I designate Wednesdays for stories about my kids (until I run out of them or they become painful).
These two are about my daughter, Montana, who's 20 and married and has become a hair stylist just the way she always wanted (and we always knew she would be).
First, when she was four, her mom bought her some fingernail polish which -- since I was the stay-at-home dad with the writing job -- I ended up having to deal with the most. Anyway, her older brother Matt was seven. In the summer I let the kids stay up late and watch monster movies because it suited my writing schedule better (lucky kids!) and because after they went to bed they didn't dare get up because the movie monsters might be lurking (bad -- but smart -- dad).
So Matt was tired in the afternoon after having gotten up early. He crashed on the couch in shorts and a tee shirt. While he was asleep, Montana broke out her fingernail polish and covered his fingers up to the first joint. She also did his toes. He was a hard sleeper and slept through all of it.
When he woke up, still groggy, he thought his fingers and toes had been amputated and screamed bloody murder! It took a little while to calm him down.
Then, after Sherry and I were married, Montana was eight. We went up to Minnesota (where Sherry's family is from) to meet everyone (lots of brothers and sisters begat numerous nieces and nephews).
While we were in Randall, the big town a short distance from Motley where Sherry's mom lived, Montana was peering around downtown (it's all on one side of the street because the railroad tracks run through on the other side -- see how big it is? It has its own train!).
Abruptly, Montana made a displeased sound and said, "That's gross."
Since Minnesota has that whole casserole thing going on (which is where you prepare a meal, then scrape it into a covered dish, smother it in mashed potatoes and bake it a while longer), I figured she probably had a point (I've since learned to appreciate casseroles and not spend half of my dinner time trying to separate the ingredients back out).
I asked, "What's gross?"
"That." She pointed at the creamery right across the railroad tracks (see! It's big! Even has its own creamery!).
"Why is that gross?"
"Shouldn't they do that at the funeral home? Somewhere so people can't see it?"
Then I realized she thought the creamery was a crematorium. After cracking up a while and getting her totally irritated at me, I explained the difference.
There's nothing like the viewpoint of a child. Or even a teenager.