WTF? Why did I teach my kid to speak?

Posted on January 20th, 2010

You know, I’m not sure how it happened, but one day Hubby and I decided to teach Junior to speak. Now anyone who has been a parent or who knows a parent or who has even observed the strange “parentus weirdus” species close up at the grocery store knows that teaching a child to speak is one of the stupidest things a parent can ever do. And yet, Hubby and I did it.

And I cannot tell you how much we regret it.

Oh sure, it seems like a great idea at first. It’s so fun to have a 2 year old running around saying things like “mama,” “dada,” and “me wuv you.” But eventually these very same children who “wuv you dis much, mama” learn to be smart alecks. And from what I’ve seen so far, there’s no undoing this strange smart aleck phenomenon.

It starts with “I dunno.” This two-word sentence is the phrase most often uttered in our house by our son. “I dunno” can mean anything from “I don’t know who spilled the ketchup on the new beige carpet” to “I don’t know what is on TV tonight” to even “I don’t know why I used your power tools without permission and have now caused myself to have a grievous injury which is bleeding profusely all over the garage and may require me to have experimental surgery so I can grow a new hand.”

I really hate the words “I dunno.”

At times this phrase will cause me to fly into a manic rage which is usually punctuated with me screaming like a banshee, “DON’T EVEN TRY TO SAY I DON’T KNOW TO MY FACE OR YOU WILL BE GROUNDED UNTIL YOU ARE 85 YEARS OLD!”

Look, I‘ve given up even pretending to be calm when I hear the words “I dunno.” I just can’t. It’s like this. Junior can be in his room with a friend. Suddenly, I hear a loud crash, the tinkle of breaking glass and the hiss of gasps coming from the two children. When I say to Junior, “Are you okay? What happened?” He will reply with “I dunno.”

Excuse me? I heard gasps. I heard a crash. I heard glass breaking. What the heck is not knowable about all this? And people wonder why I am crazy. It’s because my son doesn’t know anything.

Of course, once a child masters the art of “I dunno,” he moves up to swear words. Now, I’m not one of those moms that allows her child to swear. I’m also not one of those naïve moms who believes her child doesn’t swear—but that’s another story entirely.

Of course, because Junior is not allowed to curse, he finds fascinating ways to do so which usually involve either a) compound words such as “butt-nugget;” or b) the word “fudge.”

I’ll be honest here. I was not clever enough as a child to invent compound swear words like “butt-nugget.” I was also much more afraid of my Dad than Junior will ever be of me, so even if I had thought of it, I would never have dared to utter them in front of my father.

Junior, on the other hand, isn’t me. I know this because I have heard the word “butt-nugget” so often I have banned both words from the house. As a consequence, we now sit on our fannies and consume chicken Mc-by-products in interesting shapes.

And let’s not even get into the word “fudge.” Look, I’m not an idiot. I know the word for which “fudge” is a substitution. But what do you do? You have to ban both the word and the intent. So we eat our sundaes with hot chocolate sauce. And we say “darn.” A lot. And very forcefully.

And if the word “fudge” is uttered, I break out the hot sauce. Never underestimate the power of a burning tongue to stop the word “fudge” from being used. Hell hath no fury like a mom who hears a banned word.

But the truth is, hot sauce or no, the only people to blame for all these words are Hubby and I. After all, we thought it was darned cute when he learned to say “doggie.” We just didn’t realize that “doggie” inevitably led to “I dunno” and “butt-nugget.” If only we could go back in time. Our house would be fudge-free.

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12 Responses to “WTF? Why did I teach my kid to speak?”

  1. pixielation Says:

    My biggest regret in teach mine to speak is that they Just. Won’t. Shut. Up.

    My God, they do prattle on! Dolly this, dragon that, boy over there, look at that fly, if I was a fairy I’d turn our cat into a dog and then give us 4 dogs and one dog would be for mummy and one for daddy, no the boy dog for mummy and the girl dog for daddy, no wait that means 3 boy dogs and 1 girl dog and that means I don’t need to turn the cat into a dog, but I want 3 more cats and then…

  2. Laurie Says:

    LOL! But that’s important stuff. I mean, what would happen if you got the girl dog?

  3. nahl Says:

    Hahahah. The fact that i still find your kid adorably cute tells me i’m NOT ready to be a mom yet.

  4. Laurie Says:

    LOL! Thanks for the comment, I loved it!

  5. C Brakewell Says:

    Good points raised here, (or rather, those bits I could easily read). I suffer from color blindness (protanopia to be exact). I mostly use Konqueror browser (no idea if that is of any importance), and a lot of your site is hard for me to read. I know that it is not your problem really, nevertheless it would be nice if you would take into account color blind visitors when carrying out your next web page design.

  6. Cierra Gannett Says:

    haha :) the one that is posting the comments ;-)

  7. Stacey Says:

    I have been regretting the teaching of my children to have their own thoughts and ideas too. Independent thinkers are nothing but trouble and my kids are still preschoolers! Love to chat with you on FB (nursemommylaughs) or visit my blog at

  8. Jeff Says:

    Great stuff; love the blog. Our talkative smart alec little first grade princess has decided that it’s more fun to say her Spanish vocabulary in odd & peculiar ways, as it always gets the attention she’s seeking. I.e., Instead of “adios,” she now will shout out “ooodiaaasss” – regardless of where we are and who might be listening. Our fault: We laughed the first time she did it- advantage Samantha.

  9. Laurie Says:

    Thanks–and I know what you mean. Now that my son is older I hope I have mastered the art of not laughing at all the crazy stuff he does!

  10. Veronica Says:

    Wow, I really love your rants. They are very quirky and have a whole lot of truth to them. It’s sad to say it, but I fear that I may have things in common with your son. And here I thought I might be an exception to the teenager stereotype. I guess we are all alike in some ways.

  11. Laurie Says:

    Hey they aren’t rants. They’re…oh. I guess they are rants! Thanks for reading!

  12. World Says:

    Great article. I just located your website and wanted to say that I own really enjoyed reading your blogs. Anyway I’ll be subscribing for a feed and I expect you write again shortly

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