There comes a time in every young child’s life, sometime after learning to wave and before learning to tie their shoes, that they become aware of their middle finger. Not just at home, in quiet examination. Oh no, this discovery is going to take place in front of as many people as possible. And they are going to waaaaave that finger around because it is just so darn cool that just one finger will stand up on its own! And it’s not even the pointer finger like usual!
A couple of our close friends came over for dinner a few nights ago, and we were just chit-chatting until my girl decides to show off her middle finger proudly to the whole table. They have known her since the day she was born, so, like us, they were getting a pretty good laugh. I was trying to be the serious one so that I could teach her that waving her middle finger might not be the BEST way to say hi, but I had to keep turning away so she wouldn’t see me snicker.
I tried explaining that it was like your hand was angry when you hold up just that finger, so it’s not nice to display it so proudly.
Apparently, kids need to be taught something a few times before there’s any chance of it setting in.
Cue today’s lunch at Chick-Fil-A. It’s 12:30 and the whole place is packed. The kids and I met my parents for lunch, where they had found a table in the center of the restaurant. We were happily enjoying our meal (chicken nuggets with Polynesian sauce, naturally) and talking. The baby had been waving and smiling at people one table over, just being adorable. Roo spotted a little boy at a table behind us and they grinned back and forth, then starting waving sweetly as his dad picked him up to walk him to the bathroom. I grinned and looked down at my Polynesian sauce.
I looked up and my daughter was proudly waving her middle finger toward that sweet little boy. It wasn’t a discreet wave, either. Oh, no. It was above our heads for all to see!
Mom and Dad were on the other side of the table laughing. To be honest, I was laughing, too, but also scrambling for a way to tell her that we are going to get banned from Chickalay if she doesn’t stop!
The best I could come up with is, “A friendly wave uses all your fingers and a mean wave uses just this one. Please, please use all your fingers when you wave!”
She gave me the finger guns and nodded, with a wink.
Oh, this girl.