Posted in Writing Prompts

SoCS- 5/1/21 The Scary One

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “may.” Use it any way you’d like. Have fun!
The word “may” is a bone of contention between the kids and me.
I grew up in a grammatically correct home. I’ll wait for your laughter to stop.
You wouldn’t automatically know that, I’m sure.
But, there were little ‘no-nos’ and big ‘no-nos’ and some of the big ones actually took hold.
The difference between “May I go outside?” and “Can I go outside?” is tremendous to the ‘word use stickler’.
My kids, day care kids, and now, my granddaughters have all been reminded of that zillions of times. I remember one summer that making the proper distinction between those phrases became my mission. Over, and over, and over, the kids were asked to rephrase their requests along with the explanation for my dismay. Some started to come around but that ‘war’ ended in a draw.
I gave up.
Well, you never know when something you do makes a difference.
At age 6 or 7, my oldest granddaughter complained about a ‘scary’ teacher. She was a very large, imposing, woman with a no-nonsense attitude. Katherine had watched other kids reduced to tears by that teacher and avoided any attention from her. But, one day, the Scary One was a substitute in Katherine’s class. Katherine needed to use the restroom and had put it off until her needs had become critical. Finally, Nature moved her to make the request.
“May I go to the restroom?” she asked.
The teacher smiled. And with an unusually tender voice responded.
“Aren’t you a polite little girl? Yes, you may.”
That teacher treated her gently from that moment on. From the overheard future scoldings on topics of grammar (often on the “may” or “can” dynamic) from the Scary One, Katherine realized her default use of “may” (from my drills) had been the ticket to that teacher’s good side.
Katherine is 15 now. Think she still uses the word “may” correctly?
Not a chance. LOL
Oh well, it’s in her head somewhere.

Have a great Saturday folks! Avoid that Scary One if she comes around.

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS May 1, 2021 | (


I love a well told story. If it makes me laugh, all the better.

6 thoughts on “SoCS- 5/1/21 The Scary One

  1. A grammar girl after my own heart! I’ve been known to run the can/may reminders myself — the kiddos roll their eyes BUT IT MATTERS. Keep fighting the good fight. 😉

  2. Oh the things ;lurking somewhere in our heads, like big, scary, imposing teachers. If I ever come across one again, I’ll use the word, “may.”

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