endless source of entertainment…well, most of the time. Today, not so much. Anyway, my two-year-old really keeps me in stitches most days with the things she says, such as the song she made up in the car yesterday that went something like this: “Boogers. Boogers. Everybody has boogers on them.” Children don’t come into this world equipped with a filter between their brains and their mouths. In a slow, arduous, and usually embarrassing process, we have to teach them not to speak out loud every thought that comes to mind. I’m sure you can think of plenty examples, even if you don’t have your own children, of awkward or embarrassing things kids say to or about other people…loudly…in public. Granted, their words don’t generally embarrass them, only their parents. One of my favorites: a friend told me her niece walked up to a woman (whom my friend knew well) and told her, “Your hair is scaring me.” This precious girl was simply expressing something most of us felt, but would never have uttered aloud. Her mother stood there mortified, while everyone else was busy wetting themselves they were laughing so hard.
My sweet two-year-old made some observations of her own a few weeks ago in the bathroom at the commissary. (For those of you who are non-military, a commissary is a grocery store on a military installment where we don’t pay taxes, and we can buy things like milk and meat really, really cheap.) The commissary I frequent is a half hour drive from my house without traffic. Often by the time I finally arrive, I have to make a quick pit stop. On one such day, my daughter and I went into the stall, and as I sat down on the toilet, she observed, “Your bobum (“bottom”) is big. My bobum is little.” I laughed and agreed with her. At this point, another woman walked into the restroom and sat down in the stall next to mine. Unfortunately, my girl was not finished with her observations for the day. Next, she asked me, “And why your bobum has hair?” At this, I started laughing really hard, which apparently made the woman next to me realize that it was okay to laugh too. When we came out of the stall to wash hands, she looked over at me with an embarrassed smile. I told her it was a shame she had missed out on the earlier observation about bobum sizes. This early twenties woman with no children of her own laughed again, and I thought, “You just wait…your day of humbling will come. Mark my words, it will come.”