Kids become obsessed with the weirdest things, and Annie is no different. Recently she was obsessed with monsters (which, uh, I may have had a little something to do with), and at her pool lessons she told her teacher that there were monsters in the filter. I just shrugged and flashed the teacher my best, “Where do they get this stuff!” smile.

Annie has new obsession now though, one she will not. stop. talking. about.

It all started when I was watching a teen movie from the Eighties where some classic Eighties-style bullies (with blonde hair, dark shades, and sweaters tied around their necks) were harassing a couple nerds. Annie strolled into the room, and upon seeing the nerds being picked on, watched with great concern. She finally pointed at the bullies and asked, “Who them?”

I said, “They’re… the mean guys.”

Annie considered this a long moment, turning it over in her head, then narrowed her eyes and repeated, “Mean guys.”

Ever since then she has talked about mean guys constantly.  The other day we were at the supermarket when we happened upon a man arguing with his wife. Annie pointed and yelled, “Mean guy!” That was awkward.

Later, while on a walk around the block, a dog appeared in a window barking its head off.

“Mean guy!” Annie shouted.

Then there is her new favorite book, Tacky The Penguin, which she likes to have read to her before bed. In it some big, bad hunters come after our hero, Tacky, and Annie insists that we call them mean guys.

“The penguins heard the thump… thump… thump… of feet in the distance,” Heather read the first night we got the book. “This could only man one thing. Hunters had come.”

“No!” Annie shouted. “Mean guys! Mean guys had come!”

Annie’s biggest “mean guys” moment came last night, and it is something you will either find cute or creepy depending on how you look at it. Annie stood at the window, looking out into the darkness, and said matter-of-factly, “Mean guys out there. You gotta be careful.”

To shake off the heebie-jeebies I was feeling about all the mean guys in my backyard, I asked Annie to show me what she thought mean guys looked like. She was game:

Mean guy.

Mean Guy!

Annie mean guy face #3

After Annie went to bed I thought about what she said about mean guys being out there, and how you have to be careful, and it struck me as pretty sage advice. Here’s hoping Annie doesn’t have to deal with too many mean guys in her life, and if she does, she puts them in their place just like Tacky The Penguin does.