The Mouths of Babes
I was working in my yard the other day when a little girl from our neighborhood, Maddie, wandered over to say hello. Maddie is a sweet and inquisitive six-year old and eagerly pounces on any opportunity to chat me up. She is terribly curious about me for some reason and follows me around the yard, pelting me with questions and cheerful chatter. I adore her.
I noticed her watching me intently, actually staring openly at my stomach. I stopped weeding and asked her what was on her mind. Maddie bluntly asked, “Are you going to have a baby?”
Ok. I tried not to take offense and assume I looked pregnant. So I responded, carefully, “Why do you ask, Maddie?”
She said, “Well, I think you should have a baby because you would be a great mom!”
“Besides, this house needs a baby and I need a babysitting job!”
I cracked up. She was savvy, I’ll give her that! I explained that there was no baby in the cards for me, not now, not ever. She fell silent. I could tell that wasn’t going to last long and that another question was brewing within her busy brain.
“Are you married?”
“Of course not, Maddie, you know I’m not married!”
“Do you have a boyfriend?”
This was getting dicey.
“Um, not really.”
“Why not, don’t you see anyone you like?”
Oh, if only it was that easy.
“Why, yes, I see lots of boys that look nice.”
“Well, then just ask one!”
Dating advice from a six-year old. Apparently, hooking up was a fairly easy endeavor. At this rate, I’d have a date and probably be laid by week’s end. I had to admit, I liked her positive spin on the whole process.
“Honey, I’m kind of old-fashioned. I like the guy to pursue me. I don’t want to walk up to just anyone and ask them out. It’s called having standards. You need to have them, too.”
Again, silence. I could sense her thinking, “and how’s that working out for you?” I silently responded, “Mixed results, honey, mixed results!”
Then she asked, “What about the man in the blue shirt? He looked nice!”
I frantically searched my memory for a guy in recent memory who came to my door wearing a blue shirt. Came up blank. Surely she didn’t mean…the mailman?
“He didn’t have flowers though. If he brings you flowers next time, you should have a baby with him. That means he’s a nice one.”
I was speechless in the face of this seemingly reasonable advice. I had never quite fathomed the relevance of a bouquet of flowers before.
So I lamely said, “Don’t you worry about me, I’m just fine in the boys department and you have plenty of time before you need to be concerned about it.”
Maddie shook her head as she walked away and muttered, “I really needed that babysitting job!”