Grammar Mom

Jane, sitting on our bed, braiding her hair. “Daddy, I need to teach you to braid hair. So you can braid Jennifer and I’s hair together.”

“Why would I do that?”

“It’s a thing. I’ll show you.”

I looked up from my game of Candy Crush and said, “You aren’t going to do it until you can say it correctly.”

“Jennifer and… my’s hair.”

“Nope, not it.”

“Me and Jennifer’s hair.”

“Nope.”

“Jennifer and me’s hair?”

“Nope.”

“There’s nothing left!”

“Not true.”

“Then what else can it be?”

“Do you make ‘my’ possessive by adding an apostrophe S or is it already possessive?”

“Jennifer and my hair.”

“There you go!”

But the thing is, I wasn’t sure that was right. I knew it was more right than her mangled attempts, but that didn’t make it right. I pondered it the next day and even discussed it with some coworkers.

When I got home, I renewed the discussion.

“Honey, I’m not sure that it should be ‘Jennifer and my hair’. It might actually be ‘Jennifer’s and my hair’.”

“I think me and Jennifer’s sounds better.”

“No! That sounds hideous! Don’t say it like that.”

“I’m A-murr-ican. We don’t talk right.”

“I don’t care. I want you to speak well. The best thing to do, really, is to phrase it differently because even the right way sounds strange. You should probably say, ‘Jennifer and I would like you to braid our hair together’.”

I’m pretty sure she’s unconvinced, so this topic will undoubtedly come up again. It might take more work than breaking her of saying she got “an a hundred” on a paper, but it’ll be worth it. I think she loves having me as her mother. I mean, she gets to have discussions that other children wouldn’t even dream of having. How cool is that?

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3 thoughts on “Grammar Mom

  1. “Please braid Jennifer’s hair together with mine” would be more polite, as it puts the guest first. Or so would say my favorite Professor of English literature and language from my undergraduate days. 😉

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