As Gabrielle and I were walking into the YMCA tonight, she said to me, "Eww...Momma, look -- a cygnet." Not really expecting a swan, I looked where she was pointing -- at a cigarette on the ground. I told her, "That's a cigarette, honey. They're gross."
She said, "Yeah. They are icky because they make people put them into their mouths and then they spit them out on the ground, and that's licorce."
"You mean littering, dear."
"Oh, yeah. Littering."
I told her, "Smoking cigarettes is bad because it can make you really sick."
She thought this over and added, "Yeah, because if we are in a house that is smoking and on fire, we have to die."
At this point, we were passing another YMCA patron who gave us quite the look. Nothing like a candid conversation with a four-year-old to raise the hairy eyeball of strangers passing by.