Rhymes With Duck

Rhymes With Duck 

When you have a child with echlolalia you learn to hold your breath! 

You pray that every adult he engages in conversation with is appropriate and not sarcastic. 

And you never swear in front of him. 

Our standard rule is this: Don’t say anything in front of Jake that can’t be repeated in church. (very loudly)  Because that’s where it comes out and reaches maximum audience reaction.  (I am recalling the time Jake learned to say Holy Crap. It came out in church as he was mimicking the priest during final blessing… “In the name of the Father, Son, and Hooollllyyyyy CRAAAAAAP!” arms up high making the sign of the cross as if he was the pope himself. 

So last month, when Chris and Jake were doing their usual “daddy day” activity of hopping on the Metro train and riding to a new stop to find supper, Jake learned some new words. 

Apparently, as told to me by Chris, some boys were on the Metro with them. Every other word out of their mouths was a curse, namely “What the F…?”  Chris did an excellent job of taking the power out of the words, by totally ignoring the kid’s language and not reacting. Jake heard it though, he hears everything, and it goes in for good!

Fast forward to me picking my guys up from the Metro. All is well and both are very happy. We slid into the house about 20 minutes before bedtime so we jumped right into night time routine. No time to talk to Chris about how it went, no briefing, assume all is copasetic. 

I told Jake twice to brush his teeth and in his usual pre-teen-age snarkyness he just looked at me and laughed. Finally the last time I told him… he says “What the F mom, why do I have to brush my teeth?” 

Remember, I was not briefed by Chris and had no idea where, why, or how the hell what just happened, actually happened! 

I just looked at him and said, “I see you learned some new words big man, let’s brush your teeth.” With every fiber of my being I didn’t react, no faces, no eye rolls, no scared look, no wet pants! I just stopped breathing momentarily.

“So mom, what does WTF mean?” (note: every time I write WTF he actually was saying the full phrase.)

I told him it was an awful thing to say and it was very hurtful. He countered with, well the boys on the train were saying it A LOT. I added that educated young men don’t speak using those words. 

Then the barrage: 

“Is it worse than saying hate?” Yep

“Is it worse than saying stab?” Yep 

“Is it worse than saying krunchee kwa?” Yep (that’s jake’s swear word phrase)

“Is it worse than saying poopy butt head?” OH Yes sir. 

And…”I don’t ever want to hear it cross your lips again. Got it?” 

“Got it.” 

“Pinky promise?” he asked holding up his chunky little pinky.

“Pinky promise.”

The rest of nighttime routine was uneventful and he followed all directions appropriately. So now I’m kneeling by the edge of the bed we’re ready for prayers. Every night is the same. We do, thank you Gods, I’m sorry Gods and tonight I will dream about…

“Thank you God for all the yummy food I got to eat, mommy, daddy, Jake, Sam, Mikey, Peter, Gramma Stacia, metro rides, my oh so awesome school and super duper hot dogs!” 

What are your “I’m sorry’s?” 

Ready for this… 

“I’m sorry God for saying WTF. I really didn’t mean to say WTF,  but those boys did say WTF and I just said WTF to my mom. I promise not to say WTF again because educated young men don’t say WTF all the time because WTF is really bad. Ok God, so I won’t say WTF again!” 

At this point I’m totally dying. I have my face pressed so far into my praying hands to hide my laughter that my fingerprints are imprinted and making new wrinkles and red marks in the skin on my face. 

“AMEN!” I screamed and let’s get in bed. 

Insert: did you catch it? In an effort to escape and in my panic, I forgot something and changed routine.

He curled up in the usual way, all blankets tucked in perfectly symmetrical to the wall, stripes facing the right direction, tucked into the bottom so there’s enough slack to go over his head and bury himself.  

Lights out. 

Music on. 

Sound machine blaring. 

“You are my heart buddy, good night.” I’m half-way out the door to freedom… and so ready to punch-out on the parenting clock.

“Wait what am I going to dream about?” 

Crap I thought I had the perfect getaway. I so needed to evacuate quickly because I was about to burst into laughter at his efforts to say WTF as many times as he possibly could in a 2 minute prayer.

“Um, how bout you dream about our summer trip to Wisconsin?”

“OK sounds good. Good night mommy, I love you sooooo much!” 

“See ya buddy.”

I made a bee-line to find Chris. 

He was in the next room, lying face down on the bed with a pillow over his head laughing and laughing, full body laughs.  

I plopped down next to him and said, “Dude, what the F was that?” 


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