Creative Conversations

June 15, 2018 at 4:00 pm 1 comment

Having some school experience under their belts has expanded my kids’ vocabulary, allowing them to describe their world in new and interesting ways. For example, in the middle of a living room wrestling match on a weekend afternoon, my son told his sister “Your hair smells like potatoes.”

It usually takes me a moment to understand what they mean because it would never occur to me to use the word “potatoes” in that context. These wonderful moments seem to happen when I least expect them.

Popped Chips

My son was in the back seat of the car, mindlessly chomping on some chips I had given him for an after school snack. A few minutes into the drive home he says flatly, “Dad. I don’t like these chips. They taste like balloons.”

A few seconds of silence went by as I thought of the recent shopping trip when I acquired the snack. I don’t recall seeing that flavor option on the shelf: Regular, BBQ, Cheddar Cheese, Balloons.

“Ok. I will find something else you like next time” was all I could think to say.

He kept eating them. “Just buy the things I like.”

Now, that would be the most useful aisle at our local market. Aisle 3: Canned Vegetables, Pasta, Things Your Son Likes. Products would be floating around, landing on the shelf one day, then quickly floating away the next day because now he doesn’t like mustard.

Most of the time it is entertaining and even endearing to hear my kids use common words in uncommon ways. I wasn’t aware that when I am concentrating while slicing some cheese I look like “a weird old man playing chess”.

It’s easy not to take offense at something like that, especially when it’s said with a smile or a laugh. However, my son hit me with a verbal gut punch earlier this year and I haven’t yet recovered.

The Ultimate Insult

I recently prepared a tasty lentil soup for dinner and after one spoonful my son looks me straight in the eye and says, “This tastes like dumb.”

The last time I recall him using the word “dumb” was when he described what he thought about having to go to the dentist. My son thinks eating my lentil soup is the equivalent of having to go to the dentist. This, from a kid who will eat a piece of candy he’s discovered under his car seat.

My kids’ use of language is surprising and wonderful. It keeps me on my toes and reminds me that there are many ways to see the world. They can quickly recognize the taste of a balloon, the smell of crayons, or “potato hair” and describe things in those simple, yet specific and effective, terms.

That’s not like my lentil soup at all. It’s pretty smart, actually.

Entry filed under: Being Dad. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Happy 6th Birthday, my Best Boy You Are Nine

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