I never learned to appreciate the delicacies of language until I became a mom. I knew from my education and experience that kids are like sponges; they soak up everything. Though of course, unlike sponges, you can’t remove what has been soaked up no matter how hard you try. My oldest son turned 3 this summer and as his vocabulary and cognitive abilities continue to grow at an exponential rate, I am frequently amused by what comes out of his mouth. Here his top ten (so far) little gems.
10. “I’m okay!”
The boys were being wild after their bath one night, playing with my husband and bouncing on the bed. All of a sudden my son goes flying off the bed in an ungraceful mess of arms and legs on to the pillows below and promptly bounces up with a smile on his face and yells this. I immediately started laughing picturing a scene from movie of a college frat party with a drunken person flopping over and trying to cover up for the faux-pas.
9. “Mommy, I have a problem.”
As I’m making dinner, I hear this from the living room in a very matter-of-fact tone. Absent any screaming or crying, I was both curious and terrified to reply (my first thought was something involving poop as I am sure is the thought of most mothers) My knee jerk response was “so what’s your problem?” It was the tone of my response that topped the entire conversation off because my response came out in a way that to any reasonable adult would have sounded quite snotty. I was struck by a mix of amusement and feeling bad about how I replied to him. Luckily he was simply out of juice.
8. “Piggy says ‘arf arf’”
The first time I heard this, I knew we’d have a problem when he goes to school. You see, I work with a dog rescue and one of our beloved pups’ nicknames is “Piggy” due to his frequent rooting for food and ability to impersonate a garbage disposal by consuming nearly anything remotely edible without chewing. We were reading a book about farm animals and when we got to page about the pig and what sound does a pig make, he pointed to the fat pink animal and said “That’s not a piggy, but Piggy says arf arf.”
7. “Poppy’s name is “Hey Babe.”
Yes, my son thought my husband’s actual name was “Hey Babe.” We discovered this last spring when I told my son to tell Poppy that it was dinner time. He promptly walked to the door, opened it up and yelled outside as loud as he can, “Hey Babe, time to eat!” Of course not only was it amusing to discover that he actually thought this was my husband’s name, but hearing this little 3 year old boy yell “Hey Babe” to his father was priceless. Luckily we’ve been able to explain to him that much as I call him by his nickname “Bear,” I call Poppy by a nickname as well, (though for a period of time if you asked him “what’s Poppy’s name” he would reply with this.
6. “Where is Grammy’s new Tom-Tom?”
No this statement isn’t innately funny. What’s funny about this is that he said it in front of Grammy on Christmas morning as we were getting the presents from Santa out from under the tree and passing them to the appropriate recipient. I guess I should have explained that whole “wrapping so it’s a surprise” thing to him while we were wrapping.
5. “You’re going to get such a chicken!”
Unfortunately, this didn’t mean that I was getting live chickens or prepared meat. This was his attempt at parroting a quote from “Phineas and Ferb”, albeit slightly incorrectly. The statement was supposed to be “You’re going to get such a chickening,” (as said by Dr. Doofenschmirtz to Perry the Platypus while describing how his Chickeninator will turn anything it hits into chickens, since chickens are inherently funny.) Needless to say, the silly look and giggling that came from him before, during, and after the statement was the icing on the cake.
4. “Brother FARTED! Ha-ha-ha-ha!”
I never understood why farts were funny…until I had boys. My husband’s family is full of gas, and the men have no shame when it comes to letting it go, at least in the confines of home. The first time my son heard and acknowledged a fart, he broke out in hysterical laughter and asked what that noise was. After a brief explanation he demanded to hear it again, and pointed and laughed. Take this as fair warning; anyone who breaks wind within earshot of him will be swiftly identified…loudly…with ensuing laughter from both he and his little brother (who laughs at anything his older brother laughs at.)
3. “Don’t forget my baby nuts!”
This priceless statement was unleashed on my mother when she had him at the park one day last spring. She realized he had pooped as she was getting him out of the car. She decided to lay him down in the back of the SUV so she could change him. Much to her shock and dismay, he announces this at the top of his lungs as she is wiping him up. I’m not sure what was more hilarious, the fact that he said this, or the fact that he said it to my mother….in public. (As a side note, we do use the proper terms for body parts, though my husband has occasionally used the term nuts when referring to his testicles after having them accidentally squashed or smashed by the kids…and it would be somewhat insensitive of me to correct his language in the midst of the excruciating pain. Obviously the amusement of the word and the situation has stuck in my son’s head more than the word “testicles” and for what it’s worth, at 3, that’s a pretty difficult word to pronounce.)
2. “Poppy, you are dickless!”
Again, this is one of those “is it context or the statement that’s more amusing?” It’s a tossup in my book. My husband was being silly while playing with the kids and had used the word “ridiculous.” Little did we know that it would be repeated as “dickless” by a 3 year old.
1. Using the “F-Word” correctly, complete with appropriate context and tone.
I’ll be honest, both my husband and I have mouths like sailors and initially, it was quite challenging to modify our language appropriately. We both work with the public and are often confined to being polite for the sake of “customer service” so home was a sort of sanctuary from the censorship that work required. Unfortunately, we were a little late on this and one day my son was mystified by some intricate toy that he couldn’t get to work properly and exclaimed “what the f***?!” The kicker was, it wasn’t in a mad tone, it was in an “I’m baffled” tone, so when we initially heard it, my husband and I looked at one another to see if we actually heard what we thought we heard. As he has gotten older we are better with our language, and have explained to him that sometimes adults say words that aren’t appropriate to say. Of course this lesson has gone to the extreme (as does nearly everything with a toddler) and anytime we slip up, he immediately scolds us.
What kinds of things have your kids said that made you laugh, cry, or wish you had a hole to hide in?