Saturday, July 16, 2011

Quotes and Kid-Speak

I choose to live by choice, not by chance; to make changes, not excuses; to be motivated and not manipulated; to be useful, not used. I choose self-esteem, not self-pity; to listen to my inner voice, not the random opinions of others." - Anonymous

My daughter, Mary, posted the above quote as her status on Facebook.  I like it.  I wanted to share it.  So there it is.  It particularly fits Mary, our 6th child, 4th daughter.  She's always been a bit of a free spirit and although not a rebellious teen, she chose her own path, had fun doing it, made lots of friends and has turned into a beautiful, strong, independent young wife and mother, all the while following the words of that anonymous quotation.

Baron, Mary, Layla and Greg - 2010

When they were little, the kids used to say such cute things, quite inadvertently, that  became part of our family's peculiar and personal language.  I wish I had written them down.  Here are a few that I remember.

1.  When we had six kids, several years before Emily was born, we moved our family from Saskatchewan to Nova Scotia.  We drove the 3000 miles in a small station wagon (before seatbelts were the law), spending almost 5 days on the road.  To this day we refer to the back of a station wagon or van as "the way back".    To make things easier on us parents, and to provide a measure of safety for the kids, we instituted a buddy system to be used at all stops along the way.  3-year old Mary was assigned to be 9-year old Jenny's buddy.  Mary couldn't say "buddy" so she called Jenny her "Bunny".  That term stuck in our family for many years.  Jenny was, and still is, Mary's bunny.

Lloyd and I with the six kids the year the buddy system was begun - 1981
Rob, Mary, Mike, Sara, Jenny, Amy

2.  Here's one from the grandkids.  Charlie started pre-school when she was 4 years old.  For some reason she called it "pretty school".  Her mother, Sara, tried to correct her the first few times she said it but Charlie continued to go to "pretty school".  It wasn't long before the whole family was referring to Charlie's school as "pretty school". The next year it was her brother, Max's turn and he happily went to pretty school, just like Charlie did.  And this year Elly will be the third one in the family to attend the same pretty school. 
Sara with Charlie, Elly, baby Quinn and Max
This is a Father's Day picture for Quincey

3.  Rob used to torment the girls.  He's our firstborn, followed quickly by three little girls, a boy, and two more girls.  We had been visiting my parents  and Rob was doing his usual good-natured teasing of his little sisters.  My mother noticed this and asked him why he was tormenting the girls.  He thought for a minute and then said, very seriously, "because it's my job".  And another phrase was coined and stuck.

Sara (9), Mike (7), Rob (14), Emily ( 1 mo.), Amy (11), Mary (6), Jenny (13)  June 1986

4.  Family language is often the result of mispronunciation.  Rob used to call the 12th month of the year "DeZember".  And when he could recall something he said he could "Bemember" it. Both of those words became part of our family language.  I'm sure things like that happened in many families.

5.  Another term that was in common use by the first six kids was Bowlie Black - their name for the old swing set we had in the back yard.  Lloyd and I didn't know about this word until a few years ago but the kids all knew what it means, although they forget why it was called that.

Sara and Amy on Bowlie Black, 1979

6.  Lloyd used to give people nicknames if he liked them.  The kids were Rob the Bob, Jenn the Ben, Sara Bara or Sari, Amy Bamie, Mike the Tyke, Mar-Bear and Em the Gem.  And of course, I was Pat the Brat although I brought that name with me from my childhood.  Sara's friend Janelle got called Rosella so much that Lloyd can no longer remember her real name.  When Jenny introduced us to her soon-to-be husband, Anders, Lloyd called him Antoine.  He gradually stopped the nicknames, but the kids used to say that if Dad liked someone he gave them nicknames.

Well, that's enough.  They've all grown up to be very responsible husbands, wives and parents and no doubt their families are developing their own particular language idiosyncracies.  I just hope they're writing them down so they won't be forgotten in the mists of time and fogginess of memory.

Maybe you'll write yours down too.  I hope so.



just call me jo said...

Rachel (daughter) has me write down things her kids say. I say it'll do her no good if she doesn't keep that herself. You had A LOT of children. You are a brave lady. I like the sayings and pictures.

Anonymous said...

The nickname for Anders was Lars not Antoine.

JQ said...

This turned out nicely, eh? I've got to get a copy of that bo-lee-black picture. But LOL, Mum. Which ones of us would you say DIDN'T choose our own paths? HA!

Desiree said...

It must be such a joy for you to sit back now and watch your children raise their own families. We stopped at two children. Our son arrived just short of two years before his sister and we decided we'd been well blessed with two such beautiful, healthy children. I loved every single moment of being a fulltime, hands on Mother to them until they left home. I take my hat off to you for having raised seven children so successfully. I loved reading this post and enjoyed seeing the pictures of your family, then and now.

Holly said...

I love the words we have in our family that only we know. Like when we took my son to sea world because he wanted to see the uncle-pusses and the snarks (octopusses and sharks). Sweet post!

Thisisme. said...

I agree with Desiree, it was such a treat to see those photos of your family - I love the one when you and your husband were younger with the six little ones.(and then another little one came along. How precious!) You have been blessed indeed. I love that Rob said "because it's my job!" Well, there's no answer to that! Also liked the pretty school and the bunny one. WOnderful! Happy memories.

Bouncin' Barb said...

Great memories and fun! One of my favorites that my son used to say was "when are we going on buh-cation?" It was just too cute. Thanks for sharing the pics and memories.

Michael MacKenzie said...

Bowlie Black? Never heard of it.

When I was a teenager, Dad gave me the nickname Macmikester. I guess I wasn't much of a tyke by then.

Mickey said...

I wrote some of my kids cute words & phrases in their baby books. I should look them up!

Anonymous said...

Really nice Mom! Thanks for the kind words :) - Mary

Haf Dozen Reasons....... said...

Fun post!
Our two oldest kids said maz-a-gine.
Clark had a speech issue til he went thru years of speech therapy. He said the cutest words.

corners of my life said...

I so remember the "short shorts" look of that era and I had to laugh at Mike (7) having a little itch at his nose in the photo :)