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The Slice

Posts tagged: Children

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?

The moment a good day got better

I was riding slowly, so it was not going to be an issue.

But the little girl walking ahead of me beneath the tree-branch canopy on 40th looked like she might be about to veer across the street right in front of me. And that's what she started to do, but only after looking behind her.

I swung wide, well out of her way. But I didn't want her to think I felt inconvenienced or anything. So I spoke to her in my friendliest tone.

“Did you have a good day?”

It was implied that I was asking about school, which had just let out. She was carrying a backpack. It's the first week of classes.

If I had to guess, I would say she is just starting the third grade.

And I was moving past and away from her, second by second. I was not a threat.

“Yeah,” she said in a cheerful little voice. “Did you?”

Totally charmed by her asking me that, I told her I had had a pretty good day.

Truth is, I was ready to adopt her on the spot.

“Look what I brought home!”

But something tells me she already has parents who know what they're doing.

Crowning king or queen of spillage

Measured in total fluid ounces, what Inland Northwest kid has spilled the greatest volume of liquids (both at home and in the car)?

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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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