Christina M. Currie: Lessons learned in Oklahoma
I wasn’t in Oklahoma a whole day before I was forced to decapitate a copperhead snake with a screwdriver.
I did feel as if the 14 pairs of shoes my Oklahoma sister bought me and my daughters went a long way toward paying for that service, though.
I was — city girl that I am — a little concerned that my daughters and I had been swimming with him for about three hours before his discovery and the ensuing slaughter. So, on the second day of our vacation — after the girls woke me at 7:30 a.m. with their swimsuits in hand — I carefully scanned the pool before entering. I peeked into the filters (where the slimy reptile was found), but I never mustered the courage to lift the lids and give them a good inspection. I didn’t take the walk into the woods I’d planned either. Between the snake and watching Aunt Cathy casually picking the bloated ticks off the dog as we chatted over our evening cup of coffee, I decided a week’s vacation was much better spent in the cool interiors of places such as Old Navy and Kohl’s.
The girls, on the other hand, weren’t as keen on shopping. Not only is the store too cold (and outside of it is too hot, I swear, I’m raising Goldilocks), they just don’t get the point.
The sad part is that it was mostly for them. Aunt Cathy really got into back-to-school shopping, and I was lucky to get both the girls and their new school things home. It looked for a while as if I’d have to make a choice.
The problem with shopping with small children is, unless you’re in the toy aisle, they’re bored. And when children are bored …
I was a little irritated when the item I wanted was on the top shelf and let slip (subconsciously of course) a word that is inappropriate for children to repeat.
Yet repeat they did.
Nikki said, “sh*~.”
Katie said, “Nikki, don’t say sh*~.”
Nikki said, “Momma said sh*~.”
Katie said, “Momma, did you say sh*~?”
Nikki said, “She said sh*~.”
And I’m watching this dialogue like there was a car crash in the middle of a tennis match. I finally mustered the wherewithal to whisper frantically — “don’t say sh*~.”
Which launched a barrage of “why can’t we say sh*~, mom?”
Children think they can say a cuss word as long as it’s phrased as a question.
The very next time we were in the same store, Katie said, “We’re not supposed to say sh*~, huh Mom?” And before I could even answer, “you have to be big to say sh*~, huh?”
On the drive back from Oklahoma, the girls waited until I was on the cell phone to begin practicing again. They expanded their repertoire to include “bowsh*~.”
I actually had to make Nikki say it again to make sure I was hearing it right. I made her say it a third time as I held the phone to her mouth so Aunt Cathy could hear what she learned in Oklahoma.
We talked about it. Now the girls are under the impression they have at least as tall as I am before they can reintroduce those types of words into their lexicon. I did give the green light on dagnabbit, though.
In summary, we returned from Oklahoma with a healthy respect for the outdoors, a broader vocabulary (we’re also working on eliminating “ain’t”) and more shoes than the girls’ new 15-slot rack can hold.
I really appreciate the shoes.
Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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