Friday, October 10, 2008

A "teaching moment"

The phrase "Bad Driver" is heard frequently from the middle seat of my van. I've taken to saying that when someone annoys me on the road, because I don't mind my kids saying it in front of the minister as much as I would other things they could hear in the car. But tonight, Big Girl and Two learned another new concept: the squirrelly driver. I was behind really poky junker which kept slowing down and speeding up. The kids and I were so close to home - in our neighborhood, even - but it was taking forever. So finally I yelled at the guy, who couldn't hear me, "Don't drive like a squirrel!" And Big Girl did hear me, so I had to explain the concept. Without pointing out that it sometimes involved squirrels being indecisive and meeting their doom beneath the wheels of cars. I don't think she would take that well, tender little soul that she is. I'm sure that squirrels will now make regular appearances on our drives.

Naturally, Big Girl was the first to embrace the "bad driver" label, and she applies it liberally. Her brother started using the term because he admires just about everything his sister does and says. So now when she mentions a bad driver, I usually hear a little echo. This echo also can be heard after I take a phone call; like her grandfather, Big Girl is curious - a snoop, even, at times - so when I get off the phone, she immediately asks, "What was that person's name?" and then launches into additional questions to find out the caller's name, the topic of conversation, and even, occasionally, their opinions on alligators.

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