• Jason Offutt: A little child shall lead them

  • The Girl said something from the back seat of the van.

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  • The Girl said something from the back seat of the van.
    From the moment she was born, my now-kindergartner has made noise. It started as squawnks and coos, and somewhere along the line it turned into words. Lots and lots of words. Sometimes she sings, sometimes she talks, and sometimes she just likes to make a sound – any sound. Then one day, Lord help me, she taught herself how to whistle.
    My only problem is I can never tell when her noises are directed toward no one in particular or when they’re directed toward me. Apparently this time the words were for me.
    “Da-ad,” she said, stretching the word into two syllables in the tone that makes me afraid of when she becomes a teenager.
    “What?” I asked.
    “Did you hear me?”
    How could I not? But hearing a child who can’t be quiet (seriously – she just can’t) doesn’t mean I know what she said. Something about Barbies, maybe? Or someone at school who dressed really cute, or SpongeBob, or the color pink? All good guesses, but probably wrong.
    “No, honey,” I said.
    She huffed. Females of any age are dangerous when they huff.
    “Well,” she said. “It’s about bacon.”
    She had my attention.
    “I said I wish there was a place called The Bacon Café where everything was made out of bacon.”
    Small children have moments of silliness, moments of frustration, and moments of absolute brilliance. This was a moment of brilliance. Adults should pay more attention to kindergartners.
    “That’s a great idea,” I told her.
    And it was. The Bacon Café? Just imagine; bacon burgers, bacon salad sandwiches, bacon jam, bacon tacos, bacon chocolate-cherry explosion, bacon-flavored ice cream, bacon-flavored bacon*. I want to eat there now. I imagine The Bacon Café would be what Heaven smells like.
    But, like all small children, her revelations aren’t always so mind-bogglingly clever, such as the times she’s said this:
    The Girl (pouting): “I wish (sibling, friend, teacher, parent, aforementioned someone at school who dressed really cute) was extinct.”
    The Girl (after passing gas): “Now that was a man fart.”
    The Girl (apparently forgetting we already had a cat named Gary): “I wish I had a pet cheetah.”
    The Girl (whose mind is somewhere I don’t want to go): “I wish I was a teenager so I could have a baby.”
    Yeah, that whole teenage thing scares the heck out of me, but for now she’s only 6.
    Sitting on the couch reading in the only way I know how (in short bursts – a parent’s train of thought can only be about two cars long), the Girl walked up to me looking like she’d had another bacon epiphany.
    Page 2 of 2 - “Dad,” she said in one syllable this time. “I know what a wedgie is, but what does wedgie mean?”
    Yes, a kindergartner’s deep thoughts.
    *If a restaurant menu can have something as silly as chicken-fried chicken, The Bacon Café can serve bacon-flavored bacon.

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