#173 – The Wordsmith

Thanksgiving break and Ernie’s Pig Latin punishment have both ended, so our mentoring sessions resumed today. When I picked him up, his teacher mentioned his continuing struggles with math. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses though, as I reminded her. Perhaps the lad’s numerical deficiencies represent his Achilles heel. By the same token, after today’s time together, I’m beginning to think his impressive skill with words must elevate him well above his third grade peers, more or less.

Ernie surprised me with the range of his vocabulary. After we worked on Rockem Sockem Teachers for a while, we started talking movies. I told him about the Blue Ray discs I’d purchased over the weekend, and he said he wasn’t familiar with any of the titles, “probably because they’re R-rated, and mom doesn’t let me watch those movies.”

When I then asked whether his mom allowed him to see PG-13 movies, he hit me with a word I didn’t expect to hear from a child his age, replying: “I seldom get to see those either.”

“You ‘seldom’ get to see them? What does that mean?”

Ernie thought for a moment before responding: “Sometimes, mom lets me watch them; sometimes she doesn’t.”

I asked him which PG-13 movies he’d viewed. He named a couple, including Thor.

“Oh, so you must’ve seen Captain America too.”

Ernie shook his head: “Nope. Mom wouldn’t let me see that one.”

“Your mom let you see Thor but not Captain America? Why one but not the other?”

Adopting a puzzled expression, Ernie replied: “I don’t know. It’s inexplicable!”

Inexplicable? Though inwardly impressed, this time I refrained from commenting on his verbal artillery. Instead, I continued the conversation: “You mean to tell me you’ve never seen an R-rated movie?”

Ernie shrugged before answering: “Well, I saw part of one once, but it was inappropriate, so mom made me turn it off.”

Inappropriate? “Do tell. Exactly what made the film ‘inappropriate?’ I couldn’t wait to hear which five-syllable doozy the kid’d pull out of his ass next.

After glancing round to ensure no one else could hear, he leaned over and whispered in my ear: “I saw boobies!”

Why Ernie’s mom deems one okay but not the other is simply inexplicable!

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