Kids are brutally honest. Their innocence is their salvation. Mine are particularly extroverted and this often spells disaster while interacting with society. Until age six, mine have no brain-mouth filtering system. It always makes for a good laugh later on, but a painstakingly awkward moment when it happens. And it always does. When running errands, if someone looks peculiar or acts strangely, I know I am in trouble.
Do they sell child-sized muzzles that don’t (necessarily) restrict airflow?
Daily, I emphasize the need to say “only nice things” to people prior to leaving the house. I cannot prevent these uninhibited creatures from talking to anyone; they are very social and this strategy has backfired in the past. Before entering any public establishment, a minimum of ten times, we chant:
“If I don’t have anything nice to say, I keep my mouth shut.” Problem is that our definitions of “nice” are not identical.
Here are the top ten most embarrassing things my kids have said to me or to others in public:
1. “Mommy, when can I touch your boobies?” (while in the waiting room at the dentist.)
2. “Excuse me, are you a girl or a boy?” (asked of a middle-aged woman at a fancy ladies-only luncheon.)
3. “Why is your skin so, so black?” (my son inquired of the biggest, meanest looking bodybuilder at the gym.)
4. “Why do you have a moustache?” (question directed to the cashier at the drug store. She was a woman.)
5. “Did you know that your face is shaped like a giant box?” (said to the obese X-ray tech as she approached my son to manipulate his fragile, broken arm.)
6. “I don’t like your feet; your nails are so yellow.” (my son confessed to his grandfather lounging in his own home, feet comfortably displayed atop a kitchen chair.)
7. “I like your new bike; can it be mine or can your daddy buy me one?” (my son asked of my 3 year-old neighbor in front of her squirming dad.)
8. “Please stop talking to me because it’s making my arm hurt more.” (my four year-old asserted to attending nurse at ER last week when admitted for a broken elbow.)
9. “Can I live at your house and be part of your family?” (typical proposal for anyone with cool toys, a pet, or any cheap or expensive thing my son doesn’t have.)
10. “Mommy I love you infinite because you let me in your house.” (sweet, but confessed in public and made me appear like a tyrant that normally locks her kid in the attic all day.)
The truth is I am jealous. At what age did it become inappropriate for me to speak freely? When does all this openness stop being so cute?
Imagine a world besieged by a global epidemic of amnesia---so we wouldn’t get our teeth knocked out.
Here are the top eleven things I would blurt out:
1. “So tell me: How did you really make all that money?”
2. “Get real. I know your rear-end is not naturally that perky after three kids.”
3. “You’re in a good mood. Which anti-depressant are you on?”
4. “It's so gross how you’re sweating all over that Stairmaster. And BTW, your deodorant doesn’t work.”
5. To the lady out shopping alone or with her husband: “Can you buy me one, too? I won’t tell anyone and I know its pennies to you.”
6. To the plastic surgery nightmare, person blanketed by body tattoos, a million body piercings, shocking rainbow-colored hair, and droopy pants with that loaded-diaper-look: “Am I supposed to keep a straight face and take you seriously?”
7. “Can I just drop my kids off, and not really work out?” (I would inquire of the local gym each morning when the daycare opens.)
8. “I am backing up because your breath is vile.” (At least once daily, I find myself in this situation.)
9. “Can you please cover your voluptuous curves while others are trying to eat?” (To the I-think-my-body-is-sexy-and-I-want-to-show-it-off chic, prancing around half-naked.)
10."Stop pretending. We both know I saw you leave that restroom without washing your hands.
11.“I’m really exhausted. Would you sleep with my husband for me tonight?”
There. I’ve come clean. What are some things you’d secretly like to say?