Well, there are a few reasons why I was concerned about this utterance.
- I am not a Science Nerd. I like science and have an educated lay person's understanding of the big ideas, but I never disciplined myself to master math. I believe the dictionary definition of Science Nerd must include a knowledge of higher math.
- I am more of a History/Comic book/Political/and other Pop-Culture Nerd. I can talk about the causes of The Hundred Years War and then talk about Bully Beatdown (an AWESOME show). I mean, doesn't my 8 year old know me at all?
- Of course, I'm concerned about my boy becoming another American with a disdain for math. Math would be the first domino to fall, next would be a dislike for any multi syllabic word, and lastly he'd develop a glorification of Lady Gaga.
A few days passed.
We were in the car (just the two of us)...
Me: Will, remember when we were wrestling the other day?
Me: Do you remember calling me a Science Nerd.
Will: That was funny.
Me. Right... what do you think the word Nerd means?
Will: Someone who isn't good at science.
I flushed with pride. My boy had trash talked me because he thought I was a science idiot.
Me: Nerd means someone who is smart in science,
Now it was Will's turn to blush.
Will: I'm sorry. I didn't mean it.
Me: Don't worry about it. You didn't know what the word meant.
Will: Why do some kids call other kids Nerds?
Here comes my knee-jerk response...
Me: It's what stupid people call smart people.
We got to our destination and got out of the car.
Now, this wasn't the "right " response on my part and I know it. I keep my comments to the kids appropriate a vast majority of the time. I'm lucky that Will has a kind and compassionate temperament (got it from his mum). In the future I will try to package the nasty truths in bubble wrap until my kids get to an age they can handle it.
Just another day on the learning curve...