It was Christmas Eve. We were stuck in Canadian Tire, waiting at the auto parts desk, not to buy a present, but to buy a car part.
Lucy, three weeks before turning two, was sitting quietly in the shopping cart looking adorable in a soft, pink snowsuit. Suddenly she pointed and yelled,
"Gee mum, that guy is cute!"
Once again my tiny toddler startled and amused me because her perfectly articulated words were so incongruent with her appearance and the baby like tone of her voice. I turned around to catch a glimpse of the gentleman who had caught Lucy's attention and I almost burst into gales of laughter. He was a thirty-year-old, skinny, balding, gap-toothed banker type sporting a blond, handlebar moustache, wearing a dark suit and beige trench coat. Everyone within hearing distance glanced in our direction. This young man blushed with embarrassment but also with pleasure. With a huge smile, he replied,
"That is the nicest thing anyone has said to me in a long time!"
We all laughed, but I thought,
"Where on earth did that sort of idea come from?"
Then it all came together.
One of the after dinner responsibilities, at that stage in our family's life, was entertaining Lucy so I would be free to act as the ring master to the circus of activity that swirled around our house in the early evening. Mara and Melissa jumped at the chance to be with Lucy because they would relax, look at catalogues and magazines. I knew that they pointed out objects and people to Lucy to increase her vocabulary but I realized one of their comments must have been,
"THAT guy is cute!"
This incident reveals one of the disadvantages of a large family; little kids are exposed to pop culture via their older siblings.
A prime demonstration of this phenomena was during 'circle time' in kindergarten. Sometimes the teacher encouraged the children to sing a song, expecting to hear something like "Twinkle, twinkle little star". She did not get that sort of song from my youngest two.this teacher laughed with amusement as she told me what my two youngest children sang for the other five-year-olds.
Anthony sang "Go Grease Lightning" from the movie musical "Grease".
Lucy sang some pop song about not dating a scruffy looking guy "who sits in the passenger side of his best friend's car"!
However, there is usually a positive side to everything. My oldest daughters also taught the younger ones a valuable life lesson through the lyrics to this song,
"Don't settle for the first boy who gives you attention."
The lesson must have been absorbed because all my girls are very selective when it comes to boyfriends. In high school, if my daughters date, it only lasts a couple of weeks because they find that the boys are "idiots". Lucy's English teacher was just teasing her, last month, that she was high maintenance and he pitied her boyfriend. Lucy shot back,
"Don't worry sir; my boyfriend is like my trampoline."
Her teacher was puzzled, so Lucy explained,
"I don't have one!" `