Finally, somebody yelled "make a silly face" to which most of the kids obliged. But not Natalie. It's never 100%.
Later that night Natalie sat on the arm of my chair as I popped the memory card into the computer so I could show her the pictures I took.
As she looked at the group shot, unprompted she offered the following explanation: "I didn't make a funny face because I didn't want to be an ass."
In the spit second it took both of us to digest what word she had used (a semi-bad word completely inappropriate for a child, but acceptable for adults as a not-real curse word when used without the word "hole"), we realized the following:
Natalie realized that she just said a bad word and may have gotten away with it.
I realized that my child just said a bad word...but wait! She understands what an "ass" is and this is good because in the long run I don't want her to make one of herself, especially in photos, right? Praise the Lord! My daughter knows the definition of "ass"! As well she should living in the same house as her father.
And to sum it up:
A few years ago when Facebook was all the rage, we knew several young women having what we'll call "a lot of fun." Let's just say they were well-hydrated and armed with a camera.
Every day my prudish 30-something-mother-of-3 self would get on FB and find photos of the previous night's galavanting in my newsfeed. One in particular liked to stick her tongue out. A lot... in more than half of her pictures except for the ones where she was making the duck face. Don't know what Duck Face is? Click here. She might have had her tongue out in the one where she was peeing in a sink and in the several when she looked like she was about to kiss her girlfriends.
And to be honest, I really worried what other people thought about her because I like her so much.
As an old person, I just couldn't figure this out. I painstakingly judged my own photos to make sure I didn't look like a moron before I posted them. I totally care what people think of me. Why was this concept hard the young'uns? Then it occurred to me that most likely nobody ever said anything to them. Perhaps: "Maybe you should see a doctor about that tongue problem." Or "Do you eat a lot of spicy foods or something?" "DO YOU REALIZE YOU LOOK LIKE AN ASS?"
I completely feared that some day my own child would do the same.
So that, my friends, is why I allowed Natalie to get away with saying "ass." Isn't that the most amazing end to a blog post ever. Nothing flashy.