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MoonDragon's Realm - Parenting Humor


Date: Wednesday, February 26 @ 23:45:12 EST
Topic: Slice of Life

Long before my two and a half year old daughter showed any inkling of starting to speak, I began to purge the more vulgar words from my vocabulary. Who wants to note one of life's more colorful four letter words in their baby book as a first word, after all?

It didn't occur to me to think about HOW I was speaking however. Not until I noticed a funny little quirk in my daughter's speech.

"Go outside, hmmm?"

"More juice, hmmm?"

Where did she get that from, I wondered. Then I realized, not without some chagrin, that she got it from me.

I had never noticed doing it, but I often end my questions to her with the "hmmm?" with which she was now ending hers. I'm fairly certain I don't do that when speaking to adults so I'm not exactly sure why I started doing with her. I think I do it when I'm asking her to do something that really isn't an option anyway.

"Do you want to wash your hands before dinner, hmmm?"

It's rather odd to have her saying it to me though.

I'm willing to bet that my daughter's nursery school teacher never noticed how often she says "Okay, that's better", but my daughter certainly has and it is a new addition to her repertoire along with "No! Sarah's using! Sarah's using!" - Another much repeated schoolroom phase no doubt.

I'm not the only mother to come upon this of course. When I mentioned this to my friend she admitted that her own daughter begins many of her sentences with "now": "Now, let's go to park", "Now, let's have dinner". Apparently, she was unconsciously doing the same thing. It's amazing how when you yourself do it you never even hear it, but when your two year old parrots it back to you it comes through loud and clear.

I've tried to stop, I really have, but I don't think I'm succeeding. Now I hear it when I say it, but I still say it. And I've started on a new generation with my newborn son.

"Do you want to take a bath now, hmmm?"

Jennifer Ismail is a stay at home mom to her daughter Sarah and infant son Benjamin. She enjoys writing lighthearted essays from her personal experiences. Her work has appeared in the newspaper as well as on and Email the author.

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