I love vocabulary words. I can attribute it to my high school english teacher, Mr. Gerlach. I had a mild panic attack when I got my schedule that junior year because I heard Mr. Gerlach’s class was brutal. He had earned a reputation. He had weekly vocabulary AND grammar tests in addition to regular english classy things. But in a world of “LOL” and “their/they’re”, I’m abundantly grateful that he shouldered the responsibility of infusing the students he taught with extra smarts. Ironically, that was the year I had my four wisdom teeth removed and I still managed to gain some….wiseness……

The other day I used the words “malfunctioning” and “commendeering” while playing Lego Star Wars figures with my four-year-old. I’m pretty sure he might never ask me to play imaginary activities with him anymore after that. #buzzkill But what else are you supposed to say when your booster pack stops working and you need to steal and airplane to go chase the bad guys into the kitchen?

I don’t always check out library books, but when I do, the number of books I get is dependent on how steep of a fine I’m willing to accrue in that month. I’m actually pretty glad I do Ibotta right now when I grocery shop so that the money I save can help offset my library fines. Does anyone know if there’s a way to become exempt from paying taxes to the county that funds the library if your fines exceed the amount you’d otherwise contribute in taxes? Ahem.

My son loves picking out library books. And I love it to. He doesn’t know it’s because he’s exposed to new vocabulary words. But we have different ideas of what kind of books to get. I decided that at four years old I wanted to start getting some early reader chapter books to go through with him. I have visions of my childhood of my sister and me cuddled on the couch with my mom reading chapter after chapter of Little House on the Prairie books and us begging for just one more chapter before nap time. As I nostalgically roamed aisle after aisle at the library searching for just the right series to start in on so that we too could make our own popcorn-and-chapter-book-cuddling-in-his-bed moments, my son kept bouncing up to me with one book after another to put in our bag.

When I got home he excitedly pulled the books out that he had picked out. They were picture books. Like……illustrations. Beautiful art…….but no words. So, that was different. I did what any parent would do in that situation — I made up some sweet character voices and a great plot line and hoped no one was recording me.

Turns out, those books were a huge hit and allowed me to have HIM tell ME the story by using his imagination. Turns out, one of the chapter books I got was about a mystery surrounding a stolen camera…like, film camera…one of those old box cameras from like, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman days. His eyes were glossed over a few pages in.

So, we might not be quite ready for chapter books yet, but it’s not going to stop me from singing “I’m especially good at expectorating…” from Beauty and the Beast.

Do you have a funny story about your kids not understanding a word you used? Or of them misusing a word in a funny context? Share with me!