Yesterday morning, armed with two hand whisks, most of the ingredients needed to make a sumptuous vanilla cake and an iPhone with a cracked screen, my son and I sat down to record the pilot episode of our cutting edge, genre redefining cooking show, “Baking with the Bubster”.
To be perfectly frank, the cake was a bit of a disaster (I forgot to buy eggs). Despite this, the pilot wasn’t a complete wash out. Far from it, in fact. For starters, my phone made it through without suffering any further damage. Then there was the bubster’s Oscar-worthy performance as Best Supporting Presenter/Sous Chef (top line “we’re making a cake for the gardeners”). And then there were my words. Such beautiful, loving and incredibly similar words. Which got me thinking. Has parenting shrunk my vocabulary in the same way that it’s decimated my social life?
I contemplated this for a considerable passage of time before eventually concluding that my issue with repetitive speech had more to do with being in charge of a growing toddler than being in possession of a dwindling vocabulary. I know what you’re thinking. And yes, I did intentionally fill that sentence with long words in a bid to prove that my grey matter was still in tip-top working order ;-).
But back to my problems with prose, which I have resolved to both alleviate and celebrate. How? Well, I am going to alleviate them by expanding the number and style of books that I read to my son. And I am going to celebrate them by sharing the above parenting word cloud on social media until I am blue in the face and mums and dads around the world are laughing their socks off at my ability to summarise the frustrations of modern parenting in such a clear, original and hilarious fashion.
Got that? Fantastic, then all that remains for me to do is a) ask for your help in the sharing process (I’m a one-man band who is banned from advertising on Facebook, so any retweets, shares, like, comments etc. really are much appreciated) and b) explain some of the more surprising/made-up words I’ve included in my parenting word cloud. Namely:
What can I say? My wife, the bubster and I are jet-setters who regularly spend weekends in the south of France and… it’s all a big fat lie. We just happen to live near a private airport, which has quite a lot of traffic, a fairly decent viewing area and a Greek restaurant.
Yes, I did mean to include both. Ouch comes out of my mouth when my son is eye gouging/nipping/scratching/punching/kicking me. And ouchie comes out of my mouth when my son has fallen over, and I am trying to work out the body part I need to rub in order to stem his tears.
My son once saw me climb on the dining room table to change a lightbulb and now regularly endeavours to recreate this magical moment by standing on his chair, reaching towards the ceiling and pretending to switch a blown bulb for a good one. It’s pretty cute, if a little dangerous.
Penny, Elvis, Tom and Thomas
These four names are included solely due to my son’s love for Fireman Sam (who also makes the list). Every morning over breakfast we watch the Pontypandy-based show, and every morning he eats half his porridge and then starts doing that pretend retching thing all kids love. At this point, I call on the big guns. Which essentially means I pause the show and tell him to eat another spoon for Penny, Elvis or Tom Thomas (he’s the mountain rescue helicopter pilot).
Nano is my son’s grandmother, lead babysitter and chief playmate.
My son wasn’t the biggest fan of going to nursery. So what’s a dad like me going to do? No, not that. I noticed that his uniform and my jacket were both blue and went from there. Pretty soon, I’d come up with a club (the motorcycle spotters in blue), a game (spotting motorcycles) and a theme tune (“We are the motorcycle spotters in blue, we spot motorcycles that’s what we do.”) And do you know what? It’s made our journeys to nursery, and indeed everywhere else, much more fun. The word genius is overused, but on this occasion I’ll take it.
This is another song-based entry. Dodi first entered our household parlance because it rhymed with daddy, leading me to create the song “Daddy, dodi”. This sounds terrible, and it pretty much was, but for some reason it has now developed into a word association game. For example, if I sing, “Daddy, dodi”, my son responds, “Mummy, dodi”, and if I warble, “Hamish, dodi”, my son replies, “Eilidh, dodi” (they are his cousins). I agree that the origin doesn’t make a great deal of sense, but it seems to be a good way of teaching him the names of family members and friends who we don’t see very often, so maybe give it a go.
Costco isn’t just the place my wife and I go to buy enormous packets of nappies, wipes and milk; it’s also the place my son and I go to get our extremely well-priced cottage pie and jacket potato lunches. And talking of lunch, I’d best bring this blog to an end, get off my backside and sort it out. Until next time…