It was your typical, "I'm going to say this word because you're going to think I'm saying "idiot" and when you try to tattle you'll be wrong and then you'll get in trouble for tattling" kid sister move.
After listening to them bicker and sing-song, I said," Sophia, do you even know what 'idiom' means?"
"Yeah," she said. "It's when you say something and it means something else.... like when you say, "laughing your socks off" but really it just means you're happy".
I looked in stunned silence at my kindergartner, thinking it was probably 9th grade before I'd learned that word.
I left her alone. I figured any 6 year old who can define "idiom" deserves a bit of uninterrupted taunting with it.
She'd earned it.
A few weeks later, we were in the store and Sophia came running up to me, eyes bright and sparkling and her little finger wagging at me.
"Mom! Don't tell! I'm a ninja! It's a secret!"
"Oh! OK," I said. "I won't tell. But will you say that again because you're kind of adorable and I want a picture."
We finished our shopping and went to the clerk.
Next thing I knew my daughter was saying to the total stranger store clerk, 'Don't tell anyone! I'm a ninja! It's a secret!"
"Soph!" I exclaimed. "I need to get you ninja etiquette lessons. You're not supposed to TELL PEOPLE you're a ninja! Ninjas are secret and no one knows they're ninjas!" as I smiled at the clerk. . Turns out the clerk had her own 5 yr old little girl ninja. She and Sophia shared some tips and tricks of the trade for the clerk to take home to her daughter.
Then, the other night, I was tucking Sophia into bed. She mentioned, "idiom" again. I asked her if she still remembered what it meant.
"Yeah... it's when a thing doesn't mean what it sounds like... like when you talk about the cat being in the bag."
I said, "You mean, 'let the cat out of the bag'?"
I said, "That's when you tell a secret you're not supposed to tell.
"Oh!" she said, her face suddenly very solemn and knowing, "Like when I tell people I'm a ninja. That's letting the cat out of the bag, right, Mom?"
Yes, sweetheart. That's letting the cat out of the bag.