This morning at breakfast one of my 10 year old boys was teasing his 10 year old sister, just a little. She arrived from Ethiopia 11 months ago, and her vocabulary isn’t quite as extensive as his, so he pulled out an old joke he’d used to death on his 6 year old sister.
“You have epidermis on your face!” he said, brushing at her cheek as if chasing off a bug. She could tell by the twinkle in his eye that something was up, but she copied his motion, brushing at her face.
My 6 year old daughter, from her frequent hearing of this joke in the past, knew the definition of the word. “Don’t worry!” she yelled to her sister. “That just means skin. You have skin on your face!”
My 10 year old son was disgusted she’d blown his joke and loudly protested.
When she realized he was aggravated with her she tried to comfort him. “OK, next time we get some new Ethiopians, I won’t tell them your joke.”