PeePee, Caca and the F-bomb
Happy Tuesday everyone! If you have stumbled onto our site today you are probably here to read about kids. You are either a parent or going to be or have a friend or once heard there are such things as little people. We encourage people without children to read our Tuesday posts because it helps put things into perspective by showing you a different point of view on all those horrible things that happened in your childhood. We can’t wait to see what our kids write about us and the language they’ll use.
Lee says: Kids are the coolest things when they start talking. Their use of language is just fascinating and it shows their inner workings better than an MRI. All three of our kids are talkers. Jeannie spoke in sentences, both English and Spanish, by 10 months. The boys took a little longer but made up in volume and quantity.
Bobby, our precious 5 year old, won’t shut up. I’m serious. If he stops talking he falls asleep. That’s how we know he’s sleeping! There was a time when he was very young that we were concerned about his language development. Jeannie was not a fair benchmark for him. At this point, he creates words that he thinks are correct. At his age it is still normal for him to mix up certain sounds and pronounce words incorrectly which makes for some fun listening. Also, since we don’t dumb down our language at home, he has a better vocabulary than most 5 year old.
For example, he uses words like ‘combine’ and ‘actually’. Truth be told he says ‘convine’ but we know what he means. Instead of saying ‘I stuck them together’ he says ‘I convined several Lego to create this edifice. A fortress from our foes!’ O.K., I’m exaggerating, slightly. He said castle not fortress.
While Ricky, our brutish little animal who is part game show host and part American Gladiator, is talking so much now that it’s hard to remember when he wasn’t communicating. His language is deliberate and I can truly appreciate the personality that is choosing the words he uses. Ricky doesn’t say ‘I love you’ to me, he says ‘I love you, baby’ and then accentuates that with a fist slamming down in the air and saying ‘BAM’. Only I get the ‘Bam’. What does it mean? I have no fucking clue but when a two year old says that to you there is no reason to interpret the utter cuteness of the moment.
All of our kids are receiving instruction, on different levels obviously, on how to talk to people. We teach them to use their words as tools, weapons and platforms. Paul was a master debater (had to say it that way) back in his college days. His understanding of how to formulate an argument or convey the heart of a story is impressive (must be all the master debating practice). I, as a trained therapist, listened to the words someone says very carefully. Did the person say they were sad or depressed? Did they say pissed or angry? Did they say I felt like killing them or I want them dead? The subtle differences are anything but. These kids of ours will be the only kids speaking of pathos, logos, mythos, rhetoric and perception while still in centers in their classroom!
Language is an instrument that can make some wonderful music if used properly. I like to mix it up from the classical to urban, raw funk, while my boys can discuss the motivation of the Penguin in Batman Lego or just say ‘peepee caca’ and laugh uncontrollably.
Paul says: I actually questioned, albeit briefly, why my boys so loved the bathroom talk. I think that the peepee caca talk is directly related to the miracle of creating something that has such stigma. When the two year old, who is still being potty trained, does caca in the toilet, he gets candy. If he plays with it, mommy and daddy freak. If he talks about it, he gets a laugh from his brother and a scowl from his parents. Oh, the power!
Just like an adult, who drop the F-bomb for emphasis, kids have their power words too. Along with words of excrement, ‘no’, ‘stop’, and ‘mommy’ and ‘daddy’ are all power words. Of course, it helps when it is said ‘moOooOooommmeEeEe’ (the capitalization denotes changes in volume).