Saturday, December 18, 2010

To-membries

John was always a wonderful source of interestingly pronounced words. "To-member" is still one of my favorites and one we still use around the house. It's funny how different words the kids used have become part of the family vernacular...

The more time I spend with Elena and Dora, the more little things like that I remember. Krys and I were talking yesterday about one of my Mum's favorite memories of her.

When Mum came to stay for Becka's birth, Krys found an eager and appreciative audience for her antics. To this day, Mum still talks about Krys standing on the coffee table, announcing her next trick with "Fuh-paducing, Disten Fedders!". This was usually followed by a song or even something as simple as showing how far she could jump. Whatever Krys did, she was rewarded with clapping and "Brava".

Playing with Elena this morning, I noticed her fascination with the remote control. She's not allowed TV and seems to know it as she's constantly trying to crane her neck to see the screen if it's on. I don't know if she's made the connection between the interesting box and the remote, but she certainly wanted it today.

Rather than let her slobber all over a working unit, I found an old one, removed the batteries and gave it to her. She didn't want it. She wanted the one Grandma had and it made me laugh because it reminded me of her Auntie Krys and Uncle Daniel when they were little ones.

Krys loved Sesame Street... You know, the cool one, before it got all PC and stupid. At about 14 months, she was interacting with the program... usually Elmo. On one occasion, I was transported to motherly ecstasy at the vision of my brilliant first child trying to reach through the screen to find Elmo hidden under a blanket.

Without going into regrets about letting my little ones watch the boob tube, I have to admit there were funny moments... especially with that lovely and tempting remote control. Even at 15 months, Krys knew she wasn't allowed to touch the gray toy Daddy and Mommy used. It was one of the no-nos... along with pulling all the tissues out of every kleenex box and endlessly playing with the magical lamps that turned on and off with the slighted touch on the base.

One night, Charlie and I were snuggled watching a movie while Krys played on the couch next to us. When the channel started changing, Charlie and I looked at each other then at Krys. The little turkey took one look at us, glanced at the forbidden remote in her hands, threw it behind her and sat on it. She then gave us the innocent smile we eventually learned to associate with trouble. We still tease her about her very first fib and instinct to hide the evidence.

With Daniel, it was a whole other story. Like the rest of the family, he was a strong willed child... but he had a determination to do things according to his rules that rivaled (rivals) all his siblings combined.

When Daniel was 3, the master bedroom had 2 remotes. One for the VCR and a universal remote that controlled all the electronics. The universal remote was, of course, much cooler looking than the other one. It was bigger, had more buttons and was almost exclusively kept on Daddy's side of the bed. Like all the kids before him, Daniel knew the "mote-troll" was off-limits. (mote-troll is another word/phrase still used by Charlie and me) Off-limits or no, it didn't stop him one day from stalking over to me and snatching the cool remote right from my hands. Before I could say a word, he put the remote on the night stand, his hands on his hips and his face in as stern an expression as he could manage and informed me "NO! Daddy's MOTE!".

It was one of those moments when the desire to correct one of my kids for ill-behavior was totally over-ridden by the futile attempt to keep a straight face. All I could think was, Yup, he's all male. When I later told Charlie, his response was the usual, "That's my boy!"

Ugh

I'm excited to see the adventures Krys and Becka have with their own strong-willed little ones. In so many ways, their little girls remind me of their Mamas and I can only imagine the stories they'll inspire.

Just out of curiosity, back to the first paragraph... Do you have words exclusive to your family? What is the origin? Do you ever accidentally use them around non-family members and get strange looks? Share, please.