Friday, October 1, 2010


I was bringing my youngest son, who is 5, home from karate practice yesterday when I heard his little voice call from the back of the car, "Daddy, why are there tick-tocks in the front and the back?"

Uh, okay. First, I hadn't the faintest idea what a "tick-tock" was, and second, the front and the back of what?!

So, I replied most eloquently, "What?!"

He repeated his question, to which I replied even more eloquently, "Huh?!"

Then he said, "You know, on cars. Why do they have tick-tocks in the front and the back?"

At this point, realization dawned on me that he was asking about the turn signals, otherwise called "blinkers". (Understanding 5-Year-Old = Awesome Dad Moment.)

Thereafter ensued a discussion about how turn signals are put on the back of cars so that people who are behind them can see where the cars are going, and how turn signals are on the front so that people in front of or beside them know similarly. I'm not sure he got it, even though he said he did.

After I had this discussion with him, I was amused, but also fairly sad. Now that I'd informed him what they're really called, I'll probably never hear his cute little voice utter "tick-tock" in the same context again. The term "tick-tock" is sooo much more adorable than what they're really called, and so much more poetic. Such a pity.

Hmm, makes me wonder what other adorable sayings I've completely wrecked in my children's youth, all in the name of precision.

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