The Crazy One

Sometimes, I wonder where my kids hear the stuff they repeat to strangers ... Probably from me!

"She's the crazy one," my youngest says to a woman and her daughter who have stopped to speak to us at our table at an outdoor restaurant.

Now you must understand my four-year-old is saying this about her seven-year-old sister who is sitting quietly across the table coloring. My little one, on the other hand, has a face full of ice cream, is straddling her chair, and is for some unknown reason wielding a serraded butter knife.

"Really?" the woman says in an adult-addressing-a-child voice. "It sure looks like to me like you might be the crazy one," she says in a pleasant, teasing tone.

"Nope," my daughter says emphatically gesturing with the butter knife and almost taking out my eye. "My sister, she's the crazy one."

The woman laughs politely and then ushers her non-crazy daughter away from us as fast as she can. My older daughter who is exhibiting no signs of craziness whatsoever is busy illustrating a book she has written in the time it takes us to eat a salad and a bowl of pasta.

"Sweetie, where did you get that from?" I ask as my youngest tries to eat the rest of her ice cream with the butter knife.

"From you, Momma, from you," she says.

I hearken back to the moments when I disciplined her sister during a tantrum and vaguely remember saying something in that vein.

"Okay girlfriend, clearly I was wrong. Don't say that again," I try to sound authoritative.

"Okay Momma, then you're the crazy one!" she belly-laughs as ice cream rolls down her chin.



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