Saturday, October 9, 2010

The "WawClaw"

I have often been asked if kids exhibit personality traits as little tykes that are also clearly visible when they become adults. For everybody else’s kids, the answer is a resounding YES! For my own kids, at least for my daughter, the answer is a firm NO COMMENT! You see, my daughter reads this blog and ….. well, read on for details!

When my daughter was about 14-months-old, she spent her days at the home of a relative (we’ll call her “Aunt Peg”). Aunt Peg was like a second mother to my daughter, as she took care of her, taught a few things about life, bought clothes for her, and spoiled the daylights out of her.

Since my daughter spent so much time with Aunt Peg, she began to pick up some of her habits, just like she was picking up our habits at home.

While we preferred to call items by their rightful names and even introduced a plethora of big words to our kids (see my post from September 5, 2009), Aunt Peg, unbeknownst to me at the time, liked to make up babyish names for items around the house, such as “shoozies” for shoes, “bikelee” for bicycle, and “wawclaw” for washcloth.

One evening at bath time, I told my daughter that I needed the washcloth. She gave me a funny look and giggled a little bit, but then handed the washcloth to me. This scenario played out a few more times, each time with my daughter giving me a funny look and laughing, but then handing the washcloth to me.

I could not figure out why she found the term “washcloth” to be humorous. I also could not figure out the funny look that she gave to me when I said the word.

Finally, at another bath time, I asked her for the washcloth. The following conversation ensued:

Daughter: “Oh sure, dad, here’s the wawclaw.”
Dad: “The wawclaw”?
Daughter: “Sure, that’s what it’s called.”
Dad: “What is it called”?
Daughter: “A wawclaw.”
Dad: “Actually, it is called a washcloth.”
Daughter: “No, Aunt Peg said that it is a wawclaw, so it’s a wawclaw.”
Dad: “No, seriously, it is called a washcloth.”
Daughter: “Daddy, you’re silly. Everybody knows that it is a wawclaw!”

At this point, I was beginning to sense a scam, but I was not sure, as she seemed to be quite serious. So, I continued:

Dad: "Really, now, we can be cute by calling it a wawclaw, but it’s really called a washcloth.”
Daughter: “Daddy, really, it’s a wawclaw, not a w-a-s-h-c-l-o-t-h!” (she slowly spoke the word “washcloth” with a hint of disdain at the obvious level of idiocy that was being exhibited by daddy!)
Dad: “Seriously, the real name of it is washcloth.”
Daughter: “Daddy, you’re silly, it is called a wawclaw, not a w-a-s-h-c-l-o-t-h!" (She again spoke very slowly, like she was addressing a feeble old man!).
Dad: (Trying to get the point home without going on forever): “Well, why don’t you ask Aunt Peg for the real name of the item and we’ll talk about it tomorrow night”?
Daughter: “O.K., I will, but I already know the answer – it’s a wawclaw!”

As I picked my daughter up from Aunt Peg’s house the next day, I asked her if she inquired as to the true name of the item. My daughter told me that she had inquired, but she did not want to talk about it right now.

Interesting!! At this point, even though I should have taken some level of mercy on this adorable 14-month-old young lady, I couldn’t resist moving in for the victory.

Dad: “So, what did Aunt Peg say?”
Daughter: “I don’t want to talk right now.”
Dad: “She told you that it’s a washcloth, didn’t she”?
Daughter: “She did, but I'm still going to call it a wawclaw!”

So, let’s see, we have a 14-month-old daughter who did the following:

-- Laughed at her dad when she believed that he had made a mistake
-- Tried her best to keep from correcting him
-- Finally, she had to correct the dad after days of repeated miscues
-- Eventually learned that her dad had been correct
-- No longer wanted to discuss the issue
-- Finally briefly discussed the issue, but announced that she still wanted it her way 

So, do personality traits in little tykes still exist when the whippersnappers become adults? Well, again, for everybody else’s kids, the answer is a resounding YES!

For my daughter? Did she grow up to just like her 14-month-old self? Uh, well, um, …… since she reads this blog, NO COMMENT!

So, how about you? Do you remember any silly words that your kids used and then insisted that they were correct? If so, let me know and we’ll laugh together!!

Have a terrific week!

Paul W. Reeves

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