Try telling that to a four going on five-year-0ld. She immediately proceeded to jump up and about and swat at me like my life depended on it, because in her wonderful, glimmering, still hopeful hazel eyes I was being consumed by fire ants and was nearing the end of my life. Her words not mine. Well I alliterated, her words were, “Get them off! Get them off! If they eat you they will drag you into their fire ant hole and you will die!” She said that while jumping higher than our cats and beating at my legs (and she hits pretty hard). At one point she decided to dig a little deep and get into a perfectly cute zone of inner-being and let out a confounded, “hiyah!” Karate never looked so hilarious, and had there been actual ants in my pants, I’m sure they would have surrendered at her sheer determination alone.
I later (not too much later, I did say she hit hard), had to explain what ants in my pants meant; not to be confused with a bee in my bonnet (not that anyone under the age of 30 would even know what a bonnet was). So I explained that it was a term used when someone was feeling anxious about something. Anxious=waiting on pins and needles –> “You’re standing on pins and needles. Does it hurt?” Okay, let me clarify, AND stop using metaphors to a four-year-old (who, I suspect at this point, is simply yanking my chain <— metaphor, and was intently bashing my leg for pure enjoyment).
Anxious=mommy waiting for her book to come out any day now, but not knowing when that is.
Jorja: when I get anxious I have to stop and count to ten. Just count to ten mom, and stop saying you have ants in your pants.
Me: that is easier said than done
Jorja; No! If you just do it then it is easier done than said.
Me: (thinking I’m going to pay out serious money for this child’s law degree). You don’t understand how nervous I am and I’m not getting into another metaphor match so you can misconstrue that too.
Jorja; I don;t know what misconscrew means and why you have a screw, but you’re being silly.
Me: I’m silly because I’m nervous about my book? I’m just afraid nobody will like it.
Jorja: (huge sigh, tugging on her eyes at lack of being able to instill any wisdom into mommy) OMG! You drive me nuts. Now I have ants in my pants.
AND THAT IS HOW YOU TEACH CHILDREN ABOUT METAPHORS.