The kids and I are working our way through Judy Blume’s Fudge series on CD. My kids will listen to stories for hours, sometimes on repeat. My 8 year old especially loves them, I think she is sympathetic to Peter Hatcher and his nuisance of a little brother.
The first book in the Fudge series, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, was published in 1972. It would be fair to say that some of the expressions and concepts in the stories are foreign to modern day kids. The Hatcher’s live in New York City, the idea that the kids can’t just open their front door and ride their bikes confused my kids at first. And how come they have to take an elevator to their house?
But that’s why you read, to learn how other folks live and think.
The other night as we were getting to bed my 8 year old asked me what “no offense” meant. I asked her where she had heard the expression and she quoted Jimmy Fargo saying to Peter Hatcher “No offense but your family is crazy”. I had to think for a few minutes before I could answer her.
Eventually I told her that it was a way of saying ‘I am about to say something that will hurt your feelings but I am saying no offense first to warn you’. I gave her some examples.
- No offense but I think your skirt is ugly
- No offense but your hair is a mess
- No offense but dinner tastes terrible
My wise little girl said “So if you have to say no offense it’s probably better that you don’t say anything.”
And I agreed.