Monday, May 24, 2010

What's A Grown-Up?

This morning, I am helping Scarlett get dressed. While she puts her pants on, she tells me, "Mommy, Daddy said his words."

"Mommy and Daddy words" are what we call swear words. The ones that Daddy says every time he is playing the Xbox, and the ones that Mommy says whenever she drops something. Which is quite often. On both counts.

I decided some time ago that when it came time for Scarlett to try to repeat these words, I would not call them "bad words."

My logic? Calling them "bad words" might make them more appealing. And, if they are "bad" then you have your toddler telling you that you said a bad word. Toddlers understand what "bad" is. Do you need your toddler getting on to you every time you drop an F-bomb? I don't. Especially not as many times as I happen to drop them.

So I said, "It's okay if Daddy said his words. Daddy is allowed to say them because he's a grown-up."

Scarlett's little eyebrow shot up. "What's a grown-up?"

Me: "Mommy and Daddy are grown-ups." And y'all? I said that with a straight face.

Scarlett: "But what is a grown-up?" Darn. She's onto us.

Me: "Grown-ups are big and strong and they do stuff like go to work and drive cars and pay bills."

Scarlett: "Can I pay bills, Mommy?"

Me: "When you're a grown-up, you can." But you'll wish you didn't have to, I don't add.

She trots off to dance to something on Lazytown. I hate Lazytown. But I digress.

Y'all? I don't feel like a grown-up. I still feel like I'm 12 years old. When you're a kid, you think grown-ups have all the answers. You think you'll hit that magic age where you will suddenly have it all together and always know the best thing to do. And then you grow up and you realize it's never going to happen. Nobody knows anything. They are just making it up as they go along.

I really hope I'm making up the right things.


  1. You do indeed keep making it up as you go along. My daughters are 8 and 11, and every day I am confronted by new questions and new challenges that never occurred to me.

    It's fun, but exhausting.

    And I don't think you ever feel like a grown-up.

    But it is pretty cool to get to eat extra desserts if you feel like it without asking for permission.

    That part rocks.

  2. Good to know I'm not the only one who feels that way! And if a wise mother like you doesn't feel like a grown-up, then I've certainly got no chance! :)