Monday, August 15, 2011

Two-Letter Words You Don't Want To Hear

When you have a kid, four-letter words ought to disappear from your vocabulary.  While this is easier said than done, most of us at least make an effort to stop dropping F-Bombs in the presence of our children.  (Except for one friend whose potty mouth has rubbed off on his daughter, who -- at least once or twice -- has called people fucking assholes.)
But what about those nasty little two-letter words that keep getting us into trouble? How will we ever manage to censor ourselves?
Of course, I'm referring to the words "no" and "up".
A friend recently admitted that she was trying to teach her 10-month-old how to say "up".  I gasped, along with another friend who has a 2-year-old daughter.  We explained that "up" becomes part of every child's vernacular in due time, and that there's no sense in jumping the gun.  Once they learn how to say it your life is essentially over.  
Now that Mackenzie has officially graduated from babbler to pre-talker, my days are filled with the beautiful sound of her voice cacophony of random words she's learned.  (This, of course, is interspersed with the music from those damn Fisher-Price toys that don't seem to have working mute buttons.)
The problem with "up" is that Mackenzie doesn't realize that it isn't always an option.  I'll be on the toilet, in the shower, cooking dinner, or driving the car and she'll say, "up" with her arms outstretched.  
Likewise, she'll beg for "up" while I'm pushing her stroller through a crowded mall, across a busy street, or between sketchy people at a rest stop.  She even wants "up" when she's being held.  It's like, "HellO!!! You ARE up! Give me a freakin' break."  
Then there's "up" that will require me to contort my body into a human pretzel and break my back along with several ribs.  Sometimes, as soon as I manage to complete "up" Mackenzie will want "down"which is really the icing on the cake.  
Of course, I can say "no" -- as in "No, I'm not picking you 'up'".  
But that just comes back and bites me in the ass. 
Nine times out of ten, when I utter the word "no" Mackenzie will respond with a defiant and spiteful "NO" along with what I refer to as "the stink face". 
I say "no" to tearing apart clean diapers.  She says "no" to diaper changes.  
I say "no" to rummaging through neat and tidy closets.  She says "no" to getting dressed. 
I say "no" to throwing food on the floor.  She says "no" to eating the rest of her dinner.  
I say "no" to standing in the bathtub.  She says "no" to having her hair washed.  
Just about the only thing she hasn't said "no" to is being "up" (smart kid). 
So despite the fact that I didn't exactly teach Mackenzie how to say "no" or "up," she's been quite capable of learning these words on her own and using them in proper context.  
I guess I should be happy.  After all, I have a healthy and vibrant 14-month-old who's developing language and cognitive skills...
If only she wasn't developing a sassy personality at the same time. 

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