One of my most favorite things in the world is to sit quietly and listen as Alexis talks to her peers. There are lots of opportunities to do it, but in the car RULES. Which is all to say, I love when it's my turn to drive some girls home from dance class.
Recently, Alexis and one of her friends have sat in the back seat of my car and carried on a many week-long conversation about families. The conversation tends to pick up where it last left off, even if weeks have passed between conversations. It started weeks ago with some discussion around familial backgrounds, with the girls going back and forth about countries that their ancestors were from. Norway, Russia, Italy, Germany ... they went through all sorts of things.
This week things continued. They began talking about how many cousins they have and how big their families are. Eleven aunts, thirty cousins, seventeen uncles ... there was a lot of conversation about big families. Alexis' family is huge, but her friend's extended family is even bigger. That led them to talking about how many kids they plan to have.
Alexis has been stuck at 5 kids for a while. Somewhere around here there is a post about what she plans to name them and everything. She's a planner, that one.
Her plans were met with counter-plans, but then her friend set Alexis up for the best line ever. Alexis' friend told the story of how there are eleven kids in one of the families in her family. ELEVEN.
Alexis replied, "Can you imagine how horrifying it would be to have eleven kids?" I actually heard her shudder before she continued, "I mean, you'd never be able to get rid of them all!"
Truer words have never been spoken.
I've never played an April Fools joke on Alexis for one very good reason:
She's smarter than me.
I have absolutely no doubt that the victim would grow to be the teacher and I'd get a swift lesson about paybacks being a bitch and such.
Conveniently enough, Alexis reminded me of why I don't prank her on April Fools Day on April Fools Day. The husband was headed to the hockey game, so she and I found ourselves in the car right around the dinner time. I gave the kid the choice of eating out or making something at home. She really, really loves me, so she picked eating out.
Except, she didn't just pick eating out. She suggested we eat at the new ice cream place kind of close to our house. It's sort of a diner/ice cream place, so it wasn't the worst idea ever.
"You know you have to eat real food before you have ice cream, though, right?" I told her.
"OF COURSE I know that, mom," she replied. The way she said it made it sound like I had asked her the most obvious question in the whole wide world.
So we drove to the place and stood looking at the menu. While I considered all of the options, Alexis turned to me and said, "I bet you have a lot to do tonight, mom."
"I do, yes," I told her. "But I'm glad we get to hang out for a while," I continued.
"So what I'm hearing," she started, which, HOLD ON, INTERNET. SHE IS 8. I've spent the past fifteen years of my life trying to train grown-ups to use phrases like that during effective communication classes. It's mission impossible. OR NOT, BECAUSE MY 8-YEAR OLD GETS IT.
Alexis said, "So what I'm hearing is that I should order a healthy dinner AND a milkshake right now so that we can get home earlier."
Who could argue with logic like that? I mean, really. Of course I had to go with the ice cream getting incorporated into dinner itself.
She ate two bites of her salad and drank her entire milkshake. Because of course she did.
Like I said, I don't play April Fools Day pranks on Alexis because she's smarter than me. A LOT smarter than me.