Christina M. Currie: Belly up to the bar
November 30, 2007
Craig — My father and uncle have some property that’s ideal for family gatherings.
It’s big, has a kitchen, several big screen televisions, pool tables, shuffle board and foosball and a room that’s perfect for remote control toys and rollerblades.
My children and all their cousins can think of no better place to spend Thanksgiving or Christmas.
It also happens to be a bar.
Granted, it’s closed to the public on holidays, but that’s barely a defense when your child’s reply to anyone who asks what they did for Thanksgiving is, “we went to the bar.”
Even better when the baby-sitter asks your 6-year-old, what did you do with Aunt Candice last night?
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Nikki told her they went to the bar and had a drink.
The baby-sitter thought that was hilarious.
Thank God, because that so could’ve gone the other way.
First, it’s a bar and a restaurant. Second, by “drink” Nikki means a Shirley Temple.
It’s hard when your 6-year-old is becoming such an adult.
This situation is unique, and I can deal with it, although the wrong words to the wrong people could cause a big problem.
It’s those other “adult” situations that leave me without anything to say that are causing problems.
As I was putting her to bed the other night, Nikki was trying to kiss me goodnight the way that “people” do (to my children, kids are kids and adults are “people,” don’t ask why because I don’t have the slightest idea).
I wasn’t really sure what she was getting at, but jumped the second I noticed her eyes were closed and she was murmuring “mmnnn, mmmnn.”
Good thing I moved too, because then she said, “Sometimes they do it with their mouths open,” and pursed her lips again.
I fell back on the usual answers, “you have to be big to do that.” “You only do that if you really love someone.” “Only if you’re married.”
She’s six. She buys that now.
Eventually she’s going to learn that, to kiss, you don’t have to be big, you don’t have to be in love and you don’t have to be married.
I’ll deal with that, somehow, when it happens. For now, I’m wondering what she’s talking about on the playground and if that’s going to result in a call from the school counselor.
I’m wondering where she’s seeing that behavior in a way she can study and mimic. Is it on television? Probably. On the street? I’m sure. In homes? Likely.
Then again, maybe she’s just spending too much time in the bar.
Right now, I’ll maintain my innocence by contenting myself with a state of denial.
When she bellies up to the table and asks for a dry martini, I’ll take drastic action. Right after I get home from the bar.