Saturday, October 5, 2013


We met for dinner at a restaurant. The boys and I arrived in one car, and my husband, coming from work, showed up a few minutes later in his own car. The boys had spent the ten-minute ride sniping at each other. I was not optimistic about our chances of having a peaceful Friday evening meal. But the food energized, as it will, and the dinner ended up pleasant enough. Plus, no clean-up, which always puts a smile on my face.

Outside of the restaurant we faced the first-world which-child which-car conundrum, and the boys wisely chose to separate. My husband ended up taking Eleven, and Fifteen/Sixteen (Sixteen in a week!) came with me. We two spent the ride home discussing the differences among 'neat,' 'tidy,' and 'clean,' and their opposites 'messy,' 'untidy,' and 'dirty.' One of us used the word 'dichotomy'; the other voiced strong approval of the word choice.

In the other car, unbeknownst to us, a lively discussion was underway about word connotations: Does every word have a kinder word that might be substituted? Example: instead of calling him 'skinny,' we can call him... 'trim.' Instead of calling her 'plump,' how about 'buxom,' 'svelte,' or 'curvy'?

Eleven bounded into the house on Fifteen/Sixteen's and my tails, and burbled, "Mom, what's a nicer way to refer to someone who's always angry?"

"Feisty?," I ventured. "Yes!," shouted Eleven, and pumped his arms in victory.

"Whoa," my husband marveled, as he shut the garage door. "It's as if you were in our car instead of your own!"

I love my (nerdy) family. I really do.


Magpie said...

Oh, I.m feisty!!

alejna said...

I love this. Our home is also full of nerdiness. Tonight at dinner, Phoebe said something (I wish I could remember what), which Theo immediately followed with "added Phoebe," as if he were writing dialog. Much giggling and additional virtual dialog-writing ensued.

San Diego Momma/Two Funny Brains said...

I had the same tidy versus clean discussion with my daughter last week. I argued that "tidy" was different than "clean." What was the final decision of your analysis?
(Also, I certainly miss reading here; I must come back.)

Sarah said...

Tidy and clean DEFINITELY different, Deb.

InTheFastLane said...

My husband never quite understands this because he is a "math" person (an actual math teacher, in fact), more than a word person. But, my kids have always found it really fun to use the most interesting and unusual words to describe things. It is fun!