Yo no hablo español…somebody is going to kill you, Mom.

May 4, 2011

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There I was, sitting in a Caribbean paradise, wishing I had paid a little closer attention to Handy Manny, Dora, and Diego.  Yep, I said it…and really wished it.  What’s worse in the eyes of a foreign country…that you butcher their language trying to say something…or opt to be lazy and just speak English because you know they most likely understand it?  I opted for the second, in lieu of ordering puke on a stick or something on vacation in Mexico.

Isn’t there an app for that?  There might be, but you have to pay a ga-zillion dollars while you’re out of the country to use your smart-phone.  No kids and no iPhone.  I almost relaxed permanently into my beach chair.  Still, it would have been nice to know a little Spanish.   I’m inspired to learn.  Not only for the authentic Mexican experience next vacation, but to ‘one up’ my three year old and her sassiness.

Seriously…my toddler takes the most random lines from the most random places and smashes them together into something so disturbing I fear that if she blurts it out in public I’m going to end up having some serious explaining to do.   They may be angels shopping at Target, but Mom get’s all the good stuff at home.  Her new favorite word is ‘never.’  No, actually…it’s ‘NEVER!!!!!’  All day long, in response to the simplest of tasks, that is her response.

“Brianne, can you please put your arm through your sleeve?”


“Brianne, can you please eat your dinner?”


“Brianne, can you please come here so that I can put your coat on?”


“Brianne! (as she does the ’30 seconds left till I pee my pants’ potty dance) Get to the bathroom before it’s too late!”


“Brianne, can you please be quiet so you don’t wake your peacefully napping little sister up?”


No matter how many deep breaths I take, or how hard I run in the morning, some days I can’t welcome that day-ending glass of Merlot soon enough.

So, the latest addition to the ‘NEVER’s’ came about a week and a half ago.  She was mad because she had to sit in time out.  And, as usual, there was an outpouring of ‘I’m sorry’s’ and ‘you hurt my feelings’ as she protested all the way to her corner.  This time, she topped it off with, “Mom, if you don’t be nice to me, someone’s going to come and kill you.”

(Ahhh…This is why I wasn’t bawling when I left her with Great Grandma and headed to Mexico.)

Mind racing trying to figure out where this came from, and take quick stock on whether it seemed she understood what she was saying…I decided not to react to it, instead just setting the oven timer for 2 minutes…and walking away.

She repeated it the next time out…then the next (mind you…a three year old can go through quite a few time outs on a ‘bad’ day)…then she started whipping it out just to test me…obviously sensing I was trying to use the ‘ignore it and she’ll stop saying it’ technique.   One week in, after wracking my brain to try and come up with how she got exposed to ‘kill,’ she said it again in the tub.

“Mom, if you hurt my feelings again (which is her take on getting in trouble for misbehaving) someone’s gonna come and kill you.”  Meanest look ever.

I swung her around in the tub and looked her right in the eyes…demanding to know where she heard it from.  She clearly couldn’t remember, so she just started rattling off different family member’s names.  When I told her (in toddler terms) what that meant, her eyes welled up with tears and her arms reached out to hug me.  Clearly, the full scope of the phrase had escaped her.  I mean, the kid slept with our picture while we were gone for 3 days…I doubt she wants me to get ‘killed.’

Next morning rolls around.  I fix her breakfast and she asks to watch ‘A Bug’s Life’ while she eats her Cherrios.  20 mins or so into the movie, I hear Hopper the Grasshopper tell his brother, “If I wouldn’t have promised Mother I wouldn’t kill you…I’d kill you!!!”


I should just let her watch Conan…the heck with it.  At times, she conceptually understands some things about as much as I know how to order a beer in Mexico.

A Bug’s Life…I would have NEVER EVER NEVER guessed that.  What kind of crap did we say when we were little?  Shoot…we grew up watching Elmer Fudd wanting to kill Bugs Bunny so bad he had a frigging meltdown every Saturday morning.  Here I am listing ‘so I can say she didn’t hear it from me’ as a benefit to learning Spanish…and she’s picking the crap up from kids cartoons anyway.

Big lesson in ‘can’t control the child.’  It’s more comical to look back and laugh about the mistakes she made rather than stress out about preventing them.  I gave her life to live it, right?  Not orchestrate it.  That’s got to come in handy down the quick line to 18 and ‘I hate you, Mom…”  Maybe I should have just ordered in Spanish and wished for the best.  Nah…I don’t know what they are saying while smiling so giant that a whole burrito could fit in one bite…but I don’t think it’s ‘Awww…how cute… that little American is trying to speak Spanish.’

Otra cerveza, por favor 🙂


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