Kids say the darndest things

February 26, 2008 | family, Noah, Original NSS

Conversation at the family breakfast table this morning turned to adultery. Yes, that’s right, adultery. Imagine the days when kids were seen and not heard? We’ve come a long way, baby.

It seems that Noah’s Catholic school fifth-grade teacher, who is known for bringing up interesting and/or unusual current or personal events at the start of the day, decided to tell the kids about the New York Times’ story on John McCain and his possible, maybe, we-heard-through-the-grapevine “affair.” You know, the story where the alleged paper of record attempted to trash McCain’s personal life using nothing more than innuendo and some well-crafted sentences. (For a really funny take on the Times debacle, read Michael Kinsley’s article at Slate HERE.)

Noah casually announced, as Dennis and I ran around making both breakfast and lunch, that he heard that John McCain cheated on his wife. Wow, even the elementary school kids bought the Times story hook, line and sinker. I didn’t even realize that Noah understood the term “cheated” outside of a classroom setting. Dennis and I started explaining the whole Times story scandal, which I think fell on deaf ears, while simultaneously getting into a discussion of adultery, the McCains’ seemingly happy marriage, sin and forgiveness, and the fact that a certain Democratic president cheated on his wife and remained in office and is now at her side campaigning. Trust me, that is a lot of ground to cover over pancakes and orange juice.

My favorite part of this discussion was yet to come, however. It was after the mention of Bill and Hillary that Noah said, “No wonder they always look so mad at each other.” I looked at him questioningly, to which he responded, “That’s what you told me.” Now, with my mouth hanging open in obvious rebuttal, he backtracked and said, “Or maybe that was Brian.”

I don’t know what’s worse, Noah discussing Bill Clinton’s dalliances with his classmate Brian or Noah confusing me with his classmate Brian. Either way, with those deft reporting skills, it seems to me that Noah may have a future at the New York Times.


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