Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Out of the Mouths of Babes: A Tribute

Children are brutally honest.

I can't tell you how many kids have inquired about the "spots" speckling my face and arms...a constant reminder of my freckles, which I honestly forget I have.

And when it comes to hearing funny stories about kids, most of them have to do with the wacky things they say and the subsequent wonderings as to where they came up with it.

One of my favorite kids is a little girl who has provided more than a few laughs through her verbal observations. From comparing people in the supermarket to zoo animals, to asking why other people were the "interesting" shape they are, little Jessica has provided more than a few awkward moments for her mother...and too many laughs for all of us lucky enough to hear the weekly stories.

One of my favorites:

Jessica, her mother, and her infant sister (hard at work on a teether) are waiting in a Target checkout line with all the goodies you never actually go to Target to buy, but find yourself throwing in the cart as you accidentally meander through the aisles.

All is well with the family and, during this moment of idleness, little Jessica's eyes fall on the checkout woman who is donning her trademark red shirt, a very long pony tail, and a happy demeanor all around. She is the complete personnel package....minus one, little thing.

She has no front teeth.

Though I am not an anti-Dentite, I do know that dental maintenance varies as much from personal hygiene as it does insurance plans and so, like most adults, we are not judging on this one.

Such discretion, however, escapes a 3 year old.

As the family begins to pile the day's purchases on the conveyor belt, little Jessica's eyes remain steadfast on the toothless smile. Her eyes are curious, her mind is brewing. But alas, her mother (so happy to have had a peaceful shopping experience) fails to catch on to her daughter's consternation, and hums a little song as the infant child chomps along on her teething ring.

The purchases are quickly scanned and bagged as the efficient and pleasant cashier makes cordial smalltalk. And, just as the bill is paid, the woman smiles at the drooling baby and says,

"Well, it looks like someone is about to get some teeth!"

At this moment, all but Jessica share a knowing chuckle over the adorable baby.

"But, when are you going to get your teeth?" she innocently inquires.
The mother freezes, the hum of Target shoppers screech to a halt, and all eyes turn on the dentally impaired.

"Oh honey, as soon as I get me some money."

Nervous chuckles and a swift shopping cart maneuver finds the mother and her daughters exiting the store, swearing that the new Target closer to home better open soon.

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