Thursday, September 29, 2005

Um, No. That Wasn't The Word I Was Looking For.

During the summer, the kids and I spent quite a bit of time at the shore. One of John's favorite things to do was to stand on the big rocks a few feet into the lake, hopping around, pretending he was a pirate on a ship, or an explorer naming new islands. He named the islands based on their physical attributes or what happened to him while he was standing or sitting on them. Hence, we have Pond Island, Splash Island, and Wet-Bottom Island.

Wet-Bottom Island became our nickname for the lake -- "Can we go to Wet-Bottom Island today?" A couple weeks later, we found another island. It was a large rock sloped sharply into the lake. It was hard to stand or sit on it, but John conquered it. As he clung to the side, a wave splashed him as he turned his face away from it.

"Mom! MOM!" he cried. "I figured out a name for this one! Wet-Back Island!"

We had a little talk about why we couldn't name it Wet-Back Island, and he agreed to call it Splashback Island. Wet-Back Island was instantly forgotten.

Or so we thought.


Months later.

Matt, his mom, and the kids went to a Mexican restaurant the other night. The restaurant has all sorts of Mayan-style paintings on the wall, and good liberal dad Matt was talking to the kids about the designs.

"Look, a jaguar!" he said to Maia. "Look at the serpent! Hey John, do you know the name of the people who made pictures like this?"

"Sure!" hollered John, who was up from the table looking at the paintings. "Wetbacks!"


  1. AIEEEEEE!!!!
    Oh, oh, poor Matt! Oh, this just makes my stomach HURT!

  2. ...and then Matt made himself invisible.



  3. If it's any comfort, those kinds of uncomfortable statements always seem louder and more articulate to the parents than to anyone else who may be in the vicinity.

  4. I hope you didn't learn that from experience...

  5. OMG!!! Hilarious and horrifying.

    I don't know what I'd been reading at age 5, but I did something similar to my mom once. I leaned over and asked, in my child's Very Audible whisper, something about Colored People.

    I wasn't a child *that* long ago. My mother was mortified. And she still doesn't know where I picked it up!