A Vocab Refresher for Our Children

Dear Children.

As your parents and first educators, it is our job to make sure you understand the meaning of things. Lately, we’ve noticed that there are some terms you seem to be confused about, so we wanted to help clear things up.

We’ve gone over these definitions at least hundreds of times, but since repetition doesn’t seem to be doing the trick, we thought some visual aids might help.

Ready? Okay.

This is a WRAPPER.

This, too. WRAPPER. Also known as GARBAGE.

A WRAPPER is not a table or countertop decoration, nor is it an “art supply” to be saved for “later” for an ambiguous, not-yet-planned, never-actually-going-to-happen “art project.” It’s GARBAGE.

This is a GARBAGE CAN. Also known as TRASH BIN (or, for our British friends, RUBBISH). It’s where we put any and all GARBAGE, including but not limited to WRAPPERS.

This is a FLOOR. It’s for walking and setting furniture on. It is not a GARBAGE CAN (see previous photo). It is also not a CLOTHES HAMPER, DRESSER, CLOSET, or TOWEL RACK.

I know these things can be quite confusing, especially with several of them being in the same room and all. So, just so we’re clear:

Clean clothes go here, in the DRESSER.

They can also go in this newfangled thing called a CLOSET.

Dirty clothes go here, in the CLOTHES HAMPER.

This word appears to be particularly befuddling, as you frequently confuse it with COSTUME PROP. It’s not meant to be dumped out and placed over your head. It is also not a receptacle for your stuffed animals, pillows, or bedding—nor is it a vehicle for dragging your little brother around the house.

It is for dirty clothes. That’s it.

This here is a very cool invention—the TOWEL RACK. It’s where wet towels go. They actually get dry here. Pretty cool, no?

Okay, quick review. This is NOT A TOWEL RACK:

This is also NOT A TOWEL RACK:

(Nor is it a CLOTHES HAMPER—see definition of FLOOR above.)

This is a DIRTY DISH. Like a WRAPPER, it is not a table or countertop decoration.

It goes in this nifty contraption called a DISHWASHER. It actually washes our dishes for us. But unfortunately, it only washes dishes that are actually placed in it. I’ve tried to convince it to load itself, but it rudely refuses. So, we go with the flow and place the dirty dishes in it ourselves.

Yes, that includes you.

This is YOUR BED.

It’s a beautiful place, even when it’s disheveled like this. It’s not scary, it’s not a punishment, it’s not a torture device. It’s where you lay your weary body at the end of the day, close your eyes, and quietly drift off to sleep for (hopefully) ten or more straight hours.

This is OUR BED.

OUR BED is where we retreat at the end of the day. It’s our life-giving resting place, which requires that we spend at least seven (preferably nine or ten) hours in it without walking, talking children disturbing us.

In other words, it’s not YOUR BED.We do share some of the blame for this confusion, since you did sleep with us when you were babies and toddlers, and it was lovely. But that era is over. You now take up almost as much of the bed as we do. Hence, OUR BED is OUR BED and YOUR BED is YOUR BED.

Just for a little extra clarification:


There. I hope that clears things up a bit. Feel free to ask if you have any questions. We’re always here for you. (Unless we’ve retired for the evening, in which case, kindly remain in YOUR BED and save your questions for sun up.)

Your Loving Parents

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Annie writes about life, motherhood, world issues, beautiful places, and anything else that tickles her brain. On good days, she enjoys juggling life with her husband and homeschooling her children. On bad days, she binges on chocolate chips and dreams of traveling the world alone.

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