Last night, my kindergartner referred to the voiceover on some show she was watching as “gregarious.” I knew she’d been hanging out with my Mom. That is a Mom word. That was one of our “refrigerator words” back when I was her age.
So, I immediately thought that we should revamp that Word of the Day tradition of my Mom’s with my kids. Fun, right!? And clearly, three-and-a-half decades later, I still remember what gregarious means and even recall several others she posted during that time.
I didn’t have a plan yet. Just the idea. Even the simplest things have to percolate sometimes.
And then, this morning, that same kindergartner was spinning off some serious Covid-inspired funk and frustration. (She is fortunate Covid can be blamed for a period.) She clearly needed attention. She clearly wanted her parents not to be working. She clearly knows how to get under my skin. She’s a master.
So, on the spot, I came up with our first family Word of the Day: Turd.
I explained the meaning of the word, explained my association to her behavior, and used it in a sentence so that she could clearly understand. And, to her credit, she was fighting back a smile at my performance even as she was whining and forcing herself to cry - ultimately working herself up to a real foot-stomping, door-slamming turd-a-palooza.
It didn’t last long.
She was back in maybe 5 minutes and the rest of the day got better from there.
By the evening, we were laughing and dancing and singing Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats (our go-to) and being silly - basically being our best selves together. I do treasure these times.
In the midst of this goofiness and goodness, she walked back over to where I had posted our first Word of the Day and replaced it with her own post-it note - wadding mine up and throwing it in the trash.
Hers simply stated: No Word of the Day!!
Atta girl. Good day.