Kids Say the Darndest Things — in Real Life, and in Romance Novels

CharmedBy Inés Saint, author of Strangers in the Night and Charmed

Kids often say things they’re not supposed to say, or state their own, surprising interpretation of things they’ve seen and heard. If you’re not the parent of the child, it can be hilarious.

Just this month I heard a little girl announce to our family doctor that her mother had broken every traffic law in the book to get there on time, and an older boy say he was feeling dizzy because his mother put something funny into his juice (it turned out to be allergy medicine, because the kid didn’t want to take it). My own child once told a teacher that I liked going to “this place where people sell drugs” (a pharmacy called Drugmart).

My new novel, Charmed, is about Jamie, a widowed mother of twin five-year old boys, and Nick, the daydream-inducing headmaster of the school Jamie’s kids attend.

Jamie’s kids do everything from announce to the snooty moms at school that Nick was at their house (he was returning a favor), to almost give Nick a heart attack when they ask him how they can acquire a stepfather (they want more Christmas gifts), to telling their crabby paternal grandfather way too many details about Jamie’s life.

When an initial attraction both Jamie and Nick had decided to ignore leads them to a deep friendship, they realize they’re dealing with more than either of them had anticipated. Jamie guards a painful secret that leads her to be emphatic about not letting a man into her life, and Nick has strong reasons for not wanting to start over.

In the end, Jamie’s kids are just being kids. They’re not in the story as cute props or to provide comedic relief, they’re there as part of Jamie’s reality… and possibly Nick’s.

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