Thursday, February 11, 2010


Hypothetically speaking, let's say you're sitting with your children at a mall food court. It's one of those places where the tables are spaced at a barely comfortable two feet apart.

And let's say that a family comes and sits at a table next to you. And your child looks at them curiously, intently.

And let's say that she observes--innocently, honestly--that "Some people have dark brown skin. And some people have light skin."

And let's say that she was not so quiet saying it.

And then let's say--hypothetically of course--that she immediately points to the large family on the other side of you. With an arm that's fully extended.

And let's say she remarks (also quite loudly), "Mom, those people are not speaking English."

Would you blush? Hang your head? Give your child evil eyes? Make some weak comment about not pointing?

Or would you do something more socially appropriate? And... what would that be, exactly?


  1. Here's what I would say: "No indeed, dear. Now finish your french fries or there won't be any hot fudge sundae for you!"

  2. My "what do I say?" moment was when we were at the grocery store, and we passed an older lady who had quite obviously tried to dye her hair red (it was a bright, dark pinkish-red). My son said, as we were passing here, "Mom, her hair is red like yours, but a little different." I just said "yep."

  3. I've had a few moments like these. I usually just shrug and say, "Yeah, they're speaking Spanish, huh? Cool! Hooray!"

  4. Of course you know what I'd say which is probably why you didn't call me about this. I'd make some very non-politically correct comment about how in America we speak English but when they're talking to their family, it's okay to speak in their own language, kinda like how mommy and daddy speak in Chinese to each other but not to other people. Also, about the skin color, I'd just say 'yep, all of God's children come in different colors. Neat, huh?'

  5. I would run away. That's socially mature, right?

  6. that's so funny. At least she didn't say something to the affect of the big dirty man in reference to the black man by you like my nephew did. :) talk about awkward. I would have just said yes they are speaking spanish.

  7. I love it. So been there.

    Ryan is currently fascinated with knowing everyone's name. However, he's still figuring out his use of pronouns (I think that's the term), so whenever he wants to know someone's name he points directly at them and asks, "Mom, what's that?" instead of "Mom, WHO's that?" This is fine. Except for when the person is of another race/ethnicity.

    We were at the doctor's office and the nurse there was black (I asked her what term she preferred and she said 'black', so I'm not being racist here). Ryan pointed to her, and exclaimed "WHAT's that?!" She immediately blushed because there is only one way you can take that from a 3 year old. Then I said, "He wants to know your name ... we're working on correct vocabulary usage ... it's still coming to him", she laughed, said, "OH! I'm Stacy." And that was that ... just imagine if I didn't know Ryan well enough to know what he was really asking.


    I guess ... is there a way to blame her political incorrectness on bad vocabulary usage? If so ... I'd take it and run. :D

    Now, if only I could get Ryan to quit playing with every wheel chair we pass. Blast.

  8. So funny. At least she didn't point to a man right in his face and say "you're purple!" like my brother did. =) The man just said, "yes, and I'm a people eater and I'm going to eat you!" and smiled. =)

    I would have no idea what to do in that situation and I have been most enlightened by the comments on this subject. =)