In the car last Friday, Olivia called from the backseat, “Mom, what does midget mean?”
I replied, “It’s a derogatory term for people with any of the many forms of dwarfism. They don’t want to be called dwarves, though either. People with dwarfism want to be called little people.”
I glanced in the rearview mirror in time to see Alyssa roll her eyes at her friend, T, who was spending the night with us.
After catching my gaze, Alyssa smiled and said, “Do you have a dictionary up there or something?”
“You think I’m driving and reading from a dictionary?” I asked, because, hello, who does that? Crazy people who want to kill themselves, their passengers and everyone else on the road maybe.
“No,” Alyssa confessed. “But you sure sounded like a dictionary just now.”
I smiled. “Because I defined midget?”
“Because you used words like ‘derogatory’ and ‘dwarfism’ to define midget,” she replied.
“Huh,” I gave it some thought. “Olivia, midget is a word some people use to describe very short people. It’s not a nice word.” I looked at Alyssa in the mirror again. “Better?” I asked.
She smirked and said, “Much.”
Lord save me from smart-alecky twelve year olds.