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Meeting Hazel

Yesterday, at just about this time, I saw a co-worker in a grocery store. He was pushing one of those toy-car carts that a little kid can ride in.

Seated in the toy car was his preschool daughter, Hazel. Though I had never met her in person, I have initiated quite a few conversations about her in the last few years. I like hearing about her adventures in growing up. And I think it is safe to say I root for her, like I do all of my colleagues' children.

So, anyway, I was delighted to have an opportunity to say hello to Hazel. I have always liked her name.

Well, let me tell you. This kid is a total sweetie. I mean, she simply could not be any cuter. Four stars.

Unfortunately, she mistook me for Godzilla and withdrew just a tad. It happens.

But the truly odd thing about our encounter was totally my doing.

I introduced myself to her as “Mr. Turner.”

Since when did I start doing that?

I'm all for kids respecting adults and recognizing authority figures and all that. But “Mr. Turner”?

If I had it to do over, I would invite her to address me by my first name. And I would assure her that I do not devour small children. Well, hardly ever.

So what do you do in that situation? How do you introduce yourself to young children of friends?

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About this blog

Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

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