We have a vocabulary problem in our house, and I'm not sure how to resolve it without getting into a lot of issues I don't want to address right now. The blond twin dubbed herself "blondie." She also dubbed her brunette sister "darkie" -- it's short for the dark-haired girl. I tried to change it to the blond and brunette girls, but it hasn't worked so far.
The other day the blond twin declared, "This is for the blondies only (aka me and my Daddy). No darkies allowed." I held my breath for a minute and tried to think of something to say. Nothing came to mind, so I said, "She's not the darkie, she's the brunette girl." The blond twin replied, "Right Mom, she has dark hair and I have blond hair."
So, you see my problem. We talked about why she shouldn't call her sister the darkie and she can only say it at home. In her innocent world, it's not a racial slur. She doesn't even know that people are mean to other people because of their skin color. In her world, it's all about hair color. She's so proud to be blond like her Daddy.
I'm bracing for the first time she calls her sister a darkie in public. Or worse, she comments on darkies at her racially-diverse school. I'm sure that will result in a meeting with the principal.
We'll keep working on it, but in the end the blond twin is right about one thing. Blondie and darkie do rhyme, whereas blondie and brunettie doesn't roll off the tongue quite the same way. I think we'll work on changing their self-descriptions to blue-eyed girl and green-eyed girl. I don't think bluies and greenies will offend anyone, intentionally or unintentionally.