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Childhood Expressions, Channel Style

First, let me say how glad I am to have met Dr. Barbara Boucher through the blogosphere.  She is an OT, PT and has an PhD in Human Development and Family Sciences.  I really wish she would move in next door to me because I need someone like her on an hourly basis, but at the very least I can encourage others to visit her blog which is full of all types of wisdom and insight!

This week Barbara is hosting a blog carnival where she encourages us to write about favorite childhood expressions.  Last week, I started this quasi-eloquent essay about a stuffed bear that has seen our family from tonsillectomies to MRIs, elbow casts to, now, concussions, but the essay has grown a life of its own and I need to think about it more.  In the interest of actually making a deadline, I have decided to write about some of the the quirky, odd expressions my children have come up with through the years.


I nursed all three of my children well into toddlerhood, and all three devised funny methods of asking to nurse.  Joseph crafted this this “Na Na Na” chant that served him well from about 8 months through 14 months when I found myself exhausted during a second trimester of pregnancy trying, unsuccessfully, to nurse a toddler.  To this day, if he has a question about that particular anatomy, he will refer to those “parts” as “Na Nas.”

Edward, often direct, did not devise a particular word, but would simply command, “Now,” and aim himself in the general direction of a “na na.”  He was also known to propel himself in the direction of strange “na nas” if a familiar one wasn’t in view.

(Not surprising, really.)

Sue crafted this new word “nernie” for nursing, and she, like Joseph, continues to use the word “nernie” to refer to a woman’s bosom, as in the question, “Look at that lady’s nernies!  Why are they so pointy?” and the encouraging and accurate, “Why are that lady’s nernies so much bigger than yours?”

I am well aware that one of the taboo subjects in any motherhood blog is potty training or potty-related writing, but I’ve been at this for almost three years and I just don’t care any more.


When Edward turned two, he declared/deduced that poo poo should actually be called “brown” (because most of the time it was brown).  He then proceeded to call it such in all situations.

We have had to explain this lexical confusion/genius? to teachers, babysitters, friends’ parents: “If he says he needs to ‘make brown,’ that means he needs to poo poo.”

Our entire family has embraced this terminology for the past six years—even grandparents and great-grandparents:  “No, we’ve got to hurry, hurry!  He said brown—brown do you hear me?”

This of course changes the meaning of seemingly innocuous comments like “Brown Head” or “He smells like brown.”  Or, “I think there is dog brown on my shoe.”  “What’s that on the carpet—it looks like brown!”

Or the ever-popular: “This casserole is yuck–it tastes like brown!”

So now, not to be outdone, Sue has labeled tee tee “fountain.”

And now we have conversations like this: “Is it brown or just fountain?”  “There’s a little bit of fountain on my princess potty.”  “Uh-oh…fountain in the car seat!”

(Fountain over brown any day, I say!)

I am not precisely sure this rather ridiculous post is what Barbara had in mind when she asked us to write about childhood expressions, but this is my quirky take and the best I can muster under the circumstances.  (Please remember I am spending every waking hour trying to keep my sensory-seeking-eight-year-old from running or jumping or bouncing or hopping or bopping or crashing or soaring because he has a mild concussion and can’t return to school until Wednesday and then it will only be for half-days.  Yep, I’m homeschooling again, at least for this week, and it feels sorta good!)

Please pop over to Barbara’s blog and join the carnival!

Posted on 26 April '10 by , under Humor/Disconnected Miscellany.

10 Comments to “Childhood Expressions, Channel Style”

#1 Posted by Jen (26.04.10 at 16:10 )

Lol, we too have sayings from as far back as when my sister was a baby that have become part of the family vocab. In our house ‘brown’ was ‘nach’, I think it might have been something to do with the noise it made when it hit the water. My children have yet to come up with a strange name, but I know they will 😀 Jen.
.-= Jen´s last blog ..It’s the small things in life……….. =-.

#2 Posted by Barbara (26.04.10 at 18:35 )

LOL, Elizabeth! If you have read any of the other entries you will know that this post fits-in. If you have read the past carnivals you will know that others have deadline/instructional issues. Sending you a message soon on how we can manage this one. Thanks so much for sharing with your readers about my carnival.
.-= Barbara´s last blog ..Childhood Expressions Blog Carnival =-.

#3 Posted by mrsbear (26.04.10 at 22:49 )

I think you did a great job with this post. I love their expressions, nernies and browns, too much. It actually helps when they use such original expressions, especially when you’re out in public, it keeps people in the dark when your kids are commenting about anatomy among other things. lol.
.-= mrsbear´s last blog ..So You Wanna Write Something… =-.

#4 Posted by Danette (26.04.10 at 23:41 )

Too funny, the “brown” cracks me up! (and umm… potty-related writing is taboo? Oops. guess I have broken that rule a few times).

It’s funny how our kids’ words find their way into the family vocabulary :). Mrs. Bear has a good point, it’s almost like “code” when you’re out in public 😉
.-= Danette´s last blog ..Visiting the vet =-.

#5 Posted by Elle (27.04.10 at 00:13 )

Too funny! J-Man calls it foof and every year he laughs like mad when he watches the Grinch. Because of the line “he brings back their foof.”
.-= Elle´s last blog ..Slap Some Frosting on it & They’ll Eat Anything! =-.

#6 Posted by Tari (27.04.10 at 00:14 )

have you resorted to sitting on him yet?

we are woefully lacking in interesting expressions, although the boys are fond of “frank & beans” for a certain section of their anatomy. i’m sure you can guess who taught them that one.
.-= Tari´s last blog ..Hook Bids Run the World =-.

#7 Posted by The Girl Next Door Grows Up (27.04.10 at 13:41 )

I love your potty expressions! My 2 yrold says poop for everything!

#8 Posted by JoyMama (27.04.10 at 15:21 )

We’ve never generated anything particularly cute for potty expressions here, but I do feel compelled to share my older daughter’s version of the word “armadillo,” which entered her vocabulary at a ridiculously young age.

She pronouned it “dildo.” LOL!
.-= JoyMama´s last blog ..Spring Bouquet =-.

#9 Posted by Bethany (27.04.10 at 23:01 )

I love these creative words your kids have created! It does make it seem like you are speaking in code. 🙂 My niece calls farts “safety” – as in it’s safe, it was just a fart – so she will announce “oops, safety!”.
.-= Bethany´s last blog ..Shooting Beauty =-.

#10 Posted by Patty (28.04.10 at 14:47 )

OK, first, good luck with keeping Edward from bouncing. As a mom of a sensory seeker, I know what you are dealing with here. I myself am not sure I’d be able to keep Danny from jumping and bouncing. Seems almost impossible.

And I didn’t know about the potty training ban on mommy blogs. Hmmm….I didn’t realize all the faux pas I have committed over the years.

I love the “brown.” And I agree–fountain over brown any day!
.-= Patty´s last blog ..Role play =-.