Kids Can Be A-Holes In Any Language

Another face …

The first thing I noticed about her was her dress. It looked like a rainbow, each ruffle a different color.

And then I noticed the look on her face. She was completely consumed by the pout.

My college French was not enough to decipher what her mother was saying to put that sour look on her puss.

But as the little rainbow girl spat back the words, “Non, non, non!” every question I had was answered.

She was 7 (or maybe 6 or 8 but you catch my drift). Did there really need to be a reason for that pout? Two months in, and I have yet to figure it out. Heck, I didn’t catch on throughout an entire year of 6.

But I am not alone in this state of constant confusion

This is the lesson of our family vacation. We were in another country. We were far from the kids I see every day, the kids by whom it’s hard to measure normal kiddom because I know so much about their backgrounds, their parents, their home lives.

We were away from America.

And all around me were kids who were acting exactly like mine. And some far worse.

Like the boy with his handheld gaming system in the restaurant. He wasn’t merely playing it to pass the time. He had the system held high above the table, right at eye level, so the people to his left and to his right would have to bob and weave to see around the little machine, talk over its beeps, bops, and boops.

“That boy is being rude,” my daughter said. Indeed he was.

And at times, so was she. Asking the waitress to lie about the existence (or lack thereof) of milkshakes on the lunch menu was not my finest hour. I would tell you she was exhausted after too much vacation excitement and too many late nights in hotels, but it would only be a half truth.

In fact, she’s 7.

She has some hilarious moments, some ingenious moments, some spectacular moments, some sweet and lovable ones too.

And then she has the moments when she stands in the middle of a sidewalk while I prattle on and spits back the words “No. No. No!”

Fortunately an eyeroll to the heavens is a common term in every mother’s vocabulary. It means, “I get it, they’re impossible. But you aren’t alone.”

Rainbow girl’s mother got one from me. I only hope she passes it on.

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