So last night, we're all gathered around the dinner table. With daylight savings time underway, it is dark outside and cozy inside. We're all enjoying each others' company when my eight-year-old lets loose a zinger.
"I'm about to say something inappropriate," he warns.
"Maybe you shouldn't say it," his sister suggests.
"But it's really funny."
"Go ahead," I say. "We all know we shouldn't repeat inappropriate things, right?"
Everyone agrees even though I am modeling the opposite. But I"m curious. And we might need to address something, right? Of course, the other kids are dying to hear.
"It's okay, sweetie," I said. "You can say it."
He's grinning like a crazy man, excited to speak the forbidden words. "I'll give you a nickel if you tickle my pickle."
Of course, we all die laughing.
"Who said that?" I asked.
"Some boy on the playground said it to a girl. He got in big trouble."
I guess so.
So we lapse into a hilarious discussion about why it's not appropriate and so forth, the key phrases things like, "Only you should tickle your pickle and only in private" which, of course, had us all in hysterics. But he got the point.
Then we recalled my son's second grade year when he turned in the poem, "There once was a genie with a six foot weenie, and he showed it to the girl next door. She thought it was a snake, she hit it with a rake, and now it's only 2 foot 4." He had heard it somewhere (camp?), couldn't cough up the assigned poem (or didn't want to take the time...he was in the 'finish first' stage), and turned it in. His teacher called to read it to me, and I, of course, was mortified. The teacher thought it was clever and well-written, but not okay for school. OF COURSE. Not ONLY was it inappropriate, but it was also plagiarized!
These two funny stories got me thinking last night. Kids are drawn to the inappropriate, of course, because it's funny. And both of these poems were humorous and not dark or pornographic exactly. They weren't particularly sexual, especially to my son who didn't liken tickling his pickle to sex.
I like to think the kids were drawn to the rhyme. The perfect meter and rhythm, and I like to think that if they had a little more Shel Silverstein or Jack Prelutsky in their heads, they might have recited those poems instead. So maybe I'm a total Pollyanna, but somewhere deep I want to believe that my boys just love poetry! And I plan to IMMEDIATELY expand their repertoire.
And just so you know, in spite of the above incidents, my boys are normal, sweet, well-behaved boys. I just had to say that. ha ha Have a GREAT day!
My Mission Statement
I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.