I went out for dinner with a friend the other night and as we waiting to get on the list for a table, I noticed the family in line in front of us. It was a chilly night and they were all still bundled up. There is something so cute about kids in winter hats.
While we waited, one of the younger kids (all were grade school aged) tugged on his dad’s coat and the man bent down so that his son could whisper in his ear.
“What was that?”
“Pst ssssp pss pss.”
“Are we playing ‘restaurant’ in a restaurant?”
“Yes, buddy, we are. We are playing the restaurant game at a restaurant. It’s very meta.”
In my completely inexperienced-childless-spinster opinion, this man is dadding correctly. First of all, I love the idea of the restaurant game, which I assume involves training the kids how to act in a restaurant in preparation for moments such as these, where the family goes out for Indian on a Tuesday. Because that’s awesome.
Also, how adorable is it that he used the word “meta” in a conversation with six year old. We don’t talk down to kids in my family, and I think that this is the way it should be done (please review above statement about my being childless and having no right to any opinion whatsoever). Not to teach them about brainy words or academic concepts, per se. Just to expose them to those things. Challenge them and they’ll pick up on what it all means sooner or later.
I once told the twins to stop being willfully obtuse. They were five at the time. “What does that mean?” my nephew asked.
“It’s the thing you are doing where you are pretending not to know what I am talking about. And it is obnoxious.”
Then they carried on being willfully obtuse about being willfully obtuse. Come to think of it, that was pretty “meta,” too. Wish I would have thought of it at the time. I would have pointed it out to them.