Flocking Birds, or Are We Mature Enough to Raise Children?


It is December, and we are headed out as a family to get a Christmas tree. Husband had seen a great tree sale, so we packed up Elvis and Fang and headed off to find what would turn out to be a goose chase.

As we pull up to a light, I see a lot of little birds in a tree and on the wires by the road. It is a teachable moment, and I rehearse it in my mind quickly before I speak. This is going to be awesome.

I say to Husband “Check this out.”

Then to Elvis: “See all those birds? That’s a flock of birds! (grin) Can you say flock?”

Elvis: “Fock!”

Me: Snort. Suppress the giggle. “Very good! Flock!” Trying not to look at Husband because then we’ll both burst out laughing, and Elvis will stop doing it.

Elvis: “FOCK!”

I can’t tell you how delighted I am. This is almost as good as when my little sister used to replace “tr” with “f” and point and shout “TRUCK!” but that’s not what she said. It was more like this.

As we drive down the road, Husband says: “Those birds were flocking. Flocking birds.”

Elvis: “Focking burrrds.”

Me: “Wait, what? Is flock a verb? Flock’s a noun.” English is technically his second language after all. I usually have the edge on usage questions.

Husband: “Sure, like birds of a feather flock together.” Big happy grin.

Me: “Wow. You’re right. I was wrong. Hey, don’t make a big deal of it. Write it down and move on.”

Elvis: “Where are the focking burds, Mommy?”

He’s delighted at how happy we are that he learned this word. So the whole rest of the ride we talk about the flocking birds just to hear him say it. Which brings me to my titular question: Are we mature enough to raise children?

Titular. Snort.