|Our Very Patient and Very Loved '2-Pid Tat' Rena|
Olivia, the newest of the chickens, hopped on top of the composter, then made ready to jump the fence into the neighbor’s yard. I was worried and annoyed. Part of the unspoken agreement I have with my neighbor about the chickens is that they stay on our side of the fence. I had already clipped Olivia’s wings, but the allure of a safe haven from the flock bullies set her small mind in motion to find another way. Seeing what she was about to do, the Figlet called out as I had so many times before “2-pid Chickie!”It was contextual. It was eloquent. It was very nearly properly annunciated. It was funny. But as much as it made us giggle, it was also the proverbial warning shot. When I lofted the “2-pid tat!” from the bed for using me as a scratching post while we were reading stories, we knew it was time for the language police to start walking the beat.
Apparently there was an episode of Modern Family called “Little Bo Bleep” that aired last winter and cause quite a stir. I can’t comment on it. We don’t have a TV. I also can’t blame the TV for any colorful additions to the Figlet’s vocabulary. Seeing as she doesn’t go to daycare, we can’t blame that either. The culpability sits squarely on our laps here at home.
The language police were doing a pretty good job throughout the spring. The pets apparently got smarter. “Please”, “Thank you” and “Excuse Me” all made their debut. Aside from being told a few times that I have a “Nice butt-butt” while getting dressed, the Figlet’s language development would make a pastor proud. (Okay, so there was that one widely publicized and highly overrated incident posted on Facebook by my Companion, but we don’t talk about that.)
Then, a couple of weeks ago when the language police were looking the other way, something slipped out of hand onto the kitchen floor and “Oh 5h1t!” slipped out too. No sooner was it said that it was repeated. My companion and I looked at one another in a collective effort not to laugh. The language police rushed to the scene of the crime, but it was too late.
The following week at the beach, crouching down letting the water lap at her feet, a wave just big enough to knock her over did just that. Out of the salty spray came the unmistakable words “Oh 5h1t!” It was contextual. It was eloquent. It was properly annunciated. It was funny. It was also hard evidence that removing the phrase from our own vocabulary and straight faced efforts of non-reaction weren’t going to be enough to alter her behavior this time.
At the urging of the language police, now when something falls, it gets sound effects. More often than not, that sound effect starts with an S; “Oh Shazbot!”or “Oh Sploosh!” It isn’t the easiest thing to condition ourselves to, but it has one big advantage: when the Figlet comes out with a creative expletive alternative, it is perfectly acceptable to laugh!
I hope that this letter has found you and yours in good spirits and good health. Until I write again…