A while ago I noticed that when people begin sentences with the word “actually” it really kind of rubs me the wrong way…. especially when the sentence is directed toward me. “Actually, yada yada yada.” Internal harrumph and bristling. I can’t put my finger on why that would bother me. A sentence directed toward me beginning with “Actually…” seems at best intended to get me to see something from another’s point of view and at worst, designed to correct me.
Recently my almost 4 year old started using the term “Actually.” I mean, it’s better than when he was using the F-word (“fudge”), but not as nice as when he says “yellow” (emphasis on a very proper L sound with a very round O sound). I suppose that it is mostly pretty innocent.
Me: “Henry, would you like some milk?”
Him: “Actually, I would like some chocolate milk.”
Me: “Would you like to go to the park now?”
Him: “Yeah. Wait, I wanna watch a movie. Wait, WAIT! Actually, I want to have a treat then watch a movie THEN go to the park!”
This morning he rewarded me with an “Actually” sentence I can get behind.
[Henry is climbing into the SUV]
Me: “Bye Henry! Have a great day! I love you!”
Him: “Bye Mama!”
Him: “Actually, I want to give you another kiss.”
[Me, shocked, squatting down by the door, arms open, huge grin on my face. Him, running from the car to me, cheeks sucked in and lips puckered.]
Me: “I’m ready for you!!!”
[big kiss and hug]
Him: “Bye Mama, I love you!!”
I just want to extend this apology to the world that when you talk with Mr. Henry, he might correct you. He’s just trying to get you to see things the way a four-year old sees them.
I love you too, Henry. Very, very much.