I'm a believer in the five love languages as explained by Dr. Gary Chapman; it's a New York Times bestseller and a helpful read in understanding relational dynamics and how we're wired to give and receive love. I believe in Chapman's premises because I've seen the languages at work in my family (and friends). My husband, acts of service; my daughter and oldest son, a blend of words of encouragement and service.
But my youngest son stands alone in our family with a teetering balance of physical touch and quality time, and sometimes that touch thing will send us over the edge.
We're driving home from school–and it's been one of Those Days for me, where plans were dashed and life was inconveniently rearranged. Both of my hands are on the steering wheel as he's chattering away and I'm listening with the ear closest to him.
Out of the blue, he reaches over and starts tugging and rolling my elbow skin.
"Wow, Mom, you've got the softest wenis I've ever felt!"
Excuse me?! "WHAT DID YOU SAY?!" He's has yet to stop massaging (?) my elbow.
"Your wenis. I touch people's all the time and yours is the softest I ever felt."
"THAT IS NOT A WORD," I shrill, but he's equally insistent it is.
"Everybody calls it that," he tells me, and I'm wondering how I, the family wordsmith, could have missed such an … interesting … word. It sounds wrong, vulgar, profane…w r o n g! I make mental note to google it when I get home.*
But the kid's not done.
(I can't believe I'm admitting this….)
He moves to my upper arm, where triceps and biceps are supposed to live. He starts wiggling it with one hand and keep in mind I'M DRIVING, helpless to make him STOP THIS OUTRAGE! He is so amused and delighted at the result, he moves one hand on top and one on the bottom and he starts jiggling faster and faster and declares, "I LOVE YOUR ARM! IT'S LIKE A WATERBED!!"
The kid definitely needs coaching on his complimenting skills.
And he is dayem well lucky he lived to see another day.
* * * * *
*Apparently, it is a word.