Thursday, June 12, 2008


Last night Elvis and I had a talk about some of the other kids in his class. Now, while Elvis is incredibly smart in a book sense, he has a hard time deciphering some of the social cues that his schoolmates give off. He was telling me how certain classmates make him feel weird, and how he doesn't quite get what they're talking about all the time. After my heartfelt explanation of how when you're in school, you get stuck with kids in your class and if you don't get along with them, you just have to suck it up until you're an adult and can choose who to hang out with, and the importance of finding your tribe, and how sometimes people can be intimidated by really smart kids... it became clear to me that the nub of the problem (this time) was slang.

Apparently there is a kid who sits by Elvis who says things like "Oh no, you did-n't!" or when Elvis laughs and his face turns red, tells him he's having "a red crayon moment." Sometimes when Elvis says something, Matt will say "Inappropriate content" (whatever that means; that one's not in the Urban Dictionary). We had a laugh about it -- I couldn't help but crack up and then he realized that maybe it wasn't social death to not understand this strange pre-adolescent lingo -- and then I did the only thing a self-respecting mother could do:

I taught him the Z-snap and told him to tell Matt he's a hot mess.


Mel said...

Um, when I was in grade school, I'm pretty sure the Z-snap would have gotten me beaten up. Of course, I was going to school with South Carolina rednecks in the 70's and 80's, which didn't help matters.

Carol said...

That thought crossed my mind, but if he does it to a kid who says "Oh no you didn't", I figure it's okay.

Kris said...

LOL, a hot mess. Good for you, that's a great discussion of how school works. Almost every adult can relate, and shudders at the thought of going back. Those who DO want to go back, were probably the annoying kids torturing their fellow classmates with stupid slang sentences.

Anonymous said...

Inappropriate content could either mean that Elvis is responding out of context, or more likely the kid doesn't understand Elvis' vocabulary.
Be careful with hot mess. Sometimes it's used to call someone gay--not normally something you want to call a preteen boy.

Anonymous said...

Could "inappropriate content" be based on the terminology of computer "parental filters"? They filter for inappropriate content, which means anything parents would consider wrong for kids. It could mean anything from "filthy" (potentially positive in the world of slang) to "wrong" (a definite slam) depending on what effect that particular kid wants.

Anonymous said...

I feel for him! I've been 6 years behind in slang my whole life.
My Pop dealt with it by teaching me to recite at top speed
"Are you insinuating that I should tolerate such diabolical insubordination from an individual whose mental capacity barely exceeds that of an imbecile?"
It was pretty impressive when I was 6. (Here I am 51 years later, and I can still recite it)

Loren T said...

I have a 10 year old, too. He's also a book smart/socially not quite so there kid. I have no idea what the "inappropriate content" thing is about. For a while, my son was a bit embarassed by all the boy talk he was hearing (you know the kind -- "heh heh, he said rod" sort of thing). I told him he was just going to have to deal, because boys talk that way for a good long time.

I'm dreading middle school.

the hanged man said...

I can remember being teased cause I didn't know some of the sexual slang kids in our class used. It's not that I was unaware of the body parts of functions the slang referred to - it's just that I didn't know those particular terms.

To be honest, it sounds like Elvis is doing okay. Confusion over the social norms is not that big a deal - he'll adapt and adjust. It's when the other kids want nothing to do with you or are abuse that the problems begin.

Anonymous said...

Oh Elvis. C is there, too. Love Barb's father's solution- wish I'd known it back when- cuz I was there, too.

fillyjonk said...

Oh, I remember my own school days un-fondly. I was like Elvis but was even worse in that not only did I not GET the slang, I had no interest in getting it - no interest in even to attempt to fit in. Which of course, made me even more of a target.

You are right of course; it gets better once one grows up.

That said, I wish I had known the z-snap when I was 12. (Except, it didn't exist yet...)