“You smell like ham!” This is not the type of assessment one wants to hear first thing in the morning. Of course, little kids have a way of telling it like it is. My friend had been barbecuing pork the night before, so his daughter was just making an early-morning observation.
Another friend of mine shared this related story: His 2-year-old son strolled into the grown-ups’ bedroom, just as his mom was getting dressed for work. After a quick glance, the little guy turned around and proclaimed to his dad, “Now that’s a BIG butt.”
Yep, kids call it like they see it. They just haven’t learned the local customs yet. Luckily, it’s not too long before they get wise to the types of comments that tend to go over like a lead balloon. Now that my daughter and her friends are older, I’ve noticed them wrestling with a new challenge in their verbal mastery. The challenge is slang.
I think older kids are drawn to slang because it’s like a secret code. Plus they get to be part of creating it. And that’s great. The difficulty is in knowing when it’s appropriate (and when it’s not). For example, one dad I know was at the grocery store with his 9-year-old son when he ran into an important business acquaintance.
“This is my son,” he stated.
“Hello,” said the business acquaintance.
“Peace,” said the 9-year-old while making a hip-hop gesture.
“Grrrrrr!” thought the dad.
I know how he felt. I have an involuntary spasm that involves rolling my eyes, cringing and sighing all at the same time whenever I hear my daughter say with maximum sassiness, “Oh no she di’int!”
“You are not urban!!” I screech at her each time she says it. I don’t know, can you fight annoying with annoying? I’ll keep you posted.