Saturday, April 19, 2008

Plucky Girl

Erika thinks Hebrew school is "pluck."

Keri, Matty and I were hanging out in the kitchen last Sunday when Erika returned from said Hebrew school with this announcement.

We paused, considering. I know Erika hates Hebrew school, and who can blame her? She's in regular school all week, and then for three hours every Sunday morning she has more school, while her family often does something fun without her, like go to the zoo.

"What do you mean by that?" I asked. "Do you know what 'pluck' means?"

Erika explained: "I say 'pluck' because it rhymes with a word I'm not supposed to say that means 'bad.'"

I swear, three jaws hit the floor as Keri, Matty and I all realized there was only one word she could possibly mean. How had my seven-year-old learned such foul language?

As calmly as I could, I asked, "And what word is that?"

"Yuck!" she stated, thrilled at her own transgression.

There's this general consensus that kids today are growing up so fast, but I have to say, I love how innocent Erika still is in so many ways. She's seen High School Musical once, but she never talks about it, sings the songs, or asks to watch it again, and she's never even seen Hannah Montana. And although she complains that Dora and Teletubbies are for babies, she is just as entertained as her younger siblings and cousins by kids' shows like Sesame Street, Clifford, Dragon Tales and Zooboomafu (however you spell it).

Although I've considered showing Erika episodes of Hannah Montana so she won't be culturally behind her classmates, I decided that I'd already used that logic before and regretted it - specifically, when Erika was a toddler and didn't care for hot dogs or chicken nuggets. I encouraged her to try these things all the time - for stupid reasons, really, like so I wouldn't have to pay more to order a grilled chicken sandwich at MacDonald's instead of a Happy Meal, and so she would always have something to eat at birthday parties and playdates. Naturally, now she loves hot dogs and chicken nuggets, and I realize how much healthier she ate before I intervened.

I'm sure if Erika feels that she's out of the loop, she'll ask for Hannah Montana. In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy the sweet girl who doesn't give me attitude (yet); who loves to snuggle with me (still) and who thinks the worst thing you can say about something is that it's "yuck."

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