There is a vast gulf…so many times…between what we say to our children and what they hear.
Today, I dragged my daughter along for a twice-monthly errand run to a health food store about 20 minutes away where we buy our coffee and sometimes a few other things, like the occasional organic/natural soaps, nutritional supplements, organic free-range chicken breasts, etc. Also, I typically grab a couple craft beers there.
But mostly it’s about the coffee.
And the beer.
So, as usual, I bribe the little goddess to come with me with the promise of a Happy Meal from McDonald’s on the way back, so that I can give my wife some “mommy alone time” for an hour or so. I tell my daughter that if I can find a reasonably priced bottle of red wine, I’ll be buying one for mommy from the health food store, but if not, we’ll have to make another stop on the way back home to our local big-name grocery store.
Well, while that may be clear to the rest of you, the little goddess had her own interpretation.
We get to the health food store, and she assists me with pouring the coffee beans into two one-pound bags and then dumping them into the grinder. She has this down to a science now and does almost all of it herself because it’s empowering or something. God know she doesn’t drink the stuff because she hates the taste.
Anyway, we finish with the coffee portion, and I stop at the beer/ale/stout section on the way to go look at the wines. I always stop at the craft beer area after the coffee.
This time, though…?
“Bad daddy!” my 8-year-old admonishes me.
“What?” I ask.
“You’re looking at beers!”
“You’re not supposed to be looking at beers,” she informs me.
“You’re supposed to be getting wine for mommy.”
“We’ll get to that next,” I say.
“Mommy didn’t give you permission to buy beer.”
“She told you to buy her some wine and she didn’t say you could buy beer.”
“I don’t need her permission to buy it. Unless she tells me the budget can’t handle it, I can do as I like. I’m a grown man.”
“No, you’re not. You need mommy’s permission.”
Well, so much for my daughter defending me anymore, I guess. That didn’t last long…