My brother recently moved out a lot of his "stuff" from our parents house. Ok, so sure, the biggest thing he moved out of the house was himself...but that's neither here nor there. The point is, there was lots of rooting around various nooks and crannies as years worth of dust covered stuff finally released their grasp on 'spare space' throughout my parent's home.
I don't know about you and your spare space, but in our family once you push up the sleeves and start tidying up the project starts to snow ball. What started out simply as pulling out some boxes of old college text books from the attic becomes a quest to purge the dusty space of all it's superfluous wares.
And that, frankly, means that some of the stored away remnants of the past ended up in my house taking up some of my spare space.
Logan had a great deal of fun poking around the box of my youth. It was like a treasure hunter hitting a gold mine. His favorite discovery was a long, relatively narrow blue box from my junior year of High School. My English teacher that year was on a mission to swell our vocabularies with as many "25 cent" words as she could in preparation for the SATs. The list of words she peppered us with could also be found in two boxes of flash cards you could buy at any teaching resource store. I bought one of those boxes - a long blue, relatively narrow box full of "SAT vocabulary" words.
For the last two months, Logan sets down with this box from time to time and pulls cards out of it. He will do his best to pronounce the word on his own - smiling from ear to ear as he gets stuff like "passive" correct. And then we read the definition together - doing my best to modify the written explanation on the card to something my 5 year old might connect with.
This morning he handed me "toxic" - guessing it's pronunciation properly first. I read him the card's definition, "Unhealthy; dangerous." We talked about toxic chemicals. We talked about toxic plants. Then I told him that sometimes we refer to "toxic friends" - people that are friends with you but can be not so pleasant sometimes.
"Oh, I get it. Like when Papa is cranky, he's toxic," said Logan - referring to his Grandfather's occasional quiet brooding with snappy retorts sprinkled in.
"Umm, not exactly. Papa is not toxic. Papa just gets grumpy sometimes," I told him.
He weighed it carefully and walked off quietly. "I get it. In the Transformers, the Decepticons are toxic. And in the Veggie Tales, the people that picked on the Snoodle are toxic friends."
Right, that's it, I told him and then I gently corrected the pronunciation of the next word he was looking to learn - idiom. We talked about regional dialects "We say soda, but in other parts of the country people say pop." Logan laughed, finding "pop" an amusing word, I suppose.
He came back in later and said "I get it. So the boy in my class that's just learning English has his own idioms and sometimes, like when he's knocking over our blocks, he's toxic."
Yeah...ok. I can just picture that conversation in Kindergarten today. Maybe I'll hide the box.