Monday, January 16, 2012

Birthdays and Other Things in Common with Mass Murderers

One of the things I love about kids is that you can fall into conversations with them that you would never have with adults. There are some things in life that kids just haven't learned about yet…although that never stops them from talking about it. I had one of those conversations yesterday.


Natalie - 8
Nicole - 11
Dawn - young enough to have seen Star Trek in reruns, old enough to know not to list her age


In auto line for after school pick up


Dawn's car, aka momuv, aka place where kids leave their 1/2 eaten sandwiches and empty gum wrappers in the cup holders.

Dawn surfs her phone, leaving the car on (and draining her battery) so that Natalie can wear headphones and entertain herself by singing along with some inane pop tune on Radio Disney.

Nicole hops into the car, tosses her backpack into the seat.

Nicole: Hiya!

Dawn: How was school, hon?

Nicole: Really exciting…

Natalie: (talking off her headphones, interrupting) …exciting…what?

Nicole: Today in class we learned that Max, Becca, Dee Dee, and Hitler all have the same birthday.

Natalie: Who names their kid Hitler?

Dawn bursts out laughing, uncontrollably, realizes that Natalie doesn't know who that is. Guess third grade hasn't covered world history yet.

Nicole: Hitler isn't in our class.

Natalie: Then why were you celebrating his birthday?

Nicole: We weren't!

Dawn, now laughing too hard to intervene, tries to calm herself, can’t. The conversation continues to veer off course.

Nicole: We wouldn't celebrate his birthday…

Natalie: But you said Max, Dee Dee, Becca, and Hitler all have the same birthday…did they bring cupcakes?

Having just calmed herself, the cupcake comment sends Dawn back into another wave of laughter. Dawn tries to explain between laughs.

Dawn: Hitler is not in their class, Natalie…Nicole, she doesn't understand…

Nicole: Oh God, no, Natalie, he's bad.

Natalie: Whose class is he in?

Dawn laughs harder, tears in her eyes, unable to catch her breath.

Nicole: Natalie! He's not a kid…he's a bad guy in history…They were just all born on the same day.

Dawn: You were studying history today?

Nicole: Yeah, and Max pointed out that they all had the same birthday.

Natalie: (Disappointed) So there weren't any cupcakes?

Dawn starts laughing again.

Natalie: (Sincerely upset) Why are you laughing, Mommy?

Dawn: (Between laughs) I'm sorry. It's not funny. He was a bad guy who hurt many people.

Natalie puts her headphones back on in a huff, suspects she's being lied to.

Natalie: I didn't think anyone would name their kid Hitler.

Nicole: Does anyone want to hear about my day?

Dawn starts another laughing jag as they drive off.

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