Recently, I was driving a group of girls to a practice/event/party/school/something, and from the back of the van I hear, “It smells like a dog fart in the car.” Normally, I would have lifted up my arm a bit and waved it toward my nose to see if I was the offending party; but I knew I had recently showered, for my hair was still damp and I haven’t gotten to the age where those windy affairs waft out unwarranted. Yet. (Spoiler alert: Munchkin#2 took off her shoes)
Then uncomfortable giggles from the back of the van were heard, then a long silent pause. My hubby and I have (from the beginning) told our girls we strongly dislike the word “fart.” We use “toot” instead. We’s proper that way!! If you know me, you are rolling your eyes because I unfortunately have the mouth of a sailor. This is the outcome of years in the theatre and running around with gypsies. But seriously, I do not like to hear children using harsh language. They are to develop that skill set in high school like the rest of the proper folk.
The next day Munchkin #1 felt it necessary to bring up this story like she needed to confess she had robbed a bank. She was mortified her friend had used THAT word and was afraid if someone in an authority position were to overhear her dear friend repeat the word, she would get sent to prison or worse have her TV privileges revoked.
We discussed how some families may find certain language appropriate, but others don’t. This was perplexing for a first grader. AND her mother. I tried to make it clear for her, but you know when you talk to your child for more than 2 minutes and their eyes start to glaze over and drool forms in the corner of their mouth? I don’t think she quite got the lesson this time.
However, sometimes this happens in reverse. I never thought my young children would be able to stump me so frequently with general life questions. Not like, “How can God watch all of us at the same time?” I knew I wasn’t going to have a snappy answer in that category, but I can always throw it back to, “You’ll have to ask our Pastor. Great question!” I am NOT afraid of delegating parenting/education duties of my children. Takes a village, Pastor. See you on Sunday!!
At least once every week, one of my kids asks me something that I have no clue what the answer is. I’m starting to think God gave us children to show us we don’t know anything. The television show “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?” was so popular because those producers were being polite to the viewers. Come on, my first grader is kicking my tail already! Would you like a piece of humble pie, Mrs. Hatton?
You know how kids are always creating certain sayings that describe something, but the true definition is not used? For example, “that’s so cool” really doesn’t have any thermal change when spoken. Or “phat,” “kickin,’” “rad,” or my new favorite…awkward. Yeah, feel free to go ahead and use it. All the grade schooler’s are saying it! If you aren’t, well…that’ awk-ward.
My eldest daughter is saying “awkward” as her adjective of choice. Really she uses it for any part of speech. Awk-ward! The problem is I don’t know if she is using it correctly, or if she is becoming one of those Saturday Night Live! characters that just doesn’t get it. I know as a parent I need for her to figure it out on her own, but BOOM! She asked for a definition and I didn’t have my Webster’s near my fingertips.
So this is how it went down one morning:
Munchkin #1: This toast is awk-ward.
Me: It is? Why is your toast making you feel that way?
M1: What do you mean?
Me: I thought you said your toast was awkward?
M1: It is so VERY awkward.
Me: I thought awkward was a feeling.
M1: How can it be a feeling?
Me: Like sad, or mad, or embarrassed…you feel like something is awkward. (Now I know I’m in trouble)
M1: I thought awkward meant “weird.”
Me: In the old days it kinda meant that, but I don’t know if the kids are using the word differently now or if you are saying it wrong. Never mind, I’m sure you and your friends will figure it out. (Oh, I’m rapidly aging through this conversation!)
M1: So it doesn’t mean “weird?”
Me: It’s like this (getting in trouble quick)…if you go out in the backyard with your friends and you look down and see you are wearing one red sock and one pink sock – and you are just a little bit embarrassed. Not so embarrassed that you want to cry or throw up or hide in the closet, but just a tiny bit embarrassed, you would say, “That’s awkward.” Does that make sense?
M1: What if I had one red sock and one purple sock?
Student 1: Teacher 0
So anybody staying above their kids in math? Oh, Lawd!! This homework thing is going to derail me soon, I can feel it!