Well, Excuse Me

Saoirse was trying to hang a picture on the fridge when the magnet fell to the floor, taking her drawing of a ghost-dolphin-unicorn with it.

“What the HECK?!”

Saoirse asked the question with more emphasis than really necessary for a 5-year-old, and was looking at me to gauge my reaction to the new word coming out of her mouth. I didn’t say anything. I just looked at her. I could feel my eyebrows reaching so far up they were probably in my ponytail. It could be worse, of course, the word. At least it was just “heck,” and not something else Dave or I might have muttered when say, a certain 3-year-old lobbed a glass into the kitchen sink like a free throw (always getting the extra point, by the way. The kid has aim). But still. We don’t do that stuff around here, not for the five-and-under crowd. And she surprised me, so I just looked at her.

“What?” she said. She had this look on her face that was an expression I expected to see in ten years, not now. It was all wide eyes and eye roll and indignant smirk. “I learned it from YOOOUUUUUU!”

I still couldn’t say anything. OH MY GOSH, though. Who is this child sassing around my kitchen? And why is she absorbing everything I say and using it to her advantage? What’s next: smoking behind the shed? Stealing beer from the fridge (make sure to take the stuff on the back of the shelf, if you do, SK: we’re trying to get rid of it anyway)? Running up my credit card on LeapFrog.com?

I was still quiet, all of this running through my brain as I watched my daughter shake her head like I was the biggest idiot on the planet. You can probably guess the word I thought next.

It certainly wasn’t “heck.”

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