Saturday, March 3, 2012


Back in DC, I worked with a woman who was pretty adamant that swearing was not only an unacceptable practice at work, but unacceptable in all facets of life. She kept everyone in the office on notice, punishing us when we slipped up with her patented 'look'—an impressively effective mix of "You've really disappointed me." and "I'm going to kill you!" I was an easy target.

At one point she threatened to bring in a swear jar, but I told her I didn't have that kind of cash. I listened, though, and found that it was possible to express myself in more eloquent ways. After a while, I didn't need to see the look, or even be in her presence, to feel a little guilty when the occasional expletive crossed my lips.

Since returning to Vermont, I've lapsed a bit—I know she checks in on how I'm doing... I can only hope my friend Emilie protects me from her wrath—but I continue to try. I refrained from cussing on The Meander for a long, long time. Now, I know that my last post single-handedly erased all of the discipline Anahlisia instilled in me. But alas, from what I've heard, her mom at least would understand completely.

That's just the thing about words. You don't really know how important or necessary they are until you're in a situation where the right word means everything. Sometimes, a swear is just the perfect word. And sometimes, as is the case with Hudson lately, any word at all will do.

Since before he was born, back when he was known to the world as Baby Carlos, we've been speaking for him. The voice on loan from Cartman, the sass from Stewie, the words, all ours. Until now.

As it turns out, Hudson is really coming in to his own.

Last week, as I put him to bed with a little cold, I noticed he looked like he might be developing conjunctivitis. When he awoke in the middle of the night repeating "OW! EYES!" I felt terrible for him but was amazed to hear him articulate his woes.*

Not seven days later, he's non-stop verbal:
"Hat! Jacket! Outside! WOOD!"
"Apple juice, please!"
"Kai! Hugh!"
"Love you, Daddy-O!"
"Look! Moon!"
"I pooped!"

I'm so proud of my boy, growing up so well, learning so much every day. Though the era of me talking on his behalf is quickly coming to an end, I look forward to hearing him be as creative with the English language as his momma is.

I guess now I'll have to start working on my very own 'look.' Unlike Anahlisia's though, mine will likely be combination "Oh the horror!" and "I"m so proud!", with a splash of "I really am trying not to laugh." on the side.

*He did not, in fact, have pink eye, just a nasty cold virus.

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