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Got milk?

By Robin Dearing
I know it sounds like I’m bragging when I talk about how bright my kid is — and I am, I’m very proud of my girl — but I can honestly say that having an overly smart kid isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. I’ve joked before that if I got to choose, I just might pick a kid that is a little less bright, if it meant that she was easier to manage. I mean, nothing strikes fear in the heart of a parent quicker than having a well-seasoned and much-respected kindergarten teacher tell us that if we didn’t keep our child properly challenged and hold her to high expectations that we’d likely end up with an unruly discipline case. And not only is Margaret bright, but she’s funny, too. This is a lethal combination for us … especially me. She quickly realized that her dad does not embarrass easily. I, however, am very awkward and tend to embarrass very easily. Margaret preys on this weakness in an unrelenting manner. She started making a certain request of me. She only asks when we are surrounded by a group of people. She asks for milk. She dons a mischievous grin that strikes fear into my heart. To those unaware, it seems like a benign request. It isn’t. She doesn’t want a glass of milk from the fridge. Nope, she wants milk from … um, me. Milk that I haven’t had for 5 years. But she doesn’t believe me. She thinks I’m holding out on her, that she could be slurping from the mom milk dispenser if only I weren’t so selfish. She’ll implore, “Come on, let me just try.? Meanwhile, everyone in earshot had dissolved into fits of giggles and I•m left trying to convince my kid that this well is dry. I try to act casually and not be embarrassed. She knows she used to nurse and that it’s a healthy thing for babies. I try to act like an adult about it. But my feeling is that once Margaret was weaned, my bosom — though now much more droopy for wear — became mine again. The suggestion that she has some kind of claim to it … well, it just doesn’t jibe. I just can’t seem to explain that to my overly bright little girl.

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