As my children grow, I'm frequently surprised (and often amused) by what they know. I find myself wondering "where did they learn that?" and "did that mean what I think it meant?" Sometimes it's hard to tell if they are demonstrating insight beyond their years or an age-appropriate utter lack of comprehension.
With the fourth grader, I usually assume the former. With the first grader, the latter. The shared knowledge of siblings and the obliviousness of my elder often blur that line and challenge my assumptions.
This weekend, my fourth-grade son read all of his younger sister's Ivy & Bean books back-to-back. Ivy & Bean is an early chapter book series targeted to girls. The stories feature, as their tag line says, "two friends who never meant to like each other." Two girls become friends, hilarity and hijinks ensue. They are quite popular with young girls. Not so much with middle grade boys, but my son enjoyed them.
As I was cooking dinner Sunday, the following conversation occurred:
Son: Mom, how many Ivy & Bean books are there?
Me: Nine, I think. We have them all, unless a new one was just released.
Son (with a pointed glare): [Sister], is that right? Are there nine books?
Daughter (with a mischievous twinkle in her eye): Yes. Nine.
Son: So they don't kiss in book 12?
I have chortled aloud while alone in the car several times over the past two days just reliving this moment in my memory.
I have no idea if:
1. My daughter knew she was making an "adult" joke about two girls kissing.
2. She made a non-gender-specific kissing joke because her nine-year-old brother thinks all kissing in books, movies, and real life is gross.
3. The joke was only to mislead him about the number of books in the series, and the kissing is just a random red herring.
Perhaps a combination of the three. The little one keeps us on our toes, but she keeps me laughing.