I’ve discovered that my son’s vocabulary grows out of teachable moments. And no, none of those teachable moments involved the vocabulary words: “volunteering”, “philanthropy”, or “selflessness”.
“It is your responsibility to bring your backpack and lunchbox in from the car.”
“Ugh, but they’re heavy. And besides, I don’t want to.”
“I understand. I don’t want to bring things in from the car either. But do you see? It is my responsibility to carry my lunch box, my work bag, any garbage, the mail, and your winterclothes. So you need to take responsibility for your own objects!”
“What the heck is responsibility?”
The boy does a wild, whooping, victory dance after winning a game of Uno.
When he loses a game, he is in the depths of despair. "This isn't FAIR!"
"It's perfectly fair, but because I'm gracious, I'm not doing a crazy dance. How would you feel if I did a crazy dance."
"Terrible, don't even say that!"
"Then you need to learn to be gracious both when you win and when you lose."
"What the heck is gracious?"
After hearing my explanation - "I'll NEVER be gracious!"
"Mama this little boy at school cries all the time."
"Oh does he miss his family?"
"No, he just can't follow ANY of the rules and he's always in trouble!"
"Poor little guy. My heart has compassion for him."
(Several days later...) "Mama that little boy was in trouble and crying again at school. I got up close to him and yelled, 'My heart has compassion for you!!!!' Why didn't that make him feel better??"
After having a "sleep-in morning," I come downstairs to a fresh pot of coffee and the smiling faces of my husband and son.
"Mama guess what! I learned a new word: Reluctant. I'm reluctant to go to school and I'm reluctant to come home. I'm reluctant to go up for bath time, and I'm reluctant to stop having bath time. I'm reluctant to put my clothes on, and reluctant to take them off."
I notice his mismatched socks, jeans, and pajama shirt. "Good morning, huh?" My husband rolls his eyes.
Too many examples...I can't even begin. But then we get, "Mama, I just want to play, why are you being belligerent?"
"THIS is NOT BELLIGERENCE! This is MONDAY! We need to go to SCHOOL!"
I'm anticipating that his next vocab word will be "Aleve."