I may have explained the concept of TCK here before, but it's basically a person who has spent a significant amount of his/her formative years in a culture other than that of either of his/her parents. They have their own "third culture," not their "passport culture" (that of either/both of their parents) and not the culture(s) in which they're living. This includes MK's, business kids, oil kids, military brats, and diplomat kids (no offense to the military kids; it's just the term). And, obviously, our kids.
There's a whole book on the subject (more than one, actually; the one I linked is just the place I would suggest as a start), and hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of research has gone into the uniqueness that is this group. Because, you see, the interesting thing is that, no matter what culture they've grown up in, they have similar characteristics. And they relate to each other, even if they grew up in opposite corners of the world.
I could go on. And I might some day. But the point of this post is to share some funny stories that have resulted from the experiences of my own little TCK's (and one from my own big TCK :-). Mama in the City on SL started a thread asking for TCK stories a while back, and here are a few I contributed.
MA was getting ready for the staff Christmas party at ML's work. I told ML that we needed to make sure to get a picture of her in her dress that day, because my mom bought it for her (and she got sick before we got a picture on Thanksgiving). MA's response, "I know what we can do, we just have to find some people who don't know me, and they'll take a picture of me with their cell phone!" Can you tell this is a blond-haired, blue-eyed little girl who has spent her entire life in a culture that values those traits (too) highly?
Then, there was the time that we were going to a dr's appointment in an upper-class neighborhood in the capital and MS asked what a sound he heard was. ML and I laughed and said, "Honey, that's a lawn mower." Houses here do not have grass, except in that one area of the capital where everyone tries to be as western as possible.
ML's sister and her family were here visiting, and we passed camels on the side of the road. I pointed them out, and our niece got very excited, "A camel! I've never seen a camel before!" MS, in a very bored voice, with a very dead-pan face replied, "Well, I have."
MS has now learned to peruse menus, etc., for English mistakes...just like Mommy and Daddy.
MS was reading a social studies lesson (from his token how-to-learn-from-a-textbook Rod & Staff book) on airplanes (like he needed that lesson). He was thinking out loud a bit as he worked, and then he turned to me and said, "You know, when we fly, I don't really worry about something happening to the airplane. I know that they have lots of high tech things to keep that from happening. I worry about them losing our luggage, because there are so many important things in there." (I promise I have never said a word to him about anything like this. He came up with it all on his own.)
MA came into the kitchen all excited saying, "Mommy, guess what? I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth, and I turned the handle, and water came out!!!" (We'd been out of water for 24 hours or so.)
And one on the big TCK in the house (ML grew up in Africa, for those that don't know): When they were little, ML was (as usual) aggravating his sister in some way, and she had had it. She told him, very sternly, "M, if you don't start acting better, you're not going to go to Heaven *or* America." Apparently, they were approaching a time stateside and the anticipation had been building.