Jan 13, 2011

It's All Fun and Games Until Someone Turns Us In.

Sometimes I think I shouldn't tell you all Remi stories, because a.) you'll be just like all my family who just laughs and laughs and says things like, "Oh that Remi, she is an original" or b.) you will have us turned in to the authorities.

Either way I'm telling this one because maybe - just maybe - you will start to recognize my pain and perhaps instill me with some wisdom that, up to this point, God is withholding from me out of the pure-de joy He finds in my suffering. (You may find it sacrilegious to write things like that, I disagree. Even while typing those words I could hear Him laughing. Its true.)

So, before we go any further, let's go ahead and do those things that good Christians do before they talk bad about someone. Or at least good Christians in the South do this, good Northern Christians seem much more sure about themselves in these situations. So here we go:

*All of the following statements are true. Please don't take them out of context as they were not written that way.

1. The Attorney General and I love "brown people." We have many friends who are brown.

2. The AG and I believe that most brown people are funnier than us and can, without question, keep a better beat.

3. The AG and I are friends with several brown families that we serve alongside at our church, love with all our heart, and would trade their kids for our kids in a heartbeat.

4. We have some of the best neighbors in the world. They are brown.

5. The AG and I were not raised to believe in separation, racism, favorites or I'm-better-than-you philosophies in any way.

6. The AG and I hope that we are teaching our kids the same. Though we can't be sure.

Last night as the AG was working a lady he works with walked in to his office and said, "You won't believe the text I just got." Without hesitation the AG threw his hand on his forehead and said, "Nooooooooooooooooo.....its Remi, isn't it?"

We've learned to always know the answer is "yes."

Because you see, the lady the AG works with is the mother of Remi's dance teacher. The AG knew Remi was at dance class and, well, the mans not an idiot.

"My daughter just asked Remi who her best friend at school was. And Remi replied, 'I love allllllll the brown kids because I love me some chocolate.'"



Our teaching moment came later that evening when Remi got home from dance class. Lick the dining room table, Remi. Does it taste like chocolate?
Lick your jacket, Remi. Does it taste like chocolate?
Lick daddy's arm, Remi. Does it taste like vanilla?
Lick your brother's hand, Remi. Does it taste like vanilla?

Our point (and believe it or not, we did have one) was to show Remi that just because you are brown doesn't make you chocolate. But she firmly believes that she loves chocolate and she loves brown people and only God could have been so creative as to give them such a wonderful color. I kind of agree.

But her reasoning is so completely politically incorrect in the year 2011 that I'm afraid we are going to be turned in to the authorities, thrown in some kind of Parental Prison for Imbeciles and made to live out our days licking grey steel bars and repeating, "No sir, these do not taste like hamburger."

She means well. We think.


ugagirl30 said...

I hate the labels that go with skin color. I am born and raised in the deep south where racial tensions STILL run high. My children also say "brown people" and "flesh-colored people." We have tried explaining that flesh is skin, but they have only associated that with people whose skin is the same color as ours. I worry about them offending someone....hope someone can offer you some useful tips so I can bloggy steal them!

Shelley said...

I love me some Remi!!!

Anonymous said...

Randomly enough, my sister just did an exercise with her classroom (who happy to be primarily "brown people") using brown and white eggs. I'll see if I can get her to send me the information... it just might help Remi see and know that our "shell" has nothing to do with who/what we are - on the inside or the out. We are all just the same!

Anonymous said...

PS - that would be happen, not happy!

The Collins Family said...

Also a southerner, my 4 year olds just got their first "brown" classmate. To me it's cute how they just innocently observe the difference. They don't care that he's brown anymore than they care about the girl who's hair is swirly...you know like the shape a man makes when he swirls down a fire pole. They have no connotations attached to their observations, but we as parents have to figure out how to get them not to announce their observations in public. I fear that any explanation I give will give the implications that there is something bad about the child's skin color...anyway, just thought I'd let you know you aren't alone in this particular trench !

Amy said...

Love that egg thing! Sounds like a GREAT idea! Remi is a normal (believe it or not!) child..children are so honest. Gotta love em!

Anonymous said...

I am the sister of anonymous. I teach at a 98 percent "chocolate" school. (Thanks Remi for explaining my obesity. Lol) The activity is not totally original. I started at www.makinglearningfun.com. I used brown eggs and whites eggs to help explain ML king and civil rights. They eggs look different on the outside. Crack them in seperate bowls without the children being able to see. Then show them the white/yolk in bowls. They are the same. Scrable each egg. They taste the same. Thus the eggs are like "chocolate" and "vanilla" people,different on the outside the same on the inside. Hope it helps.

Michaela Pate said...

I think you left out what all good Christians do AFTER they've talked about someone in the South. That sweet Remi, "Bless Her Soul"!!

Katherine said...

I'm sorry, but my favorite part of this is that she will now go to school and begin licking her classmates, because that is what she learned at home! I have my own "Remi" (she is 13, pray for me) and she is both delightful and exhausting. You should start going to bed earlier at night Melissa, you are going to need it!

Please, PLEASE promise me that you will save the angel picture for her rehearsal dinner........

Amanda said...

That was AWESOME!!! I love her comment, I love your 'teachable moment' tactics, and I love that picture! Hilarious!

Kaye said...

I love how honest children are. It is a shame that she cannot make her innocent observation without you guys worrying that someone will be offended. It's sad that we have to teach our children to be careful with these observations and teach them that there are some bad connotations with noticing differences. If we all had minds like these children, we would all be much happier and get along better.

Leighann said...

Hilarious. I love your parenting approach... so reality-based. I think it's a great idea. And I love the egg demonstration as well.

Dysfunctional Mom said...

I read the post about you giving up sweets first, and now this post about chocolate...hmm...
I love the egg idea!