Friday, March 1, 2013

New words for new parents

I've got a couple of friends who are expecting little ones in the coming year, and I could not be more excited for them.  This week, I told one of these friends that the cliches about parenthood are all true.
1. It is the hardest and most rewarding job you'll ever have (actually, the term 'job' infers that money will change hands.  Money doesn't even stay in your hand.).
2. Time flies far too quickly, so cherish every moment (even the crying moments, the spit-up filled moments, the temper tantrum moments, and the poo covered moments).
3. It will change you in ways that you never imagined (*superspecialthanks* to the stretch marks, doughy stomach, gray hair, addiction to coffee, and absudly deranged vocabulary I've inherited as a result of it).

True, I am well-educated, well-read and I work hard to be a wordsmith when I blog, write, and speak.  So, how ridiculous could my vocabulary have become since having kids?  Let's find out.  Here's a small selection of the now-commonplace words that have infiltrated my academic mind, often times escaping my lips before I even have a moment to consider utilizing a different (more intellectual) word choice.

1. Dig Dig: a word that represents any sort of construction vehicle, whether they're used for actual digging or not.  Thanks to Gavin, I can no longer recall the correct name for any of those big yellow truck-like things that can put a kink in my driving 'groove' as I head to the beach, mall, or anywhere I don't want to encounter road construction.

2. Mankie (often times affiliated with Lovey): also known as a 'blanket'. Instead of asking the salesperson where I can find the baby 'blankets' guessed it, I look like a tool.

3.  Chickenmunk: this is another pretty obvious one, and it's pretty adorable.  If you're 3.  Not if you're 30, and over-excitedly exclaiming, "look at the chickenmunk!" amidst a crowd of people at the zoo who have gathered around to admire the peacock displaying his fanciful plumage.

4. Raffie: while visiting another area of the zoo, let it be known that people will stare at you as you smooch your lips together, making kissing sounds and cooing, "here Raffie" to the 17 foot tall giraffe.  Just call a spade a spade, and a giraffe...well...a giraffe.

5. Gravy-yard: Brynn has changed the pronunciation of this word in a cute and adorable way, however it has also changed the views I have on an otherwise delicious accompaniment to my Thanksgiving turkey.

6. Lemon-laid: this sweet and tart thirst quencher doesn't really exist.  However, that doesn't stop me from asking nearly every waiter or waitress if they have it on their menu.  Sure, they understand what I really mean, but I sound like tool when doing so.

7. Hoo-hoop: Brynn has recently mastered the art of using this retro childhood fave.
Oh. wait.  She's learned how to hula hoop.  Does that stop me from using the kid-version of this word when asking her to clean up her toys?

8. Heart-beep:  yet another cute 'kid word' that does not translate well into the adult word when unaccompanied by kids.  My OB appointments when I was pregnant with Raegan were laden with questions from me about her 'heart-beep'.  The doctor felt compelled to remind me that the human heart doesn't actually make a 'beep' sound.  Thanks, doc.  I was worried the next time the alarm went off as I left Kohl's that I was having a heart attack.

9. Ca-ca: the origins of this particular word stem back to my mom (and possibly even her grandparents), when she would tell my brothers and I that practically anything and everything we touched was 'ca-ca'.  Not to be confused with the sound of a cat coughing up a hairball, this 'word' actually does pop up in a Google search and yields results such as 'excrement' or 'feces'.  If this is so, why do I find myself compelled to tell Raegan not to touch the crunched up chip she's discovered on the floor at her sister's dance lesson?  True, the floor is covered with God knows how many germs and bacteria, but do I honestly have to say that?  Can't I just tell her not to touch it without making reference to fecal matter?  Do I have to refer to that and use the term freely and openly in public.

10. Owie: warning: if I see you out somewhere and you have a visible injury (broken leg all the way down to a paper clip), there's a pretty good chance I'll embarrass us both by acknowledging your 'owie'.

11. Potty: a commonly used 'word' among the parent-of-toddler generation, see also: a word that makes you sound incredibly ridiculous when you've asked the lady at Payless if she has a a potty that we could possibly use).  

12. Xpu-ha (shpoo-haa): our family's given name for a vajayjay.  This originally Mayan word loosely translates to 'morning dew' and doubles as the name of a resort where Randy and I had breakfast and snorkeled one morning on our honeymoon.  Perhaps it was the sun, the hangover, the lack of oxygen I had from not properly utilizing my snorkel gear, or the unpasteurized milk I drank at breakfast (that later rendered me motionless except for repeatedly dragging myself to the restroom)...but I thought the sound of this word was absolutely hysterical, and reminded me of a word you could use to replace the giggle-inducing vagina.  Thus, I adopted the word as our own, before even having kids, and now my daughters don't know that body part as another other than 'xpu-ha'.  Let me tell you, the pediatrician doesn't quite get my post-tequila humor and has told me I should probably have the girls call it by the 'proper' name.  Yeah, because 'vagina' sounds like you're ready to meet the queen.

Well, there you have it.  A 'ca-ca' dozen words that have entered into my daily vocabulary, giving others reason to stop & stare, pause & judge, or shake their head in dismay & take pity on my toddler-induced brain deterioration.  I'd like to say I hope to change my word choice and aim 'higher', but I fear that some of these changes (dig dig, potty, and owie) might travel with me to the gravy yard.

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