One of the most entertaining parts of the parenting thing is the rapidity with which a child’s vocabulary grows; They really are little sponges, constantly soaking up everything around them, both good and bad. It is fun to watch, and a little scary, as they mirror the very things that you say and do, day in and day out, very closely. Things that adults say sound benign, but out of the mouths of babes . . . yikes.
I have written about the divided household we are running here; I am a Georgia fan, Todd is an Auburn fan, and the kids are confused. Add to the confusion trying to explain that we still love Grandma, even though she is a Vols fan, and that Uncle Mark is a Gator fan, and we hate Gators, but that he is still a good person. SEC families are a tricky road to navigate with children.
Rollie and I were having a discussion the other day about how we can like both Dawgs and Tigers, but that Dawgs are a little bit better. My mother overheard this and told Rollie that Vols were better than both. I thought that I had deprogrammed the child after this conversation, but evidently I was wrong. On the way home from dinner the next night, Rollie said out of nowhere:
“Mama, I like Gators.”
“No, you don’t.”
“But I like Vols. . .”
“No, Rollie, you don’t like Vols. They are yucky.”
A pregnant pause from the backseat. I looked in the rear view mirror to see Rollie frowning and deep in thought. I was still looking at his reflection in the mirror when he lifted his face to look right at the back of my head and yelled “Vols, Damn it!”
Where to start? What is more offensive? The fact that he learned his first four-letter word, or the fact that he thinks he likes Tennessee?
“Rollie, where did you learn that word?”
“No, Rollie, the other word. Where did you learn that one?”
“Papaw Cecil said it when he was at the door.”
I think it would be best for the child if he just didn’t see Grandma and Papaw anymore.