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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I never learn

With apologies to Robert Fulghum, I did not, apparently, learn all I needed to know in kindergarten. Or even in grad school. Thankfully, though, my children are learning the stuff I somehow missed. . .and they're kind enough to share with me.

Recently, Boy #2 was watching me play Words with Friends (a Scrabble-like game played on Facebook with friends anywhere in the world). I had a collection of uninspiring letters, so was gazing at the screen longer than usual. Then a voice piped up behind me: "Oviparous, Mom."

Sorry, Honey, but you have to use real words in this game.

"Look, right there: Oviparous."

I appreciate your help, but oviparous isn't a real word. I have to use real words.

"Oviparous is a real word! You can use it in a sentence!"

He obviously wasn't dropping it -- and I have this horrible habit of wanting to be right. Always. -- so I did the next sensible thing: "We'll go to Google and I'll show you that I'm right."

Cue the music, because you know what happened, dontcha? Not only is oviparous a word, it's a good word; it's an adjective referring to animals that lay eggs. Birds are oviparous; so are snakes.

Score 1 for modern kindergarten, 0 for Mommy.

I should have remembered not to wrangle with the kindergartener, though. When Boy #1 was that age, I distinctly remember him hopping off the bus one day and telling me all about onomatopoeia; just as distinctly, I remember thinking how I hadn't learned that word until I was in high school. And if you're in the dark about onomatopoeia, it means words that describe sounds -- generally animal noises like hiss, oink, meow.

So "o" words and kindergarten beats Mom most every time.

My saving grace is that Boy #2 is truly fun to be with. His brother had a birthday party to attend on Mother's Day (and no, I don't know what that family was thinking when they planned it, nor what we were thinking when we agreed he could go). It took us most of the day to realize that, because of the party, there was no way The Husband and kids could make me dinner that night. It had been a really long week, which is my only excuse for why we were so dull-minded about that.

So Boy #2 pipes up that he'll take me to dinner. After some finnagling, we settled on the Mexican place within walking distance of our house; they make lovely margaritas, which makes it essential that they're within walking distance.We played an hour or so of Wii, then headed out for dinner. On the way home, my son suggested we skip down the hill. . .and we did. It was great fun -- honest.

As we entered our neighborhood, I said, "You, my dear, are a fun date!" He looked up at me, pride shining in his big blue/gray/green eyes, and said, "Mom, you are one smart cookie!"

And he's modest to boot.


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