Quietly Humming

Little Miss Thing, age 7: “Mom told me to help you with dinner.”

Me: “Uh… I’m just heating up chili. Maybe you can make peanut butter sandwiches for everyone?”

LMT: “I’ve made a lot of them lately. I’m pretty good at it.”

Me: “I’m sure you are.”

LMT: (making sandwiches, quietly humming)

LMT: “Do I have to eat those carrots? We had them for lunch.”

Me: “You had carrots at lunch? Really?”

LMT: “Yes.”

Me: (glaring)

LMT: “We did!”

Me: (glaring intensifies)

LMT: “At lunch… about a month ago.”

Me: “That’s more like it. Tell you what, I sliced up a red bell pepper for Mom. You can eat that or carrots.”

LMT: “Ewwwww… I’ll take carrots. Definitely carrots.”

LMT: (quietly humming)

LMT: “Should I put butter on all of them?”

Me: “On the carrots?”

LMT: “No, the bread.”

Me: “Butter? Don’t you mean peanut butter?”

LMT: “I just call it butter now. I don’t know why.”

Me: “OK, sure. Whatever you call it, it goes on all the sandwiches. That’s why we call them peanut butter sandwiches.”

LMT: “Right, butter sandwiches.”

Me: …

Me: “Call it whatever you want. Just do it.”

LMT: (quietly humming)

LMT: “Do I have to eat chili?”

Me: “Yes.”

LMT: “Why? It’s a free country.”

Me: “Not when you’re a kid, it’s not.”

LMT: “That’s not fair.”

Me: “It really isn’t. Wait… Where’s the red pepper I just sliced?”

LMT: “I ate it.”

Me: “All of it?”

LMT: “Yeah. It’s my favorite.”

Me: …

LMT: (quietly humming)


Her life flashed before her eyes

Woman with young daughter sits at table behind me at lunch. The little girl is probably 4 years old.

Tiny Girl: “Mommy, is that a boy or a girl?”

Mom: (face pales) “Sir, I am so sorry. I am SO sorry.”

Me: “I’m a daddy, but I have really long hair.”

Mom: “Sir, I am so sorry. She didn’t mean it. I am SO sorry.”

TG: “I like your hair.”

Me: “Thank you. I like my hair, too.”

(we go back to eating)

Mom looks like she’s going to pass out.

NOTE: Lighten up, people. Everyone is different and kids have questions. Just answer them as directly as you can and move on.

Little Old Lunch Quiz

Podiatrist office. Tiny, ancient couple. She’s bent over a clip board, writing, as he sits at her elbow.

Her: “Are you still 88?”

Him: “What?”

Her: “ARE YOU STILL 88?”

Him: “I already ate.”

Her: (pause) “Yep, still 88… and still deaf.”

Him: “Why does a foot doctor want to know if I ate lunch?”

Her: “Oh, go back to sleep.”