Daddy on “Talking in Code Around Your Kids”

Posted: April 11, 2011 in Family, Fatherhood

Parenthood. Its a neverending course in life. You never seem to graduate and no one never really shows you the syllabus nor tells you what the prerequisites are. Learning over your mistakes is definitely an humbling experience… especially when they are humorous.

I know my wife and I aren’t the first and we are certainly not going to be the last parents to use code when talking around children.Whether its about Santa’s gifts status or the surprise vacation, there is a need to communicate with the the other parent, when more often times than not, kids will be around. I feel we have a smart child. I would like to think everyone will say the same thing about their children. But its amazing how some unconscious sense of arrogance can have you fail at this chapter in parenthood. I mean we are adults, they are children. Sooooooo, naturally we’re smarter right? What can a 4 year old really know about code words right? I understand that the human brain is a supercomputer and that children this age are information sponges… But to really think that we have to change how we talk so often is quite impressive.

Some parents may use Pig-Latin, “Ix-nay on the essert-day“, which is kind of funny in itself as we often struggle so much in trying to make sure we code it right that we mess it up more often than get it right. My wife and her sister developed their own version of Pig-Latin they used as children to talk code around their parents, and they are fluent with it. I mean it sounds like they are talking another language, and fast too! She tried to teach me, and I understand the concept, but I feel like I just took one course of Spanish 101 and was then set in front of a Spanish TV channel’s news show and instructed to decipher what they are saying. Total confusion.

Spelling, for a while this seems to be an easy method to communicating. This can also make you feel somewhat stupid when your spouse says “C-A-K-E” and you’re muttering to yourself “C……A….. what did she say?  J???? K???? E???  What in the world did she spell?“. The whole time your spouse is looking at you with a “Really? Is my husband that dumb he can’t spell ‘cake’?” look. Undue pressure. But spelling works, until you find out your child can spell better than you thought they could.

As with any typical weekend morning, we usually wake up to Nariah coming in our room or either already sleeping in our bed from quietly sneaking in. This particular morning Nariah has just come in to wake us up. Toya didn’t feel like cooking breakfast and was expressing that she was hungry, as in right now. I was indifferent as to whether cook or go out to eat. Toya says to me “Makes me wish W-A-F-F-L-E  H-O-U-S-E was closer to our house“. Nariah perks up her head from the bed and yells “WAFFLE HOUSE??!?!!??!!?!?!?
How did you guess that Nariah?
Because I know how to spell ‘waffle’ and I know its not close to our house.

So now we’re sitting there dumbfounded, both thinking “When did she learn how to spell waffle?” It’s a mixture of “Cool, she can spell waffle” with “Oh man, now what do we do?“. The next stage in this progression came the same day during prayers at night. After prayers, Toya mentioned something to me and spelled the main word backwards. She started laughing almost immediately while I looked at her in a crazy way, thinking “Did she realize she just spelled that backwards?“. She informed me that she did indeed had to start spelling words backwards. And what does Miss Nariah do?

I can spell backwards!
You can spell backwards Nariah?
Yep! Wanna see? I’ll spell my name.
OK, go for it!
The whole time I’m thinking “Yeah right, this should be cute” and I start to wonder what letters she’s gonna come up with.
H….A…..I…..ummm ummmm…R……A……N
WOOOOW Nariah!” we both exclaim.
Have you done this before at school?
No, they don’t do this at school, but I can spell backwards

Now this child is giggling and excited and we are too as we give her high fives and cheers. She is enjoying every minute of it. Then reality sets in. We have to figure out yet another way to talk around her. Some things in life they really need to give you a guidebook or CliffNotes for. We only have a few days before Easter to come up with our next level of code words.

  1. Mel says:

    Josh and I have started texting… pathetic, but it works!!


  2. Tamara says:

    My parents figured this out with my brother when driving home one night my mom said to my dad “s-e-x”? My brother responds if “s-i-x” spells six, what does “s-e-x” spell? By the way, I think I was conceived that night. Ewwwww.


  3. Mel says:

    yeah, it can get a bit exhausting…… but, as parents one has to do what one has to do!!


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