Sunday, June 24, 2012

NO MEANS NO

Tuck: "MAGGIENOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

That up there has been an official word in our household since January of 2009, which was around the time that Mags learned to walk. She was like Godzilla crushing block buildings or swiping a Matchbox race car line-up in one fell swoop. Most of the time it was the the unsteady beat of her new walk that led to these debacles. Tuck (only 3 at the time) was as patient as he could be. We helped him understand that she didn't mean to, that she was just learning. But then...it happened. One day he reacted with a screech. She LOVED it. Chaos ensued. And the phrase "MAGGIENOOOOOOOOOOOOO" was born. 

It was his sounding alarm of sorts. A way to let us know that she was too near to his toy of choice. I'd rush into the room with my dish soap hands and defuse the situation. She'd have this devilish little smile on her 15-old-month face that was so darn irresistible. It was nearly impossible to stifle a giggle when I saw it. Strategies to help distract her would be given, hands would be taken, little sister would be led out of the room with promises of bubbly hands like Mama's. It would work. But then...

She craved his reaction. No matter how much I did to give him his alone time, she's find a way in there to him. He was like a magnet. She couldn't help herself. Soon, just the sound of her little pitter patter coming down the hall would trigger his battle cry.

"MAGGIENOOOOOOOOOOO!"

One particular day, after one too many of these screams, I said to him,

"Tuck, she's just trying to get your goat. The more you scream, the more she likes it. Remember, if you don't react to her, she'll get bored and leave."

A whole conversation occurred about what "trying to get your goat" meant. After the explanation, the phrase made him laugh. 

Chris, who affectionately nicknamed Mags "Captain Destructo", worked hard to tame the beast, too.  We actually ended up writing a story for the kids called Captain Destructo. We posted it on our podcast, Night Light Stories, thinking there were other families and siblings having the same issues that would be able to relate. You can hear it here.

After many weeks of this, one day I heard IT as I was putting laundry away. Tuck was using the strategies we had given him to apply in these "sister situations". Ignore her. Distract her. Get up, walk away, and come get Mama or Daddy. Play in the living room. Tell her no in a softer voice. Offer her another toy. Play WITH her. Lead her gently out of your room if one of us wasn't in there with you. Both kids were playing peacefully and so I said,
"Great job, guys. I LOVE how you are playing TOGETHER so nicely."

Tuck looked up at me, smiled and in his matter-of-fact tone said,

"She was trying to get my sheep, Mama, but I didn't let her."

Once I realized what he was trying to say, there was no holding back my laughter. I didn't even correct him. In fact, we added it to the many commonly used made-up phrases we have in our house.


Sheep are much sweeter than goats anyway. 


Photo taken November 2009
Do you have any made up phrases that you use in your household? 
Feel free to share in the comments! 


39 comments:

  1. Great post!! At my kids' ages, we are in the thick of HAZELNOOOOOOOOOO to the point where Charlie just says it as something to say even when she's not doing anything! I'll have to use the 'getting your goat' phrase and see what he says!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love trying to get my sheep! Kids are brilliant! Beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  3. So cute!!! Oh, the mispronunciations and wrong words are just the best!

    The other day, my 3.5yo saw a red car and goes, "Mommy! It's a car with no roof! It's a .. a ... carnivore!"

    Where she got the word "carnivore" and thought it might mean "convertible" is beyond me!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HAHA! Carnivore. That is hilarious. They are so cute. They have so much going on in there, that word retrieval thing goes out the window. Usually if Mags can't remember a word she just tells me it's "POOP". :)

      Delete
  4. So cute. And I can totally relate. We have the same issues in our house with a 5.5 year old and a 2.5 year old.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :) Thanks for reading, Christie. Good luck!

      Delete
  5. LOL. Oh boy. I love this because my littlest is like this. So mischevious. Hes always making his siblings scream his name in frustration - and. he. loves. it.

    Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it so funny. She can get him spinning like a top in no time. The power they possess. :P

      Delete
  6. I am constantly explaining expressions to our children. And the most common phrase around our house is, "It's sarcasm, dear."

    ReplyDelete
  7. Aww, what a sweet big brother Mags has. I love the new phrase! Trying to get my sheep! What great memories.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love it! Sheep, hehehe...

    Our twins are 14 months and are toddling around. My older kids (7 and 4.5) are on safety patrol. I overhear, "You can't let her have that, she'll choke-and-die." And, "That piece is too small for her, she'll choke-and-die." Choke and die has become a symbol for all things hazardous to toddlers in our house. And it comes out as one word, "choke-and-die."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is too funny. At least they know. It sounds like you have a well trained safety patrol!

      Delete
  9. This sounds so much like my kids! My daughter is 2 and she's the master at saying the opposite of her 3 year old brother. He just doesn't get that she's trying to get his 'sheep' and it drives him nuts. Such a cute post.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hahah MAGGIENOOO sounds like Magneto to me. She could be an xman!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HAHAHA! SO true. When she's stomping around, my husband has been known to call her "MAG-A-TRON". :)

      Delete
  11. That is so super cute! Maggienoooo is adorable, as is "get my sheep". lol Kids are so amazing, and yours sound like real keepers! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  12. LOVE. I hope you never say anything else again! So sweet! :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. CUte cute cute kids!!! We usually just yell "STOP" and it's meant for anyone who is doing something stupid or naughty. And it never works.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Christie. We have lots of sayings that don't work, too. :)

      Delete
  14. Man, my kids are always trying to get my sheep!

    ReplyDelete
  15. So cute! My mom used to always say, "Honey, you let 'em know where your goats are tied. So they were able to get your goat!"

    ReplyDelete
  16. We were on a crowded train in Paris. As we approached our stop, my 14 year-old daughter suggest we make our way towards the exit to before there was a masquerade for the door. Did she mean mass exodus? Who knows?

    ReplyDelete
  17. "SeeMamaAgain" is a popular one around here when I'm on duty.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Haha! I've never heard that expression. So cute. Stopping by from Yeah Write.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Oh, I love this. Siblings are fun to observe, challenging to determine when to intervene. I remember the first time my younger daughter finally told my older daughter, "NO!" I sang the Hallelujah Chorus. She was finally standing up for herself.

    although your story is about getting the older sibling to react differently, not the younger...our stories ended in the same result. An eventual moment of them playing together. Cherish these times. Now my older is 13 going on 20 and thinks she is too old to play with her 22 month younger sister...oh to play...

    And what a fine shepherd mom, parent, you are ;)

    this is a great post...I can tell because it has spawned memories and a desire to share my own story...sharing the stories...sharing...that's how we keep the world going 'round.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Sounds like me at that age, although I was much sneakier with terrorizing my brother. :) Great story. My made-up word as a child was "wish-wappers" instead of windshield wipers. Hey, made sense to me!

    ReplyDelete
  21. HA! fantastic. once i had a student, in college, no less, who wrote a paper about "scapegoats." but through the entire paper, called it "escape goats."
    swear to god.
    so...escape sheep?
    hmm...

    ReplyDelete
  22. That's great- trying to get my sheep.

    ONce read a story written by an 8th grader who was "lack toes and tolerant". So glad these kids are growing up with earbuds glued to their ears.

    ReplyDelete
  23. ha!! That is so adorable!! LOVE that sheep-getting bit.

    ReplyDelete
  24. BTW, thanks for linking this up with us over at #findingthefunny last week!

    ReplyDelete