This is the sound of me gagging violently, due to the fact I’ve just found a water bottle buried deep within the confines of Sophie’s tangled bed sheets. Why you ask, would a water bottle bring on such a harsh response?
Curdled milk. And not just a little curdled milk lies within it. It is filled with white chunks of revolting substance. It must have been there for a while as it has now separated, leaving some sort of clear liquid floating tenderly around the lumps of milk.
Sophie sits beside me on the floor of her bedroom engaging in some sort of game that involves Pinky Pony and a miniature SpongeBob figurine, but I manage to grab her attention when my gagging commences.
“What you doing Mama?”
“Oh Sophie, I just found your milk from the other night and it is really gross…Whaa..Oh god I think…I’m going to puke!”
“I going to puke…Whaa….I going to puke!” She sounds like a little parrot and I am only annoyed for a second before I force out a smile to the girl. I am desperately trying to hold down the saliva that is unintentionally collecting in my mouth and no doubt will lead to my eventually yakking all over her purple fuzzy bed runner.
I pull myself together. I am a mother, ‘I should have a stronger stomach than this!’ I think, before letting out another ‘WHAAA’ this one drags on for a bit too long, really making me want to bring up this morning’s breakfast.
With an agility I wasn’t sure I had, I move towards the kitchens sink, rinse out the sullied bottle and heave it into the dishwasher.
I start it on the heavy duty mode…And hope to God, this rids it of the demoralizing smell.
As I make my way back towards the girls room, I stub my toe on the same SpongeBob toy I spoke of earlier.
“OH SHIT” It is a deep stub, one that will painfully stick with me for some time.
“OH SIT, I going to puke…Oh sit…WHAAAAA” Ahh I see my little parrot is back.
“Sophie please don’t copy that word, it is a swear word and only grownups are allowed to say it.”
“Oh SIT, Sorry Mama…I going to puke! HAHAHA” Her barrage of laughter allows me to let a smile out and this leads to even more trouble.
Great. Now she thinks I am commending her in her linguistic venture.
“Sophie, do what I say…Not (I really emphasize the Not) what I do.” When I was a kid, I loathed this saying, and as it comes out of my mouth I have this horrible feeling that I have just betrayed my former self.
However Sophie does not seem to mind the idiom and somehow combines all of these new words and phrases into a rhythmic sing-song, one that is currently drilling directly into my brain.
“DO, SAY…NOT DO. DO , SAY…NOT DO, WHAA,WHAA! OH SIT, I PUKE.
DO, SAY…NOT DO. DO , SAY…NOT DO, WHAA,WHAA! OH SIT, I PUKE.
DO, SAY…NOT DO. DO , SAY…NOT DO, WHAA,WHAA! OH SIT, I PUKE.”
And she goes on like this for a while.
Finally, after some time and a bit of a headache later, Sophie quiets herself with her prior game of Ponies and SpongeBob. I begin to think of the turn of phrase I chose to silence the girl, ‘Do what I SAY and not what I do’ realizing this was not the best use of words I could have come up with; fundamentally urging the child to copy me in this outlandish and exasperating way.
Perhaps the time has come, to begin choosing the words I say in front of my 2 year old a bit more wisely. If not for her own sake…For my own sanity!