Are You Being Sarcastic?

by Risa Green

 

There are a lot of things that we as parents can teach our kids; like how to count, the alphabet, how to wipe their own butts, etc. But I’m finding that there are some things that are just un-teachable. They either have it or they don’t; like comic timing, the ability to do math in their heads, and, as my husband likes to say, heart. (As in, “He’s a good player, but he doesn’t have heart. You know, you can’t teach heart.”) Also falling into this category is sarcasm. Or, as my son calls it, "sarcrastic." (As an aside, just because it’s funny and also because I don’t feel like writing this down somewhere else and someday I’ll re-read this and be glad that I wrote it down here, my son is in that five year-old stage where he’s trying to use big words a lot but he can’t really say them or, in the alternative, can’t remember them exactly. For example, they’re learning about the ocean at school, so he brings up suction cups a lot, like on octopi and starfish. Except for some reason he calls suction cups ‘infections.’ I never correct him because I don’t want him to stop doing it, which some people may think is bad parenting but I don’t really care because it’s super funny. He’s also been using ‘literally’ a lot lately, which he pronounces, ‘lirally.’ As in, ‘mom, it lirally smelled like a fart.’ (He’s also been talking about farts a lot, but that word he pronounces just fine)).

 

Anyway, sarcrastic is a concept that my son is having a hard time understanding, and no matter how hard I try to explain it to him, he just doesn’t get it. A recent conversation went something like this:

 

My son: Mommy, you have an ugly pimple on your chin.

 

Me: Wow. Thanks, buddy.

 

My son (cocking his head to one side, like a confused dog): Why ‘thanks?’

 

Me: Dude, I’m just being sarcastic.

 

My son (sighing with annoyance): Mommy, I keep telling you, I don’t know what
that means.

 

Me: And I keep telling you, it means that someone says the opposite of what they
really mean. So when you tell me I have an ugly pimple on my chin and I say ‘thanks,’ what I really mean is…well, [struggling to think of a word that means the opposite of ‘thanks’], I guess what I mean is, that wasn’t such a nice thing so say, and it sort of hurt my feelings.

 

My son (head now almost parallel to the floor): I still don’t understand.

HectorWilliam
11.07.12

Some of them are too endearing. And I keep thinking that I need to get them on tape (but don't) and need to buy myself more time. And that he'll all be outgrowing this in a flash. Thanks for the post!
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HectorWilliam
11.07.12

I hear you on wanting to record what the funny things they say and do SOMEWHERE! My 4 yo was telling Daddy there would be a pepperelli on Friday. Daddy didn't understand.oak dining room
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ingrray39
03.02.12

I just came across your blog and reading your beautiful words. I thought I would leave my first comment but I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.
Ingrit Ray

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qnbus727
03.17.10

Too funny (NOT sarcastic!) I hear you on wanting to record what the funny things they say and do SOMEWHERE! My 4 yo was telling Daddy there would be a pepperelli on Friday. Daddy didn't understand. Mommy had to translate - PEP RALLY! Thanks to Facebook, I was able to share with a bunch of people. :) And the other day he told the School secretary that he wasn't in preschool in the afternoon because he was "half dead," which, of course means "half day!" These are the stories we'll tell and retell when they're older - hehe.

JugglingBlessings
03.03.10

Risa - I did exactly the same thing (in terms of NOT correcting mispronounced words by my 5 year old boy. Some of them are too endearing. And I keep thinking that I need to get them on tape (but don't) and need to buy myself more time. And that he'll all be outgrowing this in a flash. Thanks for the post!

rtimis
03.02.10

Had a very similar conversation with my son at 5, except of course, he got it right away (the force is strong with this one!) Which led to him starting to loudly call out "Sarcastic!" whenever anyone was. His kindergarten teacher LOVED that. And I still love it three years later. (Hint: I'm being sarcastic.) Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

julie@heartands...
03.02.10

I have to tell you - You just made my day. That was hilarious! Oddly, I tried to have the very same conversation with my son (6) yesterday when he was on the toilet yelling "Mom, come wipe my bum" and I told him "I'd love to!" He also did not get it and I gave up way sooner than you did. Thanks for the laugh!