I’m all for communal parenting.
To an extent.
If I decide to go the lazy route for lunch one day and grab McDonald’s Happy Meals, I wouldn’t want a stranger to pull me aside and lecture me on the nutritional value of my misguided food choice. However, if I don’t catch my kid throw one of the aforementioned deep-fried chunks of ammonium hydroxide at your kid, then sure, you have every right to step up and say something. I would probably be mortified and overly apologetic, but I wouldn’t be pissed at your decision to speak up. I would do the same thing. This didn’t happen by the way.
Same goes for if you happen to spot my kid in a rainforest trying to apprehend an extremely venomous snake. Nothing about that is safe. I would expect you to intervene and say something like, “Hey, that’s probably not a good idea. You’re five. Where are your parents?”
This also did not happen.
There is one thing however that annoys the hell out of me. It’s a simple rule and we’ll get along just fine if you follow it. Please don’t ever correct my kid’s grammar. And definitely don’t let me catching you coaching him on his pronunciation. Unless of course you’re his teacher!
Believe me, the wifey and I are big grammar geeks. I went to a catholic elementary school where they treat grammar like brain surgery, and my wife…well…she’s just a brainiac. If one of us butchers a sentence, the other one will be sure to shine a spotlight on it. She’ll usually say something sarcastic like “Good one, honey.” and then I’ll shout “STOP! Grammar Time!” and launch into an impromptu MC Hammer dance. I’ve learned through the course of my life that this move gets me out of most linguistic missteps.
But when it comes to Ben, it’s different. He’s in kindergarten. There are still words and grammatical rules he doesn’t quite grasp yet and we would like to hold onto those gems as long as humanly possible. In other words, they’re fucking adorable and we’re not in a rush to right his wrongs. There’s no need for him to be a Pulitzer Prize winner before his 6th birthday.
Here are a few examples:
WINNED: Verb tense is going to take awhile and we’re perfectly fine with that. When Ben kicks my ass in Go Fish, he usually exclaims, “I winned again!” It’s 100% incorrect and I love it! Instead of highlighting his mistake and ruining the moment, I’ll just make it a point to say “I won that one!” the moment I throw down my last card and achieve victory. That hasn’t happened yet…but I’m still confident that Ben will eventually catch onto the technique.
He also adds an extra syllable whenever he tacks an inappropriate -ed on the end of the infinitive and that makes it even “more awesomer.” Yes, he also murders all his superlatives and it’s no crime.
CLAUSE: Independent clauses you ask? Nope. If Ben is watching a television show and suddenly needs to go to the bathroom, he’ll yell, “PLEASE CLAUSE IT!” as he sprints to do his business. No rush to fix this one either.
PEHPEPPER: Ben’s cousin’s name is Christopher (his favorite person on the planet) and this is how he pronounced his name for years. Then, one day, out of the blue, he just started saying Christopher with the precise articulation of a top-dollar orator. We were devastated.
THE LIZARD OF OZ: This is Ben’s favorite classic movie. For those who aren’t familiar with the film, there are no reptiles in it.
COMPLICATOR: This is one of those little machines with all the buttons that does math for you. My wife is an accountant, so if this one doesn’t change soon, she’ll probably have a nervous breakdown. Odds are, she’ll teach him to call it a 10-key. #coderednerdalert
ATTABATORS: Caterpillar construction vehicles.
LIGOZINE: A big car one rents for special events.
NAUSICATED: An upset tummy.
BLACK WILLOW SPIDER: Self-explanatory.
English is a bitch and there’s no need to overload Ben’s hard drive too soon. He’s in school. And the last time I checked, they still had 13 grade levels before college. His wonderful verbal blunders are the last traces we have of his little boyhood and they warm our hearts every time we hear them. If you don’t mind, we’re going to let them ride for awhile. So stay out of it.