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Do you hear what I hear?

It's time for our many pets to get their annual check-up and shots. The best way to handle this is to schedule an appointment each week with the vet and bring them in two at a time.

As always, I have at least three kids in tow. One of those kidlets is my three-year old who has been seriously studying the vet and all his equipment.

He knows how the stethoscope works, how to give shots and pills, and how to look at teeth. Is it any wonder then that at home he follows me around trying to listen to my heart? Did you know that my heart is in my bellybutton?

I've had several 'shots' and I've had my teeth checked, too. Good news! I don't need a chew bone. But I might have another area of concern.

I can just see me in the checkout line, receiving my latest round of make-believe rabies shots, when my three-year old will pipe up and say, "Momma, you have worms!"

Yeah...that's a common utterance from small children, isn't it? It's right up there with 'hairplanes' and 'basketti'. Sure, all children say such things. Not.

I'll die.

Just when I think that there's not one more thing my kids can do to publicly embarrass me, along comes the impulsive gene that causes kids to pipe up at the most inconvenient time in the most inconvenient places and either point out the obvious or mention something that you really wish hadn't been said.

Things said innocently like, "She's going to have a baby!" said of an overweight woman, or, "His hair is funny!" said of a teenager with a punk style.

One time, when my sisters and I were small and the family was sightseeing, we stopped for ice cream. Suddenly, a group of Hell's Angels rode up and my youngest sister yelled out, "Those men are so dirty. They need haircuts!" And this sister of mine has never spoken below 20 decibels. My poor dad, the only male in our family and thus our protector, quickly escorted us back to the car.

It's like being in church during a moment of silent prayer, when some poor soul's body involuntarily makes an announcement to the rest of the congregation that his intestines are disgruntled. Even though grown people are biting back snickers and grins, it will be some small child that will clarify for everyone what just happened -- just in case they weren't paying attention. "Hey, that man just tooted!"

G. K. Chesterton once said, "Angels can fly because they take themselves so lightly." I think children help grown-ups take themselves lightly. That's why they are such blessings.

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