Thursday, October 09, 2008

Little Listeners

The kids have been listening to me. Which, as any mother will tell you, is a mixed blessing. I mean, we want them to listen, but it's not always at the top of our list to have them repeat the things that we have been saying. Even if what they are repeating aren't 'bad' things. Take a recent scene in our kitchen, for example....

**A bit of background here. Back in the old days, when I worked at the pre-school, I had a friend who I very much enjoyed watching interact with children. She had that special knack for the 20-ish month old age range, and a true love for the children and the quirks they have at that age. It didn't phase her to be potty training half her class, and diaper changing the other half. She just took in stride. She was also a wonderful mother to her little 15 month old, and we were both happily expecting our second children together.

Her terms of endearment ranged from love to sweetie to turkey-butt. Oddly enough, turkey-butt, which she affectionately called her son, stuck in my head. And I found myself calling my children turkey-butt as they came of age to get into all sorts of mischief. A kid who dumped out a drawer full of clothes? 'You little turkey-butt! What was that about?' The child who lotioned herself with more lotion than she needed in a week? 'Goodness, turkey-butt! How are we gonna get this stuff off of you?' And so on and so forth.

In the last year, I have been paying for calling them that little nick-name. It sounds vaguely cute when issuing forth from an adult mouth, but down right vulgar from the mouth of a pre-schooler. Hence the decision to pluck it from my vocabulary and discourage those sweet little mouths from using the phrase turkey-butt. 'Butt' was already off limits, as we call that part of our anatomy our bum or bummie. The nick-name was a way around it, though. So it took some time to divest ourselves of it.

And there you have it. A long-winded version of how we arrived at the point of this post. Aren't you glad you have stuck around so far? Hold your horses...the punch line is coming.**

Back to that kitchen scene...

I was creating some culinary masterpiece, rest assured, as the children were scampering about the kitchen. In general, they were being good, if not a bit distracting and a lot noisy. I was mindlessly listening to the chatter that was going on between the older two, and actively trying to keep Elizabeth from rummaging though the trash can when my ears perked up and my brain kicked in.

"Gracie, say turkey-butt!" said Thomas.

"No." replied Sarah Grace.

"Say turkey-butt!"


"Sarah Graaaaaaace...say turkey-butt!"

At this point, I was about to reprimand Thomas for using a word that was off limits when Sarah Grace cleanly stepped in and took care of it for me.

"Thomas, your words arwent pwaise-worvy. You souldent say butt," she informed him in a less than sweet manner. (Read - yelled at him!) "I'm gonna tell Mommy you said butt.'

To which Thomas quickly replied in a very panicked manner,"Well, your not promoting peace!"

Which is what I tell the children they are doing when they come to me to tattle on one another. That they are not promoting peace and to go work it out sweetly.

For my part, I kept my back turned to the situation and did my best to not let them see my shaking shoulders and tears of mirth.

*Thanks to LL for introducing 'promoting peace' to my repertoire of hot words!


Lora Lynn @ Vitafamiliae said...

Sounds like this is only the beginning between those two.

The Bouldins said...

Hee. Thanks for a preview of what I'm in for soon! :) Too funny.

Love "promoting peace"