Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Highlights and Face-Masks

Having raised four daughters, along with working with young children for the last 14 years, I can certainly attest to the honesty of children.  They may lack diplomacy, but you can always trust that whatever they say is completely sincere.  This, of course, is a double-edged sword.  An, "I love you" from a child is the real deal, but equally true are the, occasionally, less than flattering remarks. In my line of work you must possess a sense of humor, because, you can rest assured, you will be called upon to make use of it frequently.
The other day, for example, one of the littles in my preschool class called me "MeMa."  Now, MeMa is this child's endearing name for her Grandmother.  I can still remember the days, not long ago, when I was mistakenly called "Mom", but getting mixed up with grandma is a relatively new experience.
While I was recovering from my verbal bruising this same child came up to me and attempted to rub something out of my hair.  After a moment I realized what she was doing.
"By any chance are you trying to rub the white out of Mrs. Valente's hair?" I inquired.
"Yes, Mrs. Valente," she answered. "You have paint in it."
"Hmmmmm..." I replied.  "That actually isn't paint.  Those are some of Mrs.Valente's silver highlights.  I'm getting quite a few highlights, aren't I?'
She began to count.  "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight." she said, and then mercifully stopped.
Just to amuse myself I lifted up my bangs, exposing my hairline, which had quite a few more.
"Whoa.....she said, quietly.  "I don't think I can count that high."
I mentioned this story to the little girl's mother, and laughingly asked what she thought about it. Her mother was equally honest.
"I think it's time to tint your hair again."  was her reply.
My very favorite story though, involves my own daughter, Holly. One day when she was still very young she came racing into my bedroom to ask me a question.  Before she could get the words out of her mouth though, she stopped dead in her tracks at the doorway and stared at me, with eyes wide open.
I was making my bed, but had applied a green, clay-type face-mask earlier that morning, and was in the process of letting it harden.  The look on Holly's face conveyed the shock she was experiencing upon noticing my appearance.
"Sorry, Holly," I said.  "Did I scare you?  I'm just wearing some special lotion on my face, and I am waiting for it to dry."
"Why are you doing that, Mom?" she asked, hesitantly.
"Well, mommy's getting older, so my skin isn't as nice as it used to be.  I am using this special lotion so that I will look prettier."
Holly stood for a moment staring at the cracked, green clay on my face as she processed this information.  Finally, giving me a very grown up "I hate to break this to you" kind of look she informed me,  "'s not working."
Kids are nothing, if not honest.

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