Monday, June 3, 2013

What Did You Say?

My children were like all other kids growing up. They played, went to school, fought with one another, but certain things that they said stuck with me and will come to my recollection when I think about them when they were young.
My oldest child Amanda latched onto a phrase that she picked up from a television commercial. It was for a dog food advertisement. The voice of a child would say, “My dog is so big…” and the dog would come on screen carrying a tree or something equally impossible for a dog to lift.
She added her own twist to the commercial. We had a larger dog. It was half German shepherd and half Alaskan malamute. Our dog was male and did heist a leg and hose down the side of his dog box, weeds, or bushes.
Her addition to the catch phrase was, “My dog is so big, he pees on trees.”
When we visited anyone, that catch line was the first thing out of her mouth. It usually caught people off guard and it was funny, so they would laugh. And the laughter would spur her to tell it at the next place we visited. It was a self perpetuating cycle. The phrase would cause a laugh and the laughter would encourage her to say it again.
We wanted to discourage it and stop her from doing it over and over again. Either my wife or I would go to the people we were visiting while the other would stay at the car with Amanda and her brother. The one who went into the house first would say, “Amanda is going to say, ‘My dog is so big…he pees on trees.” We know it’s funny, so get your laughter out now before she comes in.” They would laugh and I would signal the all clear sign to come in.
Amanda came in and would say, “My dog is so big…” and no one would laugh. Finally, she stopped because the laughter stopped.
Andrew my son had trouble with certain words when he was younger. He didn’t like storms and would come to us saying “It’s winny, Daddy. It’s winny.” meaning the wind was blowing hard. Another word he had difficulty getting his tongue around was watermelon. He called it a “waterlemmel.” His aunt Beverly was Aunt Betty. I am glad to say, he has grown out of it.

Anna, the youngest, is effervescent and it frequently bubbled over. One day at school, she was using the restroom. It was a small private school and the restrooms were near the classrooms. While she was inside, her mind wandered. The lyrics of a song popped into her head and it flowed out her mouth. In the empty bathroom, it echoed.
The teacher and students in the closest classroom heard, “La la, la, bomba!” pouring from the restroom.
Knock, knock, knock. The teacher rapped on the stall door and said, “Anna, You’re being much too loud in here. You need to be quieter. You’re disturbing the other students.”

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