Saturday morning - I'm preparing to do a load of Christopher's jeans, and I ask him to check his pockets for anything left behind. He says he needs to check his fob, and we get into an energetic discussion of what a fob is. He says a classmate at school told him it was the small pocket above the right front pocket on a pair of jeans.
I always knew a fob had to do with a pocket watch, so I didn't think he could be right, especially since I never see anyone wear a pocket watch with a pair of jeans. I countered by telling Christopher that a fob was something attached to a pocket watch, like a chain or strap.
We go back and forth like this for a few minutes until I go and get a dictionary. While I'm walking to the bookshelf, I hear in the background "I'm not listening to you . . . la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la."
I get the dictionary, look up the word fob and find, lo and behold, Christopher is right. As am I. A fob, it turns out, is a small pocket on the front of a pair of trousers or a vest used primarily for carrying a pocket watch. It is also a small chain or leather strap attached to a pocket watch or something attached to a chain or strap, like a medallion. I guess even an English major can learn something. I'm not as sure about teenagers.
Right below those definitions was another entry for the word fob. This one had to do with cheating other people and also shifting jobs or responsibility onto another, as in "to fob off onto another." I mentioned to Christopher that "fobbing off" was something he was good at.
Christopher has a tendency, when we ask him to do something, to walk off and disappear for a while, until we either forget that we asked him to do something or we get tired of waiting and do it for him. I told him he could put that on a resume'. In fact, I told him that qualified him for a position in management. He didn't understand, but Teresa and I got a good laugh out of it. And isn't that part of what children are for? To make you laugh? After all, laughter is an aspect of joy. Perhaps I'm just easily amused. That's not such a bad place to be.