The Word I Didn’t Want Him To Say, and Why He Said It

I got Cooter a book on engineers.  It’s a massive book, more detailed and much thicker than I thought it would be.  If his interest in engineering continues, it will grow with him.

http://www.amazon.com/Engineers-DK-Publishing/dp/1465435972/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1442285805&sr=8-1&keywords=DK+engineers

Which makes me very happy–I love getting my money’s worth.  So far, with him, we’ve only really gotten our money’s worth on the Star Wars and Harry Potter Lego character books.  He looks and reads through those almost daily.

We were having a lovely afternoon, sitting on the back porch with the windows open, soaking in the calmness of a day that teased us with the promise of fall’s impending arrival.  The sun, the clouds, the bluest sky, the trees still full of their green leaves.  The crew had spent much of the day reading.  Our Princess had picked up our recently acquired copy of Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White–one of my favorites from early on.  She was delighted and amazed at the turn of events in the first few chapters.  Her recounting of it had Cooter laughing, and I’m pretty sure I might find myself in a quandary when he finds a way to sneak her copy and read it.  Because really, those are two things that boy lives for–making his sister crazy with his sneaky ways…..and reading.

As we were enjoying the quiet of the afternoon and the unscheduled afternoon hours we had, Cooter piped up with a question, “Mama, what do you think is the dumbest invention ever made?”  I frowned. He knows I do NOT like that word.  At all.  I started to correct him, and he looked at me in all sincerity, “Mama, I don’t think there is another word that means the same thing as dumb, is there? Really?”

And in that moment, my brain froze and I couldn’t come up with a single one.  Not really.

He took my silence as permission to continue.  “So Mama, which one?”

I shook my head, maybe in the hopes of clearing the fog.  “I don’t know.  I heard the other day about a thing that you press on a banana and it cuts it into banana slices.  That’s pretty silly.  I mean, who can’t take a knife and cut a banana into slices pretty quickly?”

He stared at me.

“Really?  Ummm, what about children?” He looked at me with a stern and indignant expression.   “That way they don’t cut themselves?”

Oh yeah.  Right.  “Okay, well, I don’t know then.”

“Well, I do.  There was a guy a long time ago who put some rockets underneath a chair and then he sat down and told them to light the rockets and he tried to make the first…..rocket…..ship!”  By the last few words, he could hardly get them out, he was laughing so hard.  “I mean,” he breathed heavily, “who would do that?  Put themselves on a chair like that? With rockets? See, Mama, that’s just dumb.”

I still don’t like the word, y’all.  But yeah, I get his point.  For now, we’re compromising as long as he only calls actions and not people THAT.

He later read to me in great detail about this thing that happened in 1500 A.D.  This guy in China did the first recorded experiment in “manned rocketry.”  He was a Chinese government official, who attached 47 rockets to this chair.  Cooter delighted in informing that after all were lit and he took off, he nor the chair were ever seen again.  Cooter found this quite hilarious.

Anybody wanna bet the guy’s last words were, “Hey, y’all, watch this!”?

Ahem.

Some days I really, really love homeschooling.  I enjoy wacky conversations like these that are nowhere in the plans that lead us to even greater talks, like how words can hurt people, and we need to choose them wisely.  Be smart.  Like what that guy five hundred years should have been.  But no.  (Trust Cooter to find the wackiest story in a 360 page book almost as soon as he got it.)

I’m thankful for the quiet and for the laughter that fills it.  Both are good.  As are the interesting stories I hear from the things they’ve read.  Today had all of the best things–from E. B. White to engineers. From swans who can’t honk to rocketeers.

All the really good stuff.

And for a Monday, that will do just fine.

Love to all.

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