There used to be a TV show called “Kids Say the Darnedest Things.”
It hasn’t aired in years, but if you’re around kids, you get a firsthand experience of this sentiment all the time.
Since I met my stepkids in 2015, they’ve had plenty to say that’s made me smile, chuckle or roll my eyes.
Things on topics like these:
We went to Disney World back in 2016, the first time I’d been on an airplane with the kids.
Husband: “We’re going fast — hundreds of miles an hour.”
Stepdaughter [serious]: “But we’re in the air, so the police can’t pull us over.”
ON GROWING UP
Me: “Adulting is complicated.”
Stepson: “I think adulting is only as complicated as the adult makes it. Like, I’m very complicated, so my adulthood will be complicated.”
ON NEVER GROWING UP
When my parents were in town, we were driving to meet them at a new church for the first time.
Husband [to kids]: “You guys are gonna be in the kids’ program while we’re in the regular service with Nana and Papa.”
Stepdaughter: “Can Em come with us?”
Husband: “No, it’s just for children.”
Stepdaughter: “But Em is a children!”
Trying to read the word “responsible,” my stepdaughter kept leaving off the second S.
Us: “Try again.”
She did, with the same result.
Me: “What does that word mean?”
Stepdaughter: “Like when you die in video games, and you come back to life. You respawn.”
Stepson [complaining about his sister]: “She acts like she knows everything!”
Husband: “She does. She’s a woman.”
Stepson [to his sister]: “What’s 1 times 1?”
Stepdaughter [confidently]: “Red.”
Stepson [to his sister]: “Stop being so dramatic!”
Stepdaughter [offended]: “I am not genetic!”
Me [holding up a Slimer stuffed animal]: “And what movie is he from?”
ON STAR WARS
Stepson: “Stormtroopers think they’re cool. But they’re only about as cool as an ant burning up in the core of the earth.”
ON SECRET WEAPONS
I forget what we were talking about, but driving along one day, my husband said, “I have two secret weapons. They’re in the backseat.”
Stepson: “Yeah, I’m the strong and smart one. My sister’s just crazy.”
Me: “Hey now, she’s strong and smart, too.”
Stepdaughter: “No. I am crazy.”
ON FAMILY TIES
The kids spent the day playing with my cousins’ children, one of whom is my stepson’s age.
Stepson: “He’s awesome. He’s like my brother from another mother.”
Stepdaughter: “Well, I’m your sister from another planet!”
It was bedtime, and I hugged my stepdaughter goodnight.
She put her face near mine and nuzzled noses.
Eskimo kiss. She was saying Eskimo kiss.
ON GETTING IN TROUBLE
We were on the porch getting ready to head out for a hike.
Husband [to stepdaughter]: “Can you please call your brother? We have to go soon.”
Stepdaughter [peeking her head back into the house and yelling]: “I need to OBTAIN you to go hiking with us! Otherwise you’re gonna be in VARIOUS trouble!”
And going back just a little farther, when my husband and I weren’t even engaged yet, there were a few gems the kids said that stuck with me:
ON MEANINGFUL JEWELRY
Stepdaughter: “Let’s do crafts!”
Me: “OK, what do you want to do?”
Stepdaughter: “Let’s make rings. You make one for you, too. Because you and Daddy are gonna get married, right?”
Stepdaughter: “I love you, Daddy.”
Stepson: “You mean like you’d marry him?”
Husband: “No, no, it’s an entirely different kind of love.”
Stepson: “What about you, Emely? I think it’d be good if, ya know, like what I just said.”
Me: “You mean, if I marry Dad?”
Me: “Do you think I should?”
Stepson [thoughtfully]: “Yes. You’re in the ‘family’ section of my heart. I have different sections, for friends and close friends and family, and you’re in the ‘close friends’ and ‘family’ sections.”
My then-boyfriend and I went to a Paint Nite together. Each of us painted one half of a scene, so we could hang both pieces next to each other, forming a complete picture.
My stepson, who was almost 9 at the time, noticed it on the wall.
Stepson: “That painting is new.”
Me: “Yeah, your dad and I painted it! He did one side, I did the other.”
Stepson [approving]: “They go together perfectly. Just like you and Dad.”
Originally published in The Herald News on March 17, 2019.