So Monday afternoon I am in the car after work on my way to the store to fill yet another perscription for yet another antibotic in an attempt to eliminate yet another sinus infection which has rendered me into a zombie like state, a state that I have been in for the better part of this young year. It is a state of being so utterly annoying as to drive one to the funny farm. I am not sick, but not myself either. It feels like some b-grade horror movie bug is attempting to suck all the energy out of me, and the only way I have to combat it is with sugar and caffeine. So as I am driving I am rummaging around the car for something to eat — empty Starbucks cup, empty Diet Coke can, used Kleenex — when Jen rings my mobile.

hello?

Je??r?i

What?

Je??r?i

At this point I am thinking that the stale raisin and cracker crumbs I found in Katie’s car seat must have caused me to halucinate.

What are you talking about.

I need you to pick up some Jet Dri at the store, the glasses in the dishwasher are all spotty.

At this point I realize it wasn’t the raisins — hmm are there any more? — just a total lack of context. Honestly, how was I supposed to have any idea that we needed Jet Dri?

After dinner we went to Total Crap to pick up some beads so Katie can make a necklace “just like mommies” only lighter on the wallet. While Jen is paying, Katie and I escape the overwhelming stench of male repellant and head to the car. As we walk across the sidewalk a trio of Hispanis Juvineiles ride past on bicycles.

Are those men stea?ing bicycles?

At this point my mind is racing. Did my daughter just ask very loudly if theses young Hispanic men are stealing bicycles? Has the seed of racism already been planted in her? Am I raising her to judge and hate? What have I done?

What did you say?

Are those men STEERING bicycles?

I have always said that kids are the best experiment I have ever undertaken and when it comes to language development there is a lot to learn from this experiment. It is amazing how the human brain distinguishes sounds and words in context. The thing is when you’re 3 you don’t understand context so you ask questions and use words in ways we never would as adults. Honestly, I have no idea how the word “steering” made it into her vocabulary, but she does like to use her new words. I just need to remind myself to listen carefully and expect the unexpected.

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