I love the conversations between my 7-year-old daughter and me. She’s very thoughtful and funny, and she’s quite articulate. We’ve had some fairly deep talks about all kinds of things; I love hearing her opinions on a variety of topics.

Most of the time.

The other day she called me out on the carpet. I’d picked her up from after-school care, and we were riding along in silence. She must have been contemplating deep and serious thoughts, because suddenly she spoke.

AUTUMN: Mommy, you said you don’t swear. But you swear all the time.

ME: [slightly indignant] What? I do not!

AUTUMN: Yes you do!

ME: Really. When do I do all this swearing?

AUTUMN: One time you said a bad word when you and Charis were arguing.

ME: Well, that’s just one time …

AUTUMN: You said a bad word another time when you and daddy were arguing.

ME: Um … that was a while ago–

AUTUMN: And I spilled something once and you said a bad word …

Wow, she remembers that?

ME: [slightly defensive] … Still, that’s not all the time. That’s only three times!

AUTUMN: But you said you don’t swear …

Chagrined silence.

ME: I did say that, didn’t I. And if I don’t swear, then swearing even once means I lied, doesn’t it.


Convicted. By a 7-year-old. Again.

ME: You’re right. I’m sorry for lying. And I’m especially sorry I said a bad word when you spilled something.

AUTUMN: It’s okay.

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