Thursday, May 22, 2008

The "N" Word

We all know what the "n" word is. So one night Z came home quite serious, and asked dad, "Dad, what does the "n" word mean?" After recovering from initial shock that a 5yo would ask about the "N" word, dad proceeds. He explains the historical significance, the dictionary definition, the derogatory nature as it's used today, and why we don't say that word. I'm sure this lasted quite a while with Z sitting extremely attentively. When dad finishes Z says, "Dad. I was talking about the word 'Nerd' ". I could leave it at that, but I just have to tell you Dad explains the term and how great it is to be called it. Apparently the "normal" children in his class had been calling the "accelerated" children "Nerd" and it was upsetting him. I loved their little chant, "1st, 2nd, 3rd, elementary nerd". Z did not find it amusing. Still trying to fit in in kinder with 8.5 days of school left, oh and no pullouts for his one class where he fits in. (by the way - I've worked with children for over 10 years now and I'm still trying to figure out "normal". They've started calling them "typically developing" but I'm still not sure about that. I'm hard pressed to cal his pullout program "accelerated" since the admissions criteria are a bit ambiguous, and I'm still not sure what "accelerated" would imply.)

Another Z story I just have to share - warning language is used because it adds to the meaning. We were driving home the other day and Z says "Mom, did you know that B-U-T-T is a bad word?" (yes he spelled it) I thought - careful how you answer this. "Well son I knew it was a body part". "Mom, did you know it means the same things as ass?" (Mom's out there control your laughter - he's only 5) "Well, yes, but you know your not supposed to say that word right?" "Yes, but it does mean the same." "Where did you learn this?" "T, was telling me about it today" "OH, T was?" "Yes, he told me that B-U-T-T means the same thing as ass and it does." Ok... "Mom, did you know that B-U-T-T is a cinnamon (synonym) to ass?" "Yes, son but that's synonym. And you shouldn't say that word." That is the last time I heard "ass" come out of his mouth.

OK more - tonight I'm on HG posting and stuff when Z walks in. "Mom, A said the S word" (HA! I've learned my lesson on assuming what he means, and I just pause. "MOM!!!! A said the SH word!" I pause again. I'm sure there's more info I'm missing. "MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A said "shut-up"!"

So in summary:
N word = nerd
You can say the word "ass", but you have to spell the word "butt", and they're cinnamon's ~ synonyms
SH word = shut - up

1 comment:

  1. Richard7:46 AM

    OMG those stories are priceless. Oh to have the youth of world concerns with such things to be so unlike the world’s trouble oppressed past. I would love to live in the NEW world where the N word is only remembered as Nerd and such innocence of youth drives the world to a better universal unbiased peace. Thank you Z and Ellen for giving me hope. May the future of mankind be so disassociated with the horrors of our past.

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