A parent raised on MTV

Yesterday I got all fancied up to have lunch with my mother, and immediately upon returning home I took off all my jewelry and set it on the kitchen table next to my purse. Among that pile was a necklace I recently purchased, nothing fancy, just a bunch of silver circles dangling from a long strand, something I found on sale at the mall. Next door to Chick-fil-A. And now when anyone asks me about this necklace I’m all, we’ll get to that in a second, but first lemme tell you about the waffle fries.

I hadn’t put away my mess by dinner time, and after Leta downed a plate of chicken nuggets she got up from the table, noticed the little mound of shiny baubles and grabbed the necklace with her greasy fingers. I could see the fate of that necklace if I didn’t act fast because there is no telling just how many lip balms and compact mirrors there are rotting away silently at the bottom of some box Leta retrieved from the garbage. In fact, I’m certain that one day we’re going to find Jimmy Hoffa in her closet. And his lips are going to be very moisturized.

“Leta!” I barked. “Don’t play with that necklace.”

She set it down reluctantly, tilted her head just as her eyes were rolling into the back of her skull and said, “Well then don’t just leave it sitting out. DUH.”

As if I were the five-year-old who routinely leaves her dollhouse on the living room floor and then screams when Coco is found with the tiny bedroom dresser in her mouth.

Meaning I may or may not have taught my daughter how to use DUH in its proper context.