Children often have trouble when they’re learning to speak, and some of those troubles lead to fun little sayings that stick with your family for many years. Most of you have probably experienced this. A prime example in our family is when my oldest daughter was about nine. At that age, she used to occasionally mix up song lyrics, as we’ve all done from time to time. But some of hers were so memorable that they became ingrained in the family history. For instance, the chorus to the old song “When Smoky Sings” by ABC, begins with the line “when Smoky sings, I hear violins.” To this day, my wife and I can’t think of that song without remembering it as “when smokin’s a sin, I hear firemen…”
When my son was at that stage of his life, he had trouble with “yesterday”. For him, moving back in time consisted of going from today, to this morning, to last night, to “lasterday”, (which does have a kind of logic to it, right?)
For a great-niece, dogs were “goggers”. And for our youngest daughter, the color yellow was “lellow.” (Ironically, she just got her BFA in painting, and depends quite a bit on the color palette.)
Now we’re on the next generation. When my oldest granddaughter was younger, and still learning to talk, she loved penguins. But for whatever reason, the word “penguin” evaded her grasp. Instead, she called them “poogins”. My dad loved that so much, that he began calling her Poogin, and even though that was a good four or five years ago, she still remains “Poogin” to us.
Well, now she’s nine years old, just starting fourth grade. As a matter of fact, last week was her first week back in school after summer vacation. When we spoke to our “smokin’s a sin” daughter, we asked her how Poogin liked the fourth grade. She told us that she had asked the same question when she’d picked the little one up after her first day. And with all the drama that a nine-year-old can muster, she related the tragedy of her first day…
“It was absolutely horrible!”
“Why? What happened?”
“I lost my tooth!”
“Well, that’s all right. You’ve lost teeth before.”
“No mom, I lost my tooth… and then I lost my tooth!”
“Oh. You mean you lost it, lost it?”
Poogin nodded woefully. “Somewhere on the playground. I looked and looked, but I couldn’t find it.”
“Well that’s okay, baby.”
“No it’s not. How is the tooth fairy going to know I lost it, if I don’t have it to put under my pillow?”
You have to understand, Poogin is a very smart young lady who speaks with a vocabulary beyond her years. That conversation was a reminder that, while she might speak with the conviction and vocabulary of a teenager, she still has the beliefs of a nine-year-old. We got a good chuckle out of her mom relating that the tooth fairy was a lot like Santa Claus, and that she would know about the tooth, whether it was actually under the pillow or not.
I have lost a tooth today, (literaly) but if you are still generous enouph, mabe you could still give me the money. (‘.
So does the mercenary nature of the note come from the child, or the adult struggling to come out? Either way, I love the fact that she didn’t simply give up on the lost tooth, and that she turned to writing as a solution. She’s a Poogin after my own heart.
And speaking of writing… (how’s that for a segue?) …another round of edits for the first Chucklers book is done. Better yet, I received an email with a proposed new cover on it, and it’s looking really good, folks. I sent back a request for a few tweaks, but I think we’re quickly approaching a publishable product. Woohoo!! Want a sneak peek? Here you go….
How’s that for a tease?
My other big project, End Point Pangaea, is still moving well (you can see the progress meter at the top of the column to the far right), and though I did stall for a couple of days, I’m back on that horse and riding for all I’m worth. I’m still waiting for that magical mental and emotional breakthrough where everything falls into place just right, and I’m suddenly consistently breaking the 2500 word a day mark. So far, I haven’t seen that breakthrough.
And I can tell you that today isn’t very likely to be it, either. But the progress is consistent, and I’m happy with it, as it is. Of course, just like my Poogin, at the end of the day I just can’t help myself. When it’s all said and done, I just really want to see that big payoff.
But that’s not going to happen if I don’t get back to writing. So take care, and stay safe everyone. I’ll talk to you again next week.