Actually, no offense

Oh, to be a kid.
The carefree lifestyle of decorated cereal boxes that don’t flash the word FIBER across the front to lure in adults and other boring people.  The wonderment of the latest toy craze.  The magic of simplicity, like swinging on a swing and not feeling like you’re going to toss the cookies you had at lunch.  There are rewards of ice cream and early bedtime.  There are naps.  
Oh, the naps.
But there’s also the fact that kids can presumably act like a grown up and be fairly cute about it.  Kind of like those old painting where animals are playing poker or shooting pool.  Totally unrealistic and yet so comical because they are trying so hard to be like us, but they are so very far away.
That’s what my daughter has become.  Not a bulldog shooting the eight ball in the corner pocket.  She’s become a wanna-be adult.
Two very important phrases come to mind when I think of her five-year old brain and what it must be going through.  The first phrase is: actually.
As in, “actually, whatever I say after I say the word ‘actually’ is really just a rambling sentence that explains that whatever you said was completely wrong and whatever I’m saying is completely right.”  
For example, I might say, “time to go to bed, dear.”
“Actually,” she replies, “the time is only 8:24 and you said that I have to be in bed at 8:30, so I can stay up for six more minutes.”  
“You need to eat some of everything on your plate.”
“Actually,” she retorts, I have eaten at least one of everything.  I just took a little bite out of it so there is still a lot left, but actually I tasted it, and, no offense, mom, but it makes me want to barf.”
And that, my adult friends, is the next phrase that makes me want to be a kid.  “No offense.”
I don’t know where my daughter heard this, but if I find the person who introduced her to it I will, no offense, slap them to next week and feed them food that will actually make them vomit.  Apparently my daughter is under the impression that she can say whatever the world she wants to say as long as she puts the words “no offense” in front of it.  No amount of explanation or discussion will change this.  I tell her it’s not kind, it’s not nice, and it’s not the polite thing to do.  But she just looks at me and says, “no offense, mom, but you’re wrong.”
So I get to spend my days blushing and shaking my head when this cute little blonde haired girl says things like, “no offense, but that lady’s outfit is really ugly.”  And the lady in question is well within earshot.  I glance over at her and offer an apologetic grin hoping that she didn’t quite hear that correctly or that she thinks my kid is being funny, when I notice that my daughter was actually right.  The lady was indeed wearing rather hideous looking clothes.
And that right there is the other main reason I want to be a kid.  
Kids are honest.  They say it like they see.  They see the world through truthful eyes and let those truths come out of their little sticky mouths and remind us, now and then, that honesty is the best policy.  
They also remind us that we should check our clothes in the mirror once in a while, taste the food we serve our family and our guests, and that 8:30 means 8:30.
No offense, but actually, they’re pretty smart.


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