"Sherri, do you spit?"
The tall for his age six-year-old asked me this out of nowhere question as we waited in line at Wally World. With as much seriousness as if he'd just ask me my position on prayer in schools, he waited for my response with a furrowed brow while little fingers rubbed his chin. It was apparent he wasn't the only one waiting. The giggles coming from the people in the lines around me indicated they were wondering what my reply would be as well.
"As a rule, I almost never spit," I said. "None of the best people do." My reference to the movie Arthur was lost on his youth.
"Yu-huh," he said, "Some good people spit. Chase spits, my Dad spits, Tyler spits. Mostly boys spit."
"Are you a spitter?" I asked.
He looked down at his shoes and shook his head in shame like he was admitting to kicking a puppy and said, "Yeah. Sometimes I spit." And then quickly looked up and added, "But I'm trying to quit!"
It's a uniquely human thing that someone can be so understandably sad for what seems like forever and then like an unexpected lightening bolt, something as simple as an inquiry into what you do with your saliva and BAM! You begin to laugh.
This particular kid has me wrapped around his little finger. He has gigantic blue eyes, dark hair and the personality of a forty-year-old Casanova. Evidence of his charm can be found in my grocery cart.
While it should only contain the four or five things on my list, it is loaded with little boy necessities. Chocolate milk, chocolate cookies and a container of strawberry swirl ice cream so large that it can only be described as a tub, far out number the honest to goodness food items. He didn't act badly or throw a good old fashioned hissy fit to persuade me to purchase his stash of munchies. He didn't have to. At six, he's already got my number. I'm a sucker for a sweet boy and once a boy of any age figures that out, they'll never do without chocolate milk again.
Feel free to color me with your gullible crayon.
"Hey, Sherri," he says with a devilish grin that I fear will be the down fall of many a good girl someday, "can I have some sour gummy worms?"
"Look in this cart, you little goober!" I said. No way was this kid getting one more sugary thing from me no matter what. I was resolute. I was determined. I was one tough cookie. "Why in the world would you want anything else anyway? Your teeth should spontaneously fall out just standing near all this sweet stuff!"
Without even thinking, he put his hands on his hips, rolled his eyes and put me in my place, "I said SOUR gummy worms, Silly! They're not sweet! DUH!"
How you gonna argue with logic like that?
Copyright © 2004-2005, Sherri Bailey
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