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Things I Hadn't Figured Out When I Was A Kid

Everybody has a few things they wished they'd figured out earlier in life. I have a few that date back to early childhood.

Once I was riding in my parent's car, and my father said to my mother "Should we stop by the store and get some I-C-E-C-R-E-A-M?". I blurted out "that spells ice cream!".

I thought I was very smart. Looking back, I realize i was not as smart as I thought I was. If I was really smart, I wouldn't have let my parents know I could understand what they were spelling out. Who knows what secrets I might have learned?

Ladies would sometimes come up to me and say "gimme some sugar!". For those not from the American south, that means give me a kiss, or let me kiss you. It would have been funny if I had carried around little packets of sugar and handed one to every lady that said that. Again, I didn't think of that until  I was adult.

And then there was my dad's response whenever I said "but everybody else is doing it". He was a little more original than the parents who spoke of everybody jumping off a cliff, but his answer was materially the same. He asked "If everybody stuck their hand in a fire, would you want to do that?". (I wonder if G. Gordon Liddy's dad said that.)

Now i know a good counter-argument: "But everybody isn't sticking their hand in a fire". Whether it's burning your hand or jumping off a cliff, the response always involves something nobody would want to do. Parents never say "If everybody had ice cream for breakfast, would you want to do that?".

It would have been nice if I had figured these things out as a child. Or maybe it wouldn't have been. If I had been that clever at circumventing grown-ups and their discipline,  I might have grown up to be even more insufferable than I am.