If you live in the United States or on this planet, you know that today is a BIG DAY. It’s election day and since it’s been a wild ride, to put it mildly, I’m not even sure how many people will be online reading anything but election news, but if you’re taking a break from the coverage, this post is for you. But first, if you’re eligible to vote, did you?! Good.
Margaret was an early talker and has an impressive vocabulary. She doesn’t always pronounce things correctly, although she’s quickly losing these mispronunciations and I will cut anyone who tries to correct the remaining words that she adorably mispronounces:
Mimute: “Just 2 more mimutes!”
Sumking: “Can I have sumking to drink?”
Brekist: “Daddy, can I have honey cheerios for brekist?”
We have full conversations using big words, which is awesome, but it means that now more than ever, I need to watch what I say around her because she WILL repeat EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING. But sometimes she picks up a word and I have no idea where she heard it (I guess I can blame this on school now).
Sunday afternoon Henning and I were taking advantage of Margaret and Niels playing nicely together and crossed some chores off the to-do list. At one point Henning asked Margaret to bring him the small vacuum so he could clean up the mess he created while drilling a hole in our built-in media shelving. Since she loves to help us with chores when it’s convenient for her, she obliged. I went with her helped get the vacuum cleaner and to keep her on task because even though she’s agreed to help, doesn’t mean she’ll follow through. While we were pulling out the vacuum, Margaret noticed some toys on the top shelf of the closet that I had stashed away because we have too many damn toys right now. I let her have the them, knowing that they would keep her out of our hair for at least 10 more minutes. Actually these things weren’t really toys, but molds for kenetic sand, which is also stashed on the top shelf of the coat closet, and as I’m writing this, I realize I should just stash the sand in the trash.
Anyway, Margaret brought the new toys into the family room and pulled out molds of tropical fish and different types of desserts–the most bizarre combination of objects ever–and started narrating a little scene about her dolls eating fish and dessert (way to normalize the weirdness, Margaret!). She was contently playing and Niels was engrossed in whatever Henning was doing, so I turned my attention to the kitchen, which was in a special state of disarray.
You should know that our kids are really loud. Like, I’m pretty sure they’re the loudest kids I’ve ever known. The good thing is that I’m really good at tuning out background noise, even if it’s deafening. I’m not sure where I developed this skill, but I’m thankful to have it. I busied myself with cleaning up the kitchen, blissfully not hearing any of the craziness, and when I tuned back in, I heard Margaret yelling, “NERDS!” This was accompanied by fits of laughter. Now I will fully admit that I sometimes let swear words slip out in front of my kids, but there’s a hard and fast rule about no name calling in our house. We don’t say “stupid” and the like. And we don’t call people bad names. So when I heard Margaret yelling “NERDS!” I was shocked and told her that it’s not a nice word and that we don’t call people that
Now we all know that the one way to ensure your kid will do something is to tell them not to do it. Margaret was now running around the family room laughing and saying things like, “Come on, Nerds!”; “Here are all my nerds!”; “Nerds, you’re so funny!”; and “NERDS! NERDS! NERDS!” At one point she said, “I keep saying NERDS. NERDS! Isn’t it crazy that I keep saying NERDS?!” And all the while I’m trying to calm her down and talk to her about not calling people nerds: “Margaret, those aren’t kind words. Please don’t say that.” “Margaret, nerd isn’t a nice thing to call someone.” “Let’s choose a different word!” The last thing I want is to get a call from her school saying that she’s going around calling people nerds. I fully expect to get a call that she dropped an f-bomb and we’ll own up to that when it happens, but name calling is a different story. We don’t do it.
After about 30 minutes of Margaret nearly peeing herself over how funny it was to be saying nerds, I finally asked her what she thinks nerds are and why she’s saying it. And yes, I realize in hindsight that this should have been my lead-in with her. Margaret stopped and looked at me like I was crazy and pointed to the kenetic sand molds: “These are my nerds, Mommy! They’re…what did you call them?” I responded, “Molds?” Margaret continued, “Yes, they’re molds, but I call them nerds because I’m silly! Isn’t that silly?!”
Turns out she has no idea what nerds are. She doesn’t even know Nerds the candy. So, there’s my story. There’s really no point to this. It’s just a funny story about Margaret yelling NERDS. And me telling her to be nice to people and not to call names when really she was just tying out a new word. But mostly about Margaret yelling nerds. You’re welcome! Feel free to go back to election coverage now.