“Mom? Where’s my smack?” My five-year-old son demands the answer. There’s less question and more accusation in his voice.
“Your smack?” I clarify. It’s always important to ask clarifying questions. Clarifying questions save us a lot of time around here.
“Yes, Mom,” says Cai, using his most “Duh, Mom” voice. “My smack. SUH-mack.” He pronounces that last very slowly, making sure I get every syllable to avoid misunderstanding.
“Well, Cai,” I reply, “I didn’t know you did smack, but I’m very glad you told me. Has this been going on long?”
“Yes, Mom. I do smack every day.”
OK, then. That’s super helpful information. This is why we talk to our kids, right? So we know what’s going on. So we can step in. So we can get them help.
“What does your smack look like, Cai?”
“Um, Mah-ahm.” (Mah-ahm is for those times when a one-syllable “Mom” just won’t do – usually used during times of prolonged exasperation.) “Mah-ahm, it’s in a baggy. You know. My smack baggy?”
Greg enters the room. “Your smack baggy?” Greg asks Cai.
Cai sighs, seriously put out that he just described his vanishing smack problem to his befuddled mother and he’s going to have to do it again for his father’s benefit.
“Yes, Dad. My smack baggy. I can’t find my smack ANYWHERE.”
“Is it a dime bag or a nickel bag?” Greg asks. This is why it’s often important to involve two parents. I didn’t even think to ask.
“Dah-ahd.” (I love it when dads get a two-syllable name.) “I am TOO LITTLE to know about dimes and mickels.”
“But you’re not too little to know about smack?”
“I JUST WANT MY SMACK!” We are clearly not helping our child rapidly enough to assuage him. Although I suspect that people without their smack are irritable and prone to emotional outbursts, so maybe it’s the lack of smack talking.
While we’re mid-discussion with Cai about his smack problem, his siblings are tearing apart the house. It soon becomes clear that they’re searching high and low for the smack. What remains unclear is whether they intend to a) return Cai’s smack to him, b) hand it over to his parents, or c) devour it themselves.
Cai begins to panic as he realizes the depth and breadth of a, b, and c. “NO ONE EAT MY SMACK!” he yells, running after them. “NO ONE EAT IT! NO ONE EAT MY SMACK.”
It’s not funny, which explains why Greg and I are definitely not laughing, holding our sides, and laughing some more.
Eventually, Cai’s brother, Cael, finds the missing smack and does, in fact, return it to its rightful owner. Although the smack is a little worse for the wear, all squashed and smashed down in its baggy, Cai hugs it to his chest. “Thank you, Cael! Oh, thank you for finding my smack!”
Just then, Miss Aden, one of my speech delayed kiddos, raises her head and says, “Did you say sMack? I fink it’s called sNNNack.”
Cai and Cael look to their giggling parents. “Is that right, Mom? Is it called sNNNack?”
“Good job, Miss Aden,” I say. And I mean it. My little girl’s rolling right along on her pronunciation, and I’m proud of her. No more smack for my little ones! Not with their sister around to help keep them on the straight and narrow.
It’s just a typical afternoon in these parts… talking a little smack.
But do me a tiny favor. No one tell Aden that those smelly black and white critters aren’t really called “stunks.” I don’t think I can take losing our smack and our stunks all in one day.