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!)
Valentine’s Day is one of our favorite holidays because we (okay, mostly me) love to make cards for Azul’s class. The ritual of actually making cards, came from his pre-school teacher when he was three. Her instructions were to make the cards and the entire family had to take part. Store-bought cards were allowed. So, not wanting to get in trouble with the pre-school teacher (you know how snotty they can be), we did as we were told and five years later, we still are.
This year’s project took some convincing and a little begging, things were thrown around like, “It’s the second grade, it’s not that gross, it’s funny, it’s just a play on words, come on, laugh, there’s candy” and then finally, “you won’t get an infraction, but if you do, I’ll tell the teacher it was my idea.” I used everything I had and succeeded, my eight year-old finally broke and we made the cards I wanted …
I pick you to be my Valentine, is this year’s theme.
Bag of gummy boogers Candy, don’t be gross!
Card sock and Printer (If you print them yourself, like we did.)
Really, it’s not much!
Step 1) We took a few pictures with different expressions, while he held his hand next to his shoulder and his index finger pointing up. And he picked the one he wanted to use.
Step 2) I used a picture app to write the saying on the picture to complete the card.
Step 3) We printed the cards at about 5” x 6” two to each sheet of paper and cut them to size. You can also have them printed fairly inexpensively at places like Costco. Step 4) He wrote the names of each of his friends in class, on the back of the cards.
One thing I always try to do as a parent is listen to and understand what my now seven year-old is saying. This can be difficult, because sometimes I just don’t care, but then there are times when I am more than enthusiastic to ask for additional details. And sometimes it’s just uncomfortably funny!
“I call him a pussy zombie. Not like pussy, pussy, but just pussy.” Azul began to explain a conversation he was obviously already having in his head. Huh? I didn’t know what was going on, it’s kind of like arriving late to a party where everyone is already drunk.
Trying to get my bearings while also trying not to sound alarmed, I asked, “What does pussy, pussy mean?”
With the roll of his eyes he said, “You know …”
“Like a cat?” Please be a cat, please be a cat.
“Yeah, a cat,” he replied before cracking up laughing.
He watches a lot of British Minecraft tutorial videos on YouTube, and Europeans seem to be much more free with saying that word than Americans are, because of course it means a cat.
“Well, I’m fine with you using that word, but you may not want to repeat it at school because you know what else pussy means?”
“No,” was his answer, following an audible sigh.
Unconsciously I mimicked his deep breath and being as serious as possible I said, “It could be used as slang for a woman’s vagina.”
He was embarrassed; eyes open, hand to mouth, bent over at the waist, run out of the room as quickly as you can, embarrassed!
Leave it to the sober guy to ruin the party.