Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Oboes and Elbows

I remember when I was about my children’s age I was convinced that the song “This Old Man” was really “Thistle Man.”  Images of a man covered from head to toe with needle-like thorns would immediately pop into my head each and every time I sang this song.  In my little mind, thistle people were real and alive just as you and I are.  If there was a song about them, thistle people had to exist!  It never occurred to me that my mind and ears were playing a little trick on me.

I’ve noticed this happen many times with my son and daughter over the years.  Recently, I had to hold a discussion on the difference between oboes and elbows with my daughter, who will soon be 5.  For months, she’s been coming to me about itchy and boo-booed “oboes,” and I have gently corrected her time and time again that we have elbows, not oboes, on our bodies.  Yet, it never sank in.

Finally, last month, she came asking for a Band-aid on another imaginary “oboe” boo-boo, and I no longer could resist having a little informative lecture on oboes vs. elbows with my kids.  Luckily, my son and daughter still absolutely enjoy my little lectures and will sit mesmerized for however long I decide to talk, which can be a long, LONG time on subjects that interest me or that I feel strongly about.  In fact, since I was a little girl myself, my parents have always teased me that I was born to be a teacher or lawyer.

Apparently, our oboe/elbow discussion worked because now my daughter goes around pointing to her elbow and telling people, “This is my el-bow, not my o-boe.  Oboes are instruments, not body parts!”

Every time my daughter explains the difference between oboes and elbows, she gets this serious little look on her face.  It is the exact same look I used to get when I was her age, defending my belief that thistle people truly existed, simply because there was a song.  The years have flown by so quickly and I was worried that perhaps that stubborn and opinionated little girl was gone forever.  Little did I know, though, that I had passed her on to my own little princess, and she’s alive and well today!


  1. Cute girl! Kids are such a crack-up!

  2. Hi Amanda,

    I loved this post alot, so cute! I just had to share it on my A.D.'s FAV 5 of the A to Z Challenge today! http://adduling.wordpress.com/

    Have a wonderful day!