Last night we sat down to dinner, it was my husband, his parents, The Goon Squad and me.
Or is it myself? Or I? If I had known I would be writing for a living I would have paid more attention in English class.
Ian was in mood and he was speculating on how long it would take an asteroid to get to Earth. Then he turned to my father-in-law and said “Papa, what is the speed of light?”
And my father-in-law said, and I swear to the Gods I am not making this up or exaggerating, “The speed of light is 187,300 miles per second.”
How did he know that? (And I looked it up. He was right!)
Then Ian said, so how long would it take light to get from the moon to Earth?
THEN my father-in-law started doing math in his head. “Hmmm, well 240,000 miles divided by 187,300 miles per second…”
I stopped him right there. “Wait. You know the speed of light and the distance between the Earth and the moon off the top of your head?!?”
As I pondered if I thought my father-in-law was the most brilliant man in the universe or some sort of savant my thoughts were interrupted by my four year old’s announcement.
“I am the smartest one in this family!”
We all laughed.
“No, I really AM the smartest one in this family.”
Since I try to to bolster his confidence I said “Oh really? You are the smartest person in this family? Read what it says on Nonny’s sweatshirt”.
I can’t remember what he said, but it wasn’t even close.
Then I said “Gabe, can you read what it says on Nonny’s sweatshirt?”
And my husband really can read so he said “Outer Banks, N.C.”
He said it like that too Enn Cee.
Because my excellent mothering skills and confidence building are matched only by my maturity I said “Oh! BURN YOU, IAN!”
Then my son, who is still only four, who must have picked up on sarcasm somewhere says “Well, I’m not the “reading” smartest.”
Yes. He used air quotes.
Where did he learn air quotes? Listen, I have a fairly good idea where he picked up on sarcasm and talking smack at the dinner table, but the air quotes? That is a mystery.
Now that he has mastered both air quotes and the f word in one week I can help but wonder what will be next. Evil laugh? Deviant art? Prank phone calls? Song parodies? Dirty jokes? That fart noise with his hand in his armpit?
At least he will be popular in middle school.