The weird thing about kids is the appropriate compartment to put them in. I like the little people. They’re usually fun, generally nice, and receptive to a kind word. I enjoy being around them.

But we’re not friends. Our interations are very much dominated by the facts that I’m an adult and they’re not. Part of that is what makes dealing with them pleasant. Most are highly receptive to a kind word or a bit of encouragement from an adult. Then they do something infantile, like just scream, and force me to mind the gap.

So these tiny, pleasant little people are usually nice and fun to be around, and I’m never quite sure how to talk to them. Like, some people run into problems with adult subjects, but the adult subjects I slip on aren’t the ones you think of.

“Hey, kiddo. How’s your portfolio doing with the market tanking like this? Increasing your bond allocation or holding firm? Take your finger out of your nose.”

“Getting on that benchpress, tiger? Putting up weight? Good, good. Now go wash your hands.”

The solution is to listen, and that’s what I try to do. But listening gives a feeling of intense cognitive dissonance as I think to myself, “I like this little person,” while I’m saying, “Seriously, go wash your hands. Use soap.”

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