Kid Talk

We finally got together with Friend and Doc on Sunday night, after a crazy few weeks. They had company in town, Friend was playing her fingers off with different performances, Doc had a major lecture to present at the university that he teaches at, and the Brain and Head had drama camp all last week during mid-winter break.

While we… were boring. I gestated. The Webmaster worked. Ane and Tad bickered their way through vacation.

So the reunion between the three older kids was quite a sight. But it wouldn’t be Sunday evening dinner without some one-liners from the kids. And the culprit this time was mostly the Brain. Being the oldest of the three, he likes to be in charge. Ane doesn’t take much guff from him (being an oldest child herself), but poor Head… Apparently, the sibling teasing has gotten kicked up a notch recently, as was evidenced by a couple of the Brain’s comments at dinner.

As we were all sitting down, the Brain turned to Ane and asked, “Which one of us do you like better?”

At that, all four adults in earshot protested. It was a terrible question to ask – mostly because the Brain was so sure he knew the answer, and that it would hurt Head’s feelings. But give Ane credit – she didn’t rise to the bait (I’m not sure if it was because she heard all the adults protest, or because she genuinely feels this way – either way, she preserved the peace). “I like you both the same,” she replied emphatically.

All the adults relaxed. “Good answer, Ane,” Doc said approvingly. But the Brain wasn’t finished yet.

Later, during dinner, he tried telling a joke. “Who has two arms, two legs, and half a brain? HEAD!” he crowed.

The parental hammer came down on that one. Friend said that she’s been telling Head to just ignore the Brain, since that drives him absolutely mad, but Head is so tender of spirit that this teasing really does hurt his feelings. Doc muttered, “Someday, Head is just going to start whaling on the Brain, and I don’t think I’m going to stop him.”

Fortunately, the picking on Head seemed to stop at that point. But that doesn’t mean that the Brain didn’t still consider himself to be the arbiter of right and wrong.

He came to me later in the evening to tattle. “Ane said a bad word,” he informed me.

“Really?” I asked, curious but amused.

“Yes. She said P-O-O-P.” Yes, he spelled the bad word out for me.

I raised the proverbial eyebrow (unlike the Webmaster and the Captain, I can’t physically do this). “And…?” I said.

The Brain, clearly disappointed with my reaction, turned to Friend in a wordless appeal. “It’s not a polite word, Brain, but if Deanna’s not going to get upset over it…” she told him.

The Brain marched back into the dining room, where the older kids were all playing with LEGO sets. “I told your mother what you said,” he informed Ane in a disapproving tone.

“What did she say?” Ane asked. I could tell by her tone of voice that she wasn’t even looking at him.

The Brain paused before replying. “She hasn’t decided on a punishment yet.”

“BRAIN!” I yelled into the dining room. “I have supersonic hearing and I KNOW what you just said!”

Doc was cracking up in the kitchen, and I repeated to Friend and the Webmaster what the Brain had just said.

Clearly, I am a failure as a mother. I haven’t let Ane pick favorites, I don’t appreciate teasing jokes that are meant to hurt, and I allow my daughter to say bad words. Oh, and we’re boring people who don’t send our kids to drama camp (though the Brain suggested that we do so next year).

But I do have supersonic hearing to go with the eyes in the back of my head.

4 Responses to “Kid Talk”

  1. Aunt Lynda
    February 23rd, 2010 07:29

    I’m chuckling here! I don’t remember poop being a bad word in our house. Still chuckling.

  2. Friend
    February 23rd, 2010 08:59

    P-O-O-P is a bad word because our kids tend to descend quickly into CONSTANT potty talk. They have no understanding of moderation.

    And, in my defense, we send our kids to things like drama camp so that they learn how to deal with group things. Homeschooling does have it’s limitations…

    And you’re definitely not boring. 🙂

  3. Doc
    February 23rd, 2010 09:05

    It just cracks me up how “hasn’t decided on a punishment yet” is completely technically true. It’s like he’s a lawyer.

  4. Ressis
    February 23rd, 2010 10:57

    HEY! I can raise my eyebrow too!