Last week I said “Yes” to VBS and “No” to everything else. I didn’t cook, clean, do laundry, write or– now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure I didn’t wash my hair either. It was a long week filled with lots of children and I was exhausted. After VBS one day I took all three of my girls to grab a quick lunch in a local fast food chain. When I pulled into a parking spot instead of going through the drive through Emma, my six-year-old, said, “Oh Momma! We get to go in? Thank you!”
It’s a sad day when your kids think sitting inside a burger joint is fancy but the truth of the matter was that I didn’t want to have to do anything when we got home other than put them all in the bed. I didn’t want to have to carry in sackfuls of food, or throw wrappers away. I wanted to walk in the door, toss everybody in a different bed and collapse.
Sadie, my three-year-old, grabbed a balloon twisted into the shape of a sword on her way out of the car. I knew it was only going to cause problems as she jabbed me in the face but I was too exhausted to make her put in back in the car. We went inside and as I ordered the girls found a table and Sadie continued to stab her sisters with her sword yelling, “ON YA!” with every jab. I smiled knowing she thought she was saying, “En garde!”
I carried our food to the table and Sadie lost interest in stabbing her sisters and began accosting strangers. She stabbed the manager in his ribcage as he walked by.
“ON YA!” She cried.
“You got me!” He grabbed his side and stumbled a few steps playing along with her.
A woman I didn’t know walked past our table and said, “Hi Aubrey!”
“Hi,” my seven-year-old said. “I know her from Avery’s church.”
When the woman passed our table the next time to fill her drink, Sadie got her in the back. “ON YA!”
The woman played along as well, “Aaaagh! You got me!”
Coming back with her drink now full, the lady was now prepared, as Sadie drew her “sword” the woman quickly grabbed it, and poked Sadie in the belly, “Got YA!” She exclaimed.
“She keeps yelling ‘ON YA!’ because she thinks she’s saying ‘En garde!’” I told her and we both laughed at the funny things kids say.
Emma, my middle daughter, guffawed along with us as if she understood the joke.
“Ha-ha. Classic.” Emma muttered into her food.
I snorted a little.
“Momma, what does classic mean?” Emma asked.
I choked a little Diet Coke out of my nose.
My brains were fried from VBS, the heat of being outside all day and the exhaustion of peeling my own children off of me every time I passed them in the hall at church.
I sighed, “Emma, I don’t have any words left. I can’t think. I’ll tell you later.” I had no idea how to explain the word in the context in which she had properly used it. It made my brain hurt just to think about it.
“Oh, I can tell her what it means,” my seven-year-old chimed in.
I raised my eyebrows, “Go for it.”
“Well, Emma, it means… like– something that was around in the 19’s… is that right Momma?” Aubrey asked me.
“Yep. Pretty much.”
My seven-year-old has more energy and obviously more sense than I do.