Thursday, February 12, 2009

Little Boy Hands

My friend, Christine, mother of three boys, did not warn me that little boys' hands smell. She did warn me about gym shoes, but not hands. One of the tasks I have as William's at home piano instructor is to make sure he shows up at his lessons with his formal piano instructor with clean hands, fingernails neatly trimmed. Upon inspection, his hands smelled. Badly. I sent him to scrub and later in the car:

Me to William: Your hands smelled like Cheese Doodles!
Aside to Lauren who accompanies us: Why would they smell like Cheese Doodles???
From the back seat where Wm sits: I know, but I'm not going to tell you.
Lauren and I look at each other.
Lauren: I know why, too.
William: Don't tell her.
Me (catching the drift): Are you telling me your Cheese Doodle smells like a Cheese Doodle?

Later, I watched as William's instructor showed William how to move his fingers, carefully holding each finger and making the correct motion. Each day, he manipulates little fingers that have been God-knows-where. Lauren is considering studying piano pedagogy as a career. I wonder if that degree comes with hand sanitizer, and I image her sniffing each little hand before every lesson, having been well taught by her brother.


pita-woman said...

Pedagogy? Hold for a moment while I go look that one up...
Hmm, couldn't you just say "teacher/instructor"?
Have you ever noticed how the pads of a dogs paw smells like Fritos?

Sepiru Chris said...


No, Junosmom couldn't just say teacher/instructor because the word she chose means so much more than that, and besides that would be a pedagogue, although there are usually hostile overtones to calling someone a pedagogue.

The great thing about using a word like pedagogy is that there is at least a paragraph or two of fuzzy connotative meanings layered around the strict denotational meanings of the word.

Both writer, and reader, get to be specific or deliberately ambiguous about which ideas they are alluding to and referencing and this yields greater depth and specificity to the idea being transmitted from one to another.

In addition, there are numerous denotative meanings that both the speaker and the listener, or writer and reader, get to choose from...

Such as?

Well a pedagogue can also be one who has the oversight of an adolescent... an academic and cultural guide, in a sense. And then pedagogy has the potential to become the system or manner of guiding a young person who has been intrusted to you for a specific purpose.

And what is that purpose? To play the piano? To appreciate wider musical vistas? To be a more socially attractive adult? It would depend...

Words are ingredients that not only spice up communication, but broaden the depth of ideas imparted from one to another. Sure, we don't need to use fancy words with fancy meanings. We also could live oatmeal and milk alone.

I'd rather have more variety than less.

I am sure you do to.

After all, you're not bread woman.

Or even unleavened bread woman. Nor are you chappati woman.

You are pita-woman.

Vive la difference... and the ability to communicate that difference.


PS. This is all meant with a smile, because I think you were playfully ribbing our dear Junosmom anyways. And this idea has been on my mind this recently. Hope you don't mind, Junosmom.

Passage of a Woman said...

No wonder junosmom has worms in her head!

Anne said...

My boy is starting to smell like a wet dog. My girl still smells like my baby.

Cloudia said...

Ugh! LOL
My cousin teaches elementary school and pointed out to me that young boys absolutely need to role around in the ground too. . .
Pedigogical props to YOU!

EcceHomoPress said...

Pedogogy or scientific method aside, it is a proven fact that cheese doodles smell like stinky feet. Really, they do. Try this. Have someone start munching on cheese doodles in the back of a crowded room or van and invariably someone will say, "Did someone just take off their shoes?" :)


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