What Do You Think Of When You Hear The Word Pedestrian?


Do kids who grow up in a law enforcement family see the world differently? Ask someone in this line of work and they’ll tell you a story how their child said something a person their age would never say.

Here are a few examples.

In the spring of 2006, my son was just shy of four-years old. He was sitting on the floor in his room with wood blocks he stacked up. He also had a Thomas The Train in his hand.

He held up the train as he told me to watch. He then knocked the blocks down with the train as he said, “I’m playing fatal crash.” OMG.

I told my son that story today while we were driving and we laughed so hard. At one point he asked, “Who plays that?”

Exactly! This made us laugh even more.

A long time ago, the first grade teacher had to speak to me after school about my son talking too much in class. I told her I would take care of it.

While we were walking to the car I told him what she said. I also told him it was unacceptable to disrupt the teacher in class like that. He was six-years old at the time and said, “I’m not the suspect. I’m the victim.” He claimed the girl next to him was talking too much.

Another time the teacher was talking to the class about words that ended with “unk.” She gave examples like, trunk, skunk and dunk. My first grader at the time held up his hand and told the class about another word that ended in “unk.” That word was DRUNK.

A boy sitting next my son asked what drunk meant. My son replied that it was when a person crashed their car and went to jail.

One night my wife had a beer while at home. My son was very young at the time and told her she couldn’t drive. He put his finger up to my wife’s face and told her to follow it as he moved it side to side. He gave his version of the horizontal gaze nystagmus test.

And finally, there is the Olive Garden story from dinner on Monday night.

The children’s menu had a cartoon road map with people on it. In the upper right corner of the menu, there were specific people and things that needed to be found on the map. It was like an Olive Garden version of Where’s Waldo.

One of the people you had to find was a “Pedestrian.” There was picture of a person with the word pedestrian under it. Now most kids would see the picture and try and find the pedestrian on the map. Not my kids.

I found out the word “Pedestrian” meant something entirely different to them.

They associated the word pedestrian with someone who crossed the street where they weren’t supposed to and got hit by a car.

I’m sure the Olive Garden people would be horrified to know their little cartoon pedestrian would be hit by the car sticker they provided as my kids joked around.

Most people think of a pedestrian as a person who crosses the street and actually makes it to the other side without getting hurt.

Apparently in my house the word represents a person who didn’t make it.

I’ve worked the last fifteen years in the traffic detail and it has rubbed off on my kids. At least I know they’ve been listening to my stories. Hopefully they’ve learned something too.

I also learned something about them.

I learned their humor is as twisted as mine. Just look at the picture and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

2 thoughts on “What Do You Think Of When You Hear The Word Pedestrian?

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