Thursday, January 13, 2011

Learning new words....

At least we know they're really learning at school:

The four of us were gathered around the table, eating dinner. (It was soup night Chez Dickinson, in case you wondering). "Dinner Conversation" takes on a new meaning with kids. When they're babies, you can say whatever you want and not worry about the uncomprehending faces staring at you; they're more interested in making messes at that stage. But when they get older you develop a code of sorts to skirt around the things that those little pitchers just shouldn't hear. You might spell words, or talk out of the side of your mouth, or perhaps lean in for a whisper. Whatever works for you to get the point across.

Dan was retelling his annoyance at the spell check on his Blackberry. He'd been trying to send out an email to a recipient who was burdened with an exceptionally long name which, somehow, condensed down to the nickname of "Pern".

Dan composed his email and, being that it was a professional email to a fellow businessman, wanted it to be professional. So he spell checked it. That spell check did not like the name "Pern" and it kept insisting that he change it.

Dan looked at me and said, "You can imagine what they wanted me to change it to." "Oh, yeah...sure. Pervert? Perineum?" All annoying titles to a man, I would think. Dan looked at me incredulously. "No. Seriously. You KNOW." There was a push here, I know, but I couldn't get it. "No, Dan. Sorry. I guess not. What was it suggesting you to change it to?" "Manda," he stared at me, "what other words are like p-e-r-n?" My mind simply wasn't working. I drew a blank. "Nope. Sorry. Could you just tell me?"

"P-O-R-N, Amanda. That's what it wanted me to type."

I shrugged. Okay. Porn. Ha-ha. We went on eating dinner.


"PORN!!" Caedance had been working on that spelled out word very carefully. And she finally got it. And she liked it. A lot. "PORN PORN PORN PORN!!" (Apparently Porn is a funny word to say at the dinner table in front of your parents and twin). She began laughing hysterically and Ashlyn joined in. Both of them were laughing and yelling out their newly learned word with enthusiasm.

Oh dear.

How to get them to stop this without drawing attention to the fact that it's not really okay to go around shouting out Porn? As soon as they know it's a "bad word" it will be on their go-to list, of course. Think. Think. Think.

Problem was, it was funny to us too, I'm ashamed to say. Quite. Dan and I had our heads buried in our arms, trying to control the laughter as we admonished our children that Porn was a grown up word for grown ups to use only. Needless to say, our laughter did not help, so it took some time to get everyone back on track.

But we did.

The conversation was left with Ashlyn saying this, "Okay mommy. Porn is a grown up word only for grown ups to say. When we're grown up, we can use porn too." (gulp).

Oh dear.

We'll be revisiting this subject again at a later date.

(And, just so you know, when I spell checked this very blog, "Pern" was not ignored. The suggested changes were: Peen, Pren, Pen Peron, and Perm. No porn here. So Dan's blackberry just has a dirty mind, I guess. 

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