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Sarcasm is, in Simon’s case I suppose, a genetic inevitability. It’s funny how I guessed wrong about so many things involving Simon—his hair color, eye color, and affinity for sports for example—but missed the one prediction sure to come through.

Because in the case of sarcasm, we’ve got nature and nurture at work. The writing was on the wall a few months ago when Matt said (sincerely I think) that something was “great.” Simon’s reply was:

“Daddy, when you say ‘great’ you are usually being sarcastic.”

Having demonstrated an understanding of the form, it was only a matter of time before he deployed it. And I guess it’s not too surprising that a kid who is trotting out the subjunctive (can I just say how much it makes my geek heart go squee to hear him say things like “If I were…”?) could master basic irony.

In case he needed tutoring, I put on a clinic Thursday. Simon’s swim class was moved from the indoor pool at the JCC to the outdoor lap-pool, and no one bothered to tell me or write me. I learned when I tried one route to find a locked door and then another with the same result, all the while Simon and Baron trotted behind me barefoot in dripping suits from their foray into the kiddie pool. This maybe wouldn’t have been such a big deal except it’s the second time I’ve been left to wander the premises with no staff informed enough to help me.

So I’m afraid I muttered my way up and down the halls, saying things like “The professionalism here is truly inspiring” or “This is just how I was hoping to spend the first 10 minutes of your lesson!” Somewhere mid-stream, Simon cut me off to say,

“Mommy, this is you being sarcastic, right?”

Roger that. A mere 24 hours later Matt and Simon played basketball in the basement. After every bad pass, failed block, or missed shot, Simon offered up a commentary along the lines of a weary and/or frustrated sounding “Nice!” or “just great.”

Matt tells me that his form was impeccable. He’s got sarcasm down. Next up, learning when not and where not to deploy it. There’s time enough for Simon’s inherited sarcasm to cause problems at school. The 4-year-old class is perhaps pushing it.


One Response to “Sarcasm”

  1. Amanda says:

    In our family, mastery in both sarcasm and hyperbole are required for survival.

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