Friday, March 11, 2011

The power of words

I've always believed that words hold a lot of power.  Of course I forget that all the time and say things that I wish that I could instantly take back...

But then there are times when you realize how silly words are and how the power comes only from the meaning that we've assigned them.

Garrett has been learning new words...they come every day- new ones.  His t's sound like f's and his r's sound like l's.  So when something is broke, he says it's "bloke".  And when he sees a truck it's a "fwuck".  But sometimes it's not a fwuck...sometimes it's a "fuck".

And that was really when the power that we assign to words was made clear to me.  The word "fuck" is no more powerful than the word "air" except that we have assigned this massive stigma to it.  But when my son is yelling it over and over, with a smile on his face, like he has just witnessed a marriage between Disneyland and Candyland, it actually becomes this darling word.  It makes me happy, because it makes him happy.

Trucks are his favorite thing on the earth.  It's akin to how I feel about say, Bravo TV, Ben and Jerry's, carerra marble countertops, and Oprah...combined.  It's true love.  He practically has a near death experience when we drive down the street on garbage day and he sees all the trucks out on their route.  Right now our neighborhood grocery store is being renovated and the block is covered in loaders, and lifters, and bobcats, and cranes and he can not take it all is just too perfectly wonderful.  "Ooooh Yeahhh!" he yells with excitement.  And "Mom, was dat fuck name?" until I finally label it with the right adjective.  "Digger" I say, hoping that sounds right.  "No, no dig, fat bed (flat bed) fuck."  Dalton waits in the back of the car to see how I respond, waiting for his brother to get the life-time time-out.  But nope, Garrett was right, it was a flat bed truck.

Dalton had Buzz Lightyear.  Shelby had horses.  And Garrett has trucks.
Shelby could care less.  The swear words don't really have meaning to her yet.  But Dalton is beside himself.  My darling rule follower is just filled with anxiety over the eminent imprisonment that is sure to happen for his baby brother.  Everyone knows when you say the F word, the sky falls in.  You loose your virginity, have Lucifer's baby, grow hair on your palms, and start speaking in tongues.

So when nothing happens every week after garbage day, Dalton is kind of shocked.  You mean the F bomb isn't going to usher in the end of the world?  And what am I supposed to say?  I mean, I don't want to condone the F word.  It's not something that I would really like to hear my children say around the home. But I don't want to vilify my darling two year old, because why is it any more wrong for him to say truck that way than it is for him to say broke "bloke"?  He replaced one letter is all, and suddenly the meaning is supposed to change from sweet and innocent to racy and evil?...I don't think so.

Dalton worked with him...the sweet little speech therapist that he tried to be, "Garrett, it's truck.  Can you say truck?  TUUUHRUCK!"  And there was Garrett trying hard to please his big brother, "FUHHUUCK!"  Dalton would practically leap under the couch his ears were so shocked.  But again, no police were parked outside the house, so he has finally figured that it isn't the end of the world.

There are far bigger things to worry about in life...real things.

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