“Don’t be so impatient with me,” was my response to an eye roll and sigh of disappointment for my delayed click of the mouse. “I taught you how to eat with a spoon!” I continued, snapping back at my nine year-old. Yes, just a glimpse into my superior (a.k.a embarrassing) parenting skills.
It really is amazing how much my son has learned to this point. I have witnessed him being unable to survive without complete parental support to now navigating though various computer screens researching birthday vacations on his own. From putting his shoes on the wrong feet to now wearing suits. In addition to his fashion, computer and travel skills, I am now talking to his teachers about types of literature and multiple levels of place values he will explore this year. This all after a compliment taken in stride on his sharp appearance.
My soon to be tween is entering the fourth grade and my emotions have shifted from first-day-of-school tears to awe. Instead of crying because he is getting bigger, I’m excited because he has gotten so big. He is a little person with so much ahead of him, I can’t wait to see who he becomes. But before that, watch out, he is headed straight for the fourth grade!
As a parent, I have learned that every moment is a teaching moment, and as cliché as it is, it’s true.
Right now is back-to-school time and that means shopping. While we were in our second hour of searching for school supplies at the store, things started to get little crazy. Azul was singing and dancing to the brand names of spiral notebooks and I was seeing double. This was shopping insanity, of course surrounded by the ambience of fluorescent lights, screaming babies and confused parents.
Then came this …
“Yoobi!” My third grader sang as he struck a pose, looking right at me. I focused my gaze on him, and to a familiar tune replied, “You be illin’, don, don, don, don, don, don … ricky, ricky, rick!” (Of course emphasizing the last “rick” and air scratching on my air turntable.)
He had no idea what I was talking about (that scenario happens a lot between the two of us and it goes both ways), so with a quick Google search, the volume turned up – the education began. We listened to the music, walked through the store, focussed, no longer hearing the cries of babes.
Education is everywhere, and I truly do believe every child deserves the knowledge of Run DMC. This may become our new back-to-school anthem … (ricky, ricky, rick!)
Kids are great, they say the funniest things while learning how to navigate around language and social norms. The innocence of their errors is what makes it so amusing, and we get to make fun of them and it’s okay. As parents we all celebrate the openness and truth of children, and as a writer, I have taken advantage of this more than most.
So I knew this day would come, the day I would say something wrong (and I’m going to add, totally cute) instead of my child. Yes, my Mommy Moment* happened much sooner than anticipated.
“Mommy Moment: saying something not cool. This is an evolving definition, soon to morph into: saying anything at all.”
While trying to journey through the “new slang” the kids are saying “these days” (I know, I am sounding less and less cool as I continue), I stumbled and was immediately corrected by my eight year-old teacher of all-things-not-cool.
Now, I’m no Cam Newton, but in the middle of what I’m sure was a very stimulating conversation with my third grader, to make my point, I threw my bent elbow in the air and shouted, “Dub!” (Why did I even say that?!?)
I was obviously wrong in my attempt to be cool or talk like anyone considered to be cool, and it was immediately pointed out to me with nonverbal falling-on-the-floor laughter intertwined with DABBING! My action was later described by my 52 inch professor of cool as “cringe worthy.”
*Mommy Moment: saying something not cool. This is an evolving definition, soon to morph into: saying anything at all.