Sunday, January 26, 2020

Mind your b's and w's

I woke up from my nap this afternoon and groggily made my way down the stairs carrying the baby (who is, in fact, not really a baby but we'll keep calling him the baby for as long as we want) and found Rachel and Miriam in the kitchen making cookies.

It's Sunday, but they started their laundry late, late, late Saturday night so they ended up leaving a wet load in the washing machine overnight (my children always smell divine and never like slightly-musty clothing). And then they had forgotten about it—even though they'd rifled through their load of clothes that had run through the dryer—this morning. In their defense, we had to be to church super early because our tyrant of a choir director insisted on an 8:30 practice before ward conference.

(Andrew is the choir director).

When I noticed that their wet laundry was still in the washing machine I decided I should gently remind them of the fact so I thought the words, "You still have wet laundry in the washing machine," but apparently the words that came out were "You still have butt laundry in the washing machine."

Andrew was in the kitchen, too, and he was the third witness to what I had said and agreed with what the girls said instead of agreeing with me (the tyrant). So now I'm guilty of coining the phrase "butt laundry."

As it turns out, this is a somewhat useful term.


When I found Alexander sitting on the floor in his sneaky-poopy position, doing his best to not poop, I ran him to the potty just in time for him to be successful there. All that he left in his underwear was a well-defined poop smear. So I added it to my pile of butt laundry. See?

Did I ever write that when we lived in what has come to be known as "The Spanish Fork House," we would leave for church in phases? Phase 1 was always Grandpa (and whoever was ready with him). Phase 2 was usually Andrew and I (and the dregs of the household).

Once I left in Phase 2 without Andrew because he was being so slow so when Grandpa asked what phase Andrew had been in I said that he had been a member of the "Lazy-butt Phase."

Grandpa, however, thought that I just called him a "lazy butt-face."

So now instead of calling each other lazy butts, my kids simply say they're having a "lazy-butt phase."

Because we're eloquent.

And because I'm on a roll with these slips of the lips, I will confess the time I accidentally swore at Alexander while singing him a lullaby.

He adores his nursery singing time leader. She told me just to day how proud she was when Alexander hopped up to participate in their action songs (he's loved it but has also been an observer, not a participator, paying close attention to what everybody does and then singing the songs at home where he feels safe). Anyway, she taught him the song I Saw a Halloween Tree. Of course, I learned it as well because we learned it back in the day when Alexander wouldn't dream of attending nursery on his own. And it's a good thing, too, because it's now one of his favourite songs—it's January and I'm still singing about this blasted Halloween tree.

Back in December he started requesting Christmas songs. "Jesus was a baby!" he'd say, so I'd sing Little Star or Away in a Manger or Jesus, Jesus Rest Your Head and then he'd say, "I baw a ah-ah-wee bee!" so I'd sing I Saw a Halloween Tree. And it was a very eclectic selection of lullabies...

It goes like this:

I saw a Halloween tree
And someone was looking at me!
Black cats and bats and witches, too!
The ghosts and skeletons all say BOO!
Ooo-ooo! Ooo-ooo! Ooo-ooo...BOO!

So I started singing it to him and I sang:

I saw a Halloween tree
And someone was looking at me!
Black cats and rats and...

And you know how time sort of freezes and your mind goes a million miles an hour but it's not quite fast enough to stop what's coming out of your mouth anyway? Well, my mind noticed that I had taken that /w/ sound from witches and stuck it in place of the /b/ in bats, coming up with rats (instead of bats) and then my mind thought to itself (because my mind is a little bit of a nerd), "Huh. I must be experiencing a spoonerism. I wonder where I'm going to stick that /b/..."

But my mouth kept on singing those words so I soon found out where I'd stuck that /b/. I stuck it right where the /w/ should have gone in witch (in the blank I'd left by stealing the /w/ to use for rats).

"There it is!" my brain thought. And then it thought, "Oh, dear!"

As my dear Uncle Bruce would say, it was a witch...gone bad.

I choked a little bit but continued to try to keep singing, calmly rubbing my baby's tummy while tears of silent laughter rolled down my cheeks.

The ghosts and skeletons all say BOO!
Ooo-ooo! Ooo-ooo! Ooo-ooo...BOO!

I was laughing because (a) I never swear but I'd just sworn at—of all the people in the world—my sweet going-to-bed baby boy and (b) my brain had been this close to alerting me that I was about to make a big mistake (but hadn't been quite fast enough to the draw).

I've been a teensy bit afraid to sing this song ever since, but my children do a wonderful job of helping me challenge my fears and Alexander is no different. He has continued to request this song every day...so I just sing extra carefully.

So, singers "webare" when singing this song and mind your b's and w's!

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