Greta, Finn and I are at the vet's office waiting for our appointment, and we're bored and chatting.
Greta: (holds up her hand with her fist closed and just her pinky finger sticking up): "Mom, did you know that in China this gesture is a swear?"
Me: "No, actually, I didn't."
After a moment or so, she holds up her fist with just her middle finger sticking up - she's grinning: "Did you know in America this is a swear?"
Me: "Now that one I know."
Greta: "What does it mean?"
Think, Mom, think.... "It is like any other swear word - it is just rude to do it to someone."
Greta: "So its like calling someone the 'S word'?"
I take a brief moment to wonder how the heck she knows the 'S word' is called the 'S word', and whether she may actually know the word "shithead". At a loss, I pull out the old answer-a-question-with-a-question trick: "The 'S word'?"
Greta: "You know," she drops her voice to a whisper, "Stupid."
It is early morning, on vacation with my in-laws. The four cousins are around the computer, giggling. The oldest is 7, the youngest 4. I'm reading in bed in the next room, only half paying attention. Last I saw they were playing Webkinz.
Someone says, "Okay, Greta, you type. Did you do the 'www' part yet?"
More giggling, and mumbling to each other. I'm lost in my book for a minute or two. Then I hear:
"Did you spell it right? No, wait - it has two letter Ts. Right -- that's it! B-U-T-T."
Now I'm sitting up in bed... just in time to hear an explosion of laughter.
"LOOK AT THAT!" says one.
"Why is it all girl's butts?" says another.
I race around the corner - they are on butts.com ... the only anatomical part they can collectively spell, apparently.
I'm making jewelry, and Greta and Finn have been watching a show in the next room for the past half an hour. Greta comes in with a big grin on her face.
"Notice anything different about me?" she says.
I look her over, and it takes me a minute to see the bright purple bruise on her upper arm. "What happened?" I gape, alarmed.
"I was sucking on my arm, and it made this pretty purple mark - do you like it?"
Oh dear God my daughter gave herself a hickey... "Um, didn't that hurt?" I stumble.
"Not at all!" she says proudly, lifting up her tee shirt sleeve on the other arm. "Look! I made a matching set!"
It is morning, and I'm trying to get Greta to change out of the dress she wore yesterday, and insisted on wearing to bed, too.
Me: "You have to put something clean on, honey, you slept in that dress."
Greta: "I can't, it is against my religion."
Me, skeptically: "Your what?"
Greta: "My religion. I am going to wear this dress for four days. I have to."
Me: "Last time I checked, our religion didn't say what we can and can't wear - please change your clothes."
Greta: "I'm a hippy now, Mom. We change our clothes every four days. And I'm not brushing my hair anymore either, Dude."