About two weeks ago Eliott came home talking about kids at school passing around something and “sniffing it, as hard as they could.” Mind you, the kid is only in 1st grade, so while my D.A.R.E. radar wasn’t blaring at full capacity, I did raise an eyebrow.

“What were they sniffing?”

“I don’t know, [boy in class] had some stuff in his hand and said, ‘Sniff it really hard Eliott, it makes your nose feel funny.'”

“Did you sniff it?”

“Yeah but I didn’t smell anything, and my nose didn’t feel funny.”

“Well, listen honey. In the future, if someone at school or anywhere else tells you to sniff something because it makes you feel funny, probably don’t sniff it, okay?”

“What will happen?”

Daddy chimes in from the kitchen sink, “Your sniffer won’t work so good anymore. And then you won’t be able to appreciate the flavor of food. Trust me Eliott, you don’t want to be sniffing anything that doesn’t belong in your nose. Got me?”

“Got you.”

Though she’s not really paying much attention anymore, I add, more to myself and for the benefit of John, “Seriously. It starts with the pixie stick powder and permanent markers. Then blam. One day it’s coke. I swear. What the heck Christian School? Giving my kid her first Just Say No lesson before she’s even tall enough for half the rides at Carowinds…”

End of conversation one.

Flash forward two days. Dinner time. Eliott rides home with a carpool. The mom stopped at the grocery store briefly on the way home.

“Mommy. Mrs. Brown is like, super nice to her kids. She buys them ice cream. Lots of ice cream. And fruit snacks.”

“Hey! I buy fruit snacks!”

“Yeah but she gets the good kind.” (As if there is a difference from one petroleum byproduct to another.)

“Oh yeah? Is that what she had to get at Food Lion today?”

“Yeah. But don’t worry, that doesn’t mean I like her better than you. And besides, she’s going to lose her sense of smell.”


“Yeah. She bought… (now whispering with her hand cupped to the side of her mouth for emphasis) coke.”

I think for now I’m just going to leave that one alone.


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