From the mouths of babes

It’s time for quotable kid quotes a la the late Art Linkletter’s “Kids Say the Darndest Things.” I usually capture them for our family Christmas card, but with five young minds going many miles an hour, there’s plenty for a mid-year helping.

“What are you giving up for lent?” I asked our thirteen-year-old last spring. “Church,” he replied with a mischievous middle school smile. Then, more maturely, “Instagram.”

Our seven-year-old son was catch-and-release fishing recently. When we couldn’t get a deep hook out of one fish’s mouth, we cut the line and threw it back with the hook still in. He observed, “That fish now has a nose ring.”

His twin sister heard her voice bounce off a stone wall. “It made a gecko!”

During a recent rain shower, she saw a rainbow while driving down Interstate 10. “There’s a rainbow!” she said with excitement. The road noise kept her twin brother from hearing her clearly.

“Where’s Rambo?” he asked.

At a restaurant dinner, I explained that the drinks were not free. “You pretty much have to pay for everything you get in life,” I said so as to not pass up a teachable moment.

A seven-year-old needed clarity, “What about if you find it?”

His eight-year-old brother asked a brilliant question related to a retail industry turned on its head by e-commerce: “Does everything at JC Penney’s cost a penny?”

Speaking of money, the twins got some from their grandparents for their birthday. Our son opened the envelope and concluded the $50 check was solely for him. When I explained otherwise, he whined, “But 5 is an odd number; how do you split it?”

When we visited a friend’s church, our eight-year-old noticed a similarity between their minister and ours. “Do you have to be bald to be a preacher?” he inquired.

A few nights ago, I told his little brother to go to bed. His response: “But I haven’t yawned yet!”

His sister tried to bend the rules, too.

Dad: “Did you brush your teeth?”

Daughter: “Uhh, yeah.”

Dad: ”Are you telling the truth?”

Daughter, walking towards the bathroom: “I think I didn’t. Thank you, Dad.”

My pleasure.

Later, as I tucked her into bed, she “didn’t want to use the f-word” to describe an overweight school friend. Instead, she said “he had a big tummy.”

One morning I asked her if she would like some strawberries in her raisin bran. “No, thanks,” she said. “I’m not a grown-up yet.”

“I wish my birthday was on September 25,” our eight-year-old confided. When I asked why, he remarked as if I was missing something obvious, “Because it’s Christmas!”

It’s not just dates we get turned around. It’s words, as well.

“Mom, I need some sand hanitizer.”

“Dad, where should I put the kitty glitter?”

One time I heard this version of This Little Light of Mine:

“Hide it under the bushes, NO!”

It’s not just words we get wrong. It’s numbers, two. (Sic!)

“I know the firefighters’ pass code! It’s 1-1-9!”

And sometimes it’s the letters we get turned around, as in this text from my angel:

“i love you bab”

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