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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Truth Hurts

I love it when little kids coin phrases that become family tradition. Take my sister Laura's son Kenyan, for instance. (He's going to love that I'm posting this story about him, by the way - now that he's thirteen and immune to all embarrassment). When he was being potty trained, he was having a hard time with the whole BM thing. Just couldn't really let it go on the potty, if you know what I mean. Finally, in his moment of triumph he excitedly yelled, "Hey, I dropped some!" A family phrase/code word was born. In our family we don't say a child has to "go", we say he has to "drop some."

My favorite of all time, however, is a phrase that originates with Liam. Liam has always been aware of other people's feelings. Even when he was really little, he never wanted to make anyone feel bad, or be mean in any way.

Yet, being a small child, the truth must be said.

One day when he was about four, Liam and my mother were outside together. I don't remember exactly what it was they were doing, but while they were doing whatever it was, my mom exhibited poor judgement on some level. A level low enough that my four year old son noticed.

Standing next to her, he critically examined the situation from his four year old perspective. Reaching his conclusion, he looked up at her with an apologetic expression on his little face, and gently said, "Grandma? I think maybe you're just a little bit not so smart."

It was clear that it pained him to be so brutally honest, but at four what other choice do you have?

Since this occurrence, my mother eventually recovered her self respect in the eyes of my child, and we have continued to use the phrase, "just a little bit not-so-smart" to lovingly point out judgement lapses, and various other, well, not-so-smart things committed by those we love.

5 comments:

Natalie said...

See? This is why I love kids. Too cute!

by AnnieValentine said...

I think we just have a not-so-smart recessive gene somewhere. Don't tell Dad, he'll say it's from the "other" side.

Stephanie said...

Those are the words I've been searching for!

Kimberly said...

What a nice way to put it! Around here we use the word "silly" in a loving way. When one of our daughters is riling the other one up, we teach the aggrieved party to say with a gentle smile, "That is sooooo silly!" It calms down a lot of otherwise tense situations.

Laura said...

Well, I'll not tell Kenyan that you blogged about his potty training moments. And we love the phrase "A little bit not so smart", being that it usually applies to me!