"Mom, did you ever have spicy eyes?" Ethan asked from the backseat while we were driving.
Spicy eyes? Where is he going with this I thought to myself. Did he mean itchy and red allergy eyes? Did he say "ice" and I misunderstood? While I pondered, he interrupted.
"Moooom!" he repeated loudly. "I asked if you ever had spicy eyes?"
"Well, E, I don't know what you are talking about, so," I paused. "I don't know if my eyes have ever been spicy."
I could see his exasperated expression in my rearview mirror as he tried to explain. "You know that show that was on TV that was talking about the police?"
"The news?" I asked.
"Yes! The news!" he paused, thought for a second and then started back into his explanation. "Well, it said the police used pepper spray. So, I wondered if you had ever had spicy eyes."
"So, you think pepper spray makes your eyes SPICY?" I questioned.
He shot back. "Yeah! Doesn't it?"
And then I thought for a moment, and I realized that spicy eyes would be pretty good description for pepper spray's lasting effect.
"You know bud that is a very good way to explain it. But, " I waited to make sure he was listening, "what makes you think that Mommy has had spicy eyes?"
He blushed, and then said, "Well, I was listening one time when you were telling a story about you and a policeman."
Hmmm. Several of my police encounters ran through my mind and although none were fun, none also resulted in me being sprayed with pepper spray.
I gave it a shot in the dark. "E, mommy was talking about a ticket that a policeman gave her for not following a driving rule. They don't pepper spray you for getting a ticket, " I explained.
"Oh," he said quietly and with disappointment. Apparently, if I had been pepper sprayed, then I would have been a rock star. A measly ticket warranted nothing in E's estimation.
And any story that would make me a rock star . . . is obviously too spicy for a six year old!!