"Vegetarians are more likely to have girls than boys," my younger daughter says to me one day out of the blue as we are sitting at the dinner table.
"Really, how do you know?" I asked curiously, wondering how I missed this factoid in all of my news reading and news radio listening.
"Because my friend told me. She has two sisters, and her parents are vegetarians," she said matter-of-factly.
Children are like little sponges who pick up bits and pieces of information here and there. And there is nothing they like more than a statistic that can be stated as a fact.
"Six out of ten kids are taller than their moms," my daughter said to me one morning as I was going on about how I couldn't believe that her sister was almost as tall as I am.
"Really, where did you learn that?" I replied, stunned by the specificness of her statement.
"Just look around. It's true, for real. Aunt Kate is taller than her mother. Sissy is going to be taller than you are. Plus they said it on the Disney Channel, so it must be true," she said with a grin as she stuffed another strawberry into her mouth.
Unlike adults, they don't question the source of the information. They simply re-state it as fact. Given this phenomenon, adults have to be extremely careful when we explain the world around them not to be too definitive about what we say unless we know for sure that the information is accurate.
Although, clearly there are some things they believe and regurgitate that are harmless, and it's not that important to correct them. It reminds us that they are still young and innocent -- a state of being that lasts only so long in this crazy world where our kids are growing up way too fast.
"Rain, rain go away, come again on Mother's Day," I heard my daughter singing from the backseat one rainy morning on the way to school.
"Sweetie, its 'come again another day,'" I said gently.
"Oh," she replied, appearing to be deep in thought as she remained silent for a rare moment. "That makes more sense. I thought it was pretty mean to wish for rain on Mother's Day. Thanks, Mommy."
No, thank you for never failing to make your short non-vegetarian mom smile...