When I was in Grade 10, I remember sitting in my English class and making my small blue thesaurus my best friend. Never again did I want to use an average word where an incomprehensible and haughty word would do. Happy became mirthful, positive became cocksure, hat became tam o’shanter. It didn’t take long before you needed to run my writing through a reverse thesaurus before you could understand it.
I’m now closer to having a child in Grade 10 than I am to being in Grade 10 and my vocabulary has taken a decided turn for the simpler. Take the other night for example. We were sitting around the table talking about a family members colonoscopy preparation just like all families do and my wife said to me:
“Apparently it’s pretty awful for the couple of days before the procedure. I guess you’re on the potty all the time.”
Now, my no means did she need to tell me that you spent all the time on the commode, but maybe something along the lines of “apparently you spend a lot of time in the bathroom.”
That not only would have been more appropriate for the dinner table, but would also have proved that my wife and I were both schooled beyond Grade 4. This is really but one instance of our ‘with kids’ vocabulary mixing with our ‘with adults’ vocabulary.
And as bad as it is having these instances occur at home, it’s nothing like being in a meeting and excusing yourself to head to the potty or to ask anyone else if they want part of your yum yum after lunch.
“Do you mean do we want your food Mike?”
“I guess so, it doesn’t sound as good when I say that to adults.”
“We also have our own food.”
“Do you need me to cut it into teennie weenie pieces for you?”
“You’re talking like a parent again.”
This wasn’t the first time and I doubt very much that it will be the last time we do this. I also highly doubt we’re the only parents who have let slip our child-isms when they didn’t mean to. Do you have any memories of telling your boss he has some schmutz on his face? Or anything better than that?