Carpool Conversations

I spent the bulk of my childhood in a car with my mom, riding  from our house to school and then back again. Twenty minutes each way made for plenty of time for conversation. Mom always said that she never wanted to carpool with other kids because she really enjoyed that alone time with me, and that’s where the bulk of our conversations (naturally) occurred.  The most horrifyingly memorable one (to me) was when I asked where babies came from, the response of which promptly shut me up from asking any more probing questions on the origins of life.

I see a similar pattern with Jude, although our commutes are far, far shorter than those I did with Mom. And now on the flip side as a parent, I come home and laugh my head off with Simon about the crazy things Jude tells me.

A conversation this week went like this (names have been changed to protect the possibly innocent):

“Mom, Josh didn’t know that this was a cuss word.”

There is a long pause as I await the dreaded cuss word to fling forth from his sweet little baby Jesus lips. I finally turn around to see if I need to tell him it’s okay for him to tell me the word.  And there he is, sitting in the backseat with not his middle finger, but his ring finger stuck straight up in the air, in a first grade effigy of flipping the bird, eyebrows raised like, “YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS.”


“Yup,” Jude continues chirpily. “Josh didn’t EVEN KNOW. And Jane is SO MEAN to him.”  I’m thinking, wait, how did YOU know?

In an effort to fully understand the situation, I probe: “So Jane is mean to Josh, and then he does that to her? Hmm, I’m pretty sure he knows what it means.”

“Well,” Jude says with an air of can-you-even-believe-it, “He did that to Jane and Jane had to tell him that THAT is a cuss word.”

And then he hopped out of the car and went on his merry way right on into the school building. End scene.

Lord only knows what this kid is going to pass on to his baby brother.


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