I went for a walk in my neighbourhood yesterday—my back has been hurting me, so I’ve stayed off the bike. But I need to be active. And, as a side benefit, I got to check out houses in the area. I hope to buy one in a couple of years.

I walked past one house where (presumably) a mother and her kid (maybe 6ish?) were coming out of their garage. The woman smiled and said hello and I replied in kind. I kept walking.

Then, in that wonderful lack of subtlety I love in kids, I hear the child: “Is that a boy or a girl, Mommy? I can’t tell.”

By this point my back was to them, which was good—I was laughing pretty hard, and I didn’t want to have to explain to the kid that I was not, in fact laughing at her.

But I do love that honesty of kids. She couldn’t tell. I think of myself in the shoes of that parent, and I think the way I would like to respond would be to say that I didn’t know, but also asking if it matters. Getting my prospective child to think about that, I think, is the way to go.