Sometimes your kids surprise you.
While driving, I rotate through about thirteen radio stations whenever I dislike what’s playing, and I’m sure there are some songs my children have heard all of, but never more than four notes at a time. They do love Weird Al, though. At least the limited rotation I’ve allowed them to hear. (I’m one of those tight-fisted restrictive moms. Someday they’ll hear Melanie. It won’t be from me.)
When the Knack’s “My Sharona” popped up on the radio, I changed the station. Kiddo#3 exclaimed, “Hey! I like that!”
I said, “It’s a rude song.”
He knows it as Weird Al’s “My Bologna,” and I changed it back just to let him hear that I wasn’t turning off Weird Al. Kiddo#3 said, “Why is it a rude song?”
Cue me thinking:
Oo my little pretty one, pretty one
When you gonna give me some time, Sharona?
Oo you make my motor run, my motor run
Gun it coming off of the line, Sharona
Never gonna stop, give it up, such a dirty mind
I always get it up with a touch of the younger kind
My-ee my-ee my-ee ahee ah woo!
Ma ma ma my Sharona
Um, yeah. What I said: “It just is.”
So I changed the channel again before we heard about the singer’s thighs, and Kiddo#3 yelled, “You’re not being fair! You’re not listening to me! What’s a sharona?”
I said, “It’s a woman’s name.”
And then behind me, silence.
And finally from my seven-year-old son: “Wow. That is rude.”
You know how in a moment you hear both what you said and how someone else heard it? Kiddo#3 interpreted a guy singing “my Sharona” to mean the guy thought he owned her. And to him, it was obvious, obvious, obvious that you don’t own another person.
My daughter added, “People shouldn’t own other people. Think how horrible it would be if someone called you ‘My Kiddo#3.'”
I didn’t know how to respond. Should I tell them, “No, that’s not the way I find it rude…” or tell them that some people don’t consider “my ” followed by a first name to be possessive. But CS Lewis said as much: English doesn’t have degrees of difference in the possessive pronoun, so we use the same word to indicate my boots, my family, my country, and my God.
I didn’t correct my Kiddos. Let them grow up thinking that when you love someone, you cherish the person not as an extension of you but as the individual he or she truly is. It was accidental, but that’s what I want them believing anyhow.