Sunday, June 19, 2005

A Matter of Emphasis

As we drive, I notice a billboard advertising a video store in an upcoming village, with, among other attractions, a "Huge Adult Department". Emma, who is eleven, must have been idly reading it as well, for her voice comes over my shoulder. "What's that mean, mummy, 'huge adult department'?" "It means they have lots of pornography." "Oh, yuck! I thought it was clothes." "Clothes for adults, you mean?" "Yes. Really big adults."

10 Comments:

Blogger ASouthernGirl said...

hi Mary,
I love it when Kids say things that really do make sense. We adults can learn so much from them.Take care...

6/19/2005 10:11:00 PM  
Blogger August95 said...

LOL, that is very cute. I love the way kids minds work.

6/20/2005 01:15:00 AM  
Blogger Mary P. said...

It is cute, isn't it? And it made perfect sense, if you put the emphasis on the first, instead of the second, word. I especially liked it because, by eleven, you're not getting nearly so much "cute stuff" out of them! They're too savvy!

6/20/2005 07:31:00 AM  
Blogger Kevin B said...

Hmmm, I wonder how I would have answered that question? Probably would have said "that's where the really big adults go to shop for videos." Your answer was much more straightforward, but I don't know if my 11-yr old son knows what the word pornography means, although I'm sure he would know it when he saw it. Interesting contrast between U.S. and Canada, haven't ever heard anyone here refer to a small town as a village...a village here, according to Hillary, is what you call all the people who combine together to take care of our children.

6/20/2005 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger snaars said...

I wonder if I would have chickened out and let my kid think it was a store for huge adults. Then again, my oldest is only five.

Oh, that's it! I could tell her they're videos of adults kissing. She thinks that's yucky. In fact, the other night we skipped the next-to-the-last page of one of her fairy tales, because she didn't like the part where the prince and princess kiss.

6/20/2005 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger Mary P. said...

Kevin: I wasn't sure she'd know what it is, either, come to that, but she didn't question it, which either means she understands, or she wasn't interested. Probably the former, given the "oh, yuck" response.

Snaars: kissing is yucky, huh? (Does she object when you and the missus indulge?) Actually, my eleven year old has rather the same response, but it's also tinged with the tiniest bit of embarrassed interest. It's a fun stage!

6/20/2005 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin B said...

That reminds me of my 11 and 10-year old kids' reactions when a romantic scene comes on TV...they start frantically yelling, "Timeout!", "Timeout!",
"Timeout!"....and cover up their heads...and that's perfectly fine with me for now.

6/20/2005 02:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Mary's daughter said...

I love this kind of honest questioning. There are some kids at Emma's age who try to ask their parents (and other people) these questions to embarass them by having to explain it - even though the kid already knows the answer.
My roommate was recently asked the definition of a certain sexual act by her 11 year old brother, and as she floundered for an honest but not too graphic response, he burst out laughing at her and confessed that he already knew what it was. She was just about set to smack him...

6/21/2005 01:23:00 AM  
Blogger Mary P. said...

daughter: I probably don't get asked fake questions because you guys know that essentially nothing embarrasses me. You'll just get a straight answer, crafted to your age. Of the two of us, the questioner is the one most likely to be embarrassed...

I figure this is good for you: you get good information, and you've never been been embarrassed in front of your peers because you didn't know something they all did.

6/21/2005 07:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Mary's daughter said...

Nope, I've never not known something my peers did, but I've also been made the Go-To Girl. Meaning that whenever one of my peers doesn't know something, they get sent to me for an explanation. This happened particularly in high school; I used to get cornered on the way to one of my classes and end up giving a mini health lesson in the hallway. Sometimes I'd almost wish I didn't know what it was...

6/21/2005 04:30:00 PM  

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