Friday, October 07, 2005

More Parroting

Mia, as I've mentioned before, is in the "parrot" stage, a walking, giggling, pooping echo on legs. This affords me no little entertainment. Yes, I take the opportunity to shape her pronounciation a little, but why stop there? Just as I was about to settle the children at the table, I note that Mia is less than fragrant. "Phew, Mia. I think you have a poo in there." "Poo!" "I think you do! Come, let's get you a fresh diaper before we eat." "Dipah! Eat!" "Because you are a stinky girl." "Tinky giwl!" "Yes, you certainly are odiferous." This for my own amusement. There's only so much entertainment value with the subject matter at hand, after all. Moreover, short, simple words do get to be just the teeniest bit boring after, oh two or three steady years of it. Seems Mia feels that way, too, because after a short pause for due processing, out comes... "Oh-da-fuss!" Hey! She said "odiferous"!! "Lie down, relax and recline," I offer, and I wait. Will she? Will she? "Ee-kine!" (Of course she will! This game has potential.) "We'll clean you with this wipe. It's lovely and soothing." "Wipey. Soofing." ("Soothing!" She said soothing.) "And now some cream. Emollient cream." I smile down at her. Can she grab that one? "C'eem!" "Emollient cream." I try again, rolling the syllables out in all their luxuriance. "Amawen." Not bad, not bad at all. There is a sudden crash from the dining room, where one of the three-year-olds has thrown a ball onto the table. Thankfully the place settings, on the table and ready for lunch, are all plastic, because several are bouncing all over the floor, while a multi-coloured plastic ball floats in the pot of soup. My response is muted but sincere. "Oh, shit." Oops.


Blogger CyberKitten said...

Mia is certainly going to develop a substantial vocabulary as she grows. Well done!

10/07/2005 01:44:00 p.m.  
Blogger Stephen (aka Q) said...

The word "shit" is perfectly acceptable, as long as you were referring to the contents of Mia's diaper.

And let's hope Mia only uses the word in that context, too.

10/07/2005 03:07:00 p.m.  
Blogger Mary P. said...

Cyberkitten: My own children all have good vocabularies - comes of having a bibliophile English teacher for a mother! Certain aspects of their vocabularies are entirely their own doing, of course...

Q: Oh, you stole my line! I was planning on making that protest to the first person who chastised me for inappropriate language in a child's presence. (Great minds do think alike.)

10/07/2005 05:55:00 p.m.  
Blogger Heather said...

Shit is my favorite word. I let it slip alot. And when my parrots were paying attention, I'd usually try and edit myself in mid cuss "Shite" - which, I figure is perfectly acceptable in North America. Unless you live with a Brit or a Scot. No one says Shite here, right? This is my defense logic arising. Anyway. Every once in a while I'll hear "Shite!" and it sounds like I've knocking back a few Guiness in Munchkinland...

10/08/2005 07:58:00 a.m.  
Blogger Mary P. said...

When your kids say it, does it come out "shi -- ite"?? (Imagining that "i" short before the break and long after it!)

I've come up with lots of exclamations that are non-offensive: nuts, shoot, for the love of pete, fer cryin' in the swamp... And "shit" is only a vulgarity when you're speaking of the real thing, not an obscenity, anyway!

And then there's the "ass" - "arse" thing. I use 'ass' (not in front of the kids!) freely, but, perhaps because it's not common here, 'arse' just has a bit more punch to it and it comes out, too, from time to time. I've been told 'arse' is perceived as more obscene by Brits than 'ass' is here.

The sociology of obscenity - fun, isn't it? In our culture, mild epithets have to do with excretion; the biggies are the ones surrounding sex. The French have the obscenity of the sacred. Lots of British nasties (perceived as less obscene now than they were a generation or two ago) used to to surround the backside - arse, bugger, faggot. Must be the residual effects of public schools...

And now I really am on a tangent!

10/08/2005 08:38:00 a.m.  
Blogger CyberKitten said...

I always thought it quite bizarre that 'obsenities' revolve around sex & other bodily functions. I mean... What's all THAT about....?

Can you imagine it....

Oi...! DANDRUFF....!!! (looks of shock, disgust & horror from passers by)...

10/08/2005 10:18:00 a.m.  
Blogger Mary P. said...

LOL...Pick an example like that, just as logical as "prick", and suddenly it's not obscene, it's just silly. Which, of course, it is!

The obscenity of the sacred makes more sense, because then you're denigrating faith and possibly deity, and there are all manner of reasons why that might be taboo! (Lightning bolts, pestilence, famine, inquisitions spring to mind.)

But bodily parts and functions? And specifically sex? Why should "fuck" have shock value and make people stiffen in horror and outrage, instead of making all the adults in the vicinity smile with fond memories? (And the men stiffen fondly?)

10/08/2005 07:45:00 p.m.  
Blogger Anon said...

Heather, I hope you were speaking metaphorically :-)

The problem with "Fuck" is it can be applied in so many contexts, see ( for many of them.

Years ago, when my younger brother was about four (14 year gap), he went to stab a carrot with his fork, the carrot took a sideways leap off the table. His response: "Oh fuck!"

My sister and I were sent away for laughing :-)

10/10/2005 05:22:00 a.m.  
Blogger Anon said...

Forgot to say, does Mia watch Telly Tubbies? Sounds very much like them.

When I lived in germany, one of our favourite sayings was: fick mich ein Bus! (on the previous comments theme )

10/10/2005 05:39:00 a.m.  
Blogger Mary P. said...

Si: I'm sure she was, or it wouldn't be swearing, would it? :-)

Mia doesn't sound like a Teletubby - TTs sound like Mia. I figure they were modelled after kids her age.

My children each went through the unmitigated thrill of discovering, and practicing, over and over, the French word for seal: phoque. (Woo-hoo. Imagine the excitement...)

Now off I go to check that link!!

10/10/2005 08:16:00 a.m.  

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