One thing about being a parent – you get to rediscover all the oddities of our language.

For example, Monday of last week C rode with some friends to school. This isn’t really a new thing, but it’s the first time anyone referred to it as a "carpool".

C heard he was "going to car pool" and got incredibly excited. When it turned out that he was actually just riding to school, well, he was very sad. He didn’t want to go for a car ride, he wanted to go to a car pool.

Despite our best efforts, we couldn’t cheer him up. Now, a week later, he still asks us if he can go to a car pool. We’ve explained that there’s not actually a pool. There’s no swimming involved and "carpool" is really just another way of saying "taking a car ride with your friends".

He doesn’t believe us.

I tried to explore just what he thought a carpool was, but he doesn’t want to talk about it. He just wants to visit it.

We’ve established that you don’t even get wet at a car pool. That all you do is drive to school. In fact, it’s really only slightly different than driving to school with his mom. Still, he wants to go on a car pool, or to a car pool, or in a car pool, or at least do something involving a car pool.

To be honest, I think that he doesn’t even know what he thinks it is. It somehow involves cars and pools, however. Both of those things are clearly cool, so the combination of them must be even better. Sort of like the zoo train, which is so much better than either a zoo or a train.

Maybe the zoo train is the key. Maybe that’s what he thinks a car pool is: a car that goes around a swimming pool. People can get out and go swimming, and then get back in the car and ride for a while.

Actually, that does sound kind of cool.

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