As a parent, there are times when you need to have a conversation with your spouse and it’s inconvenient for the two of you to leave the room to have that discussion. As a solution, we have started to spell out the words that we don’t want Justin to hear. My parents did it. My grandparents did it as well. When I was old enough to spell, my grandparents would switch and speak Yiddish in front of me. (If you’ve ever heard two people speaking Yiddish, you’d know it sounds like a phlegm war. Today,“Yiddish” is the sound of one person talking to themselves and then explaining to others what they just said.)
Spelling out our words seemed to be working. Last week I told GWE that I needed to run a few errands and that I would be going to T-A-R-G-E-T (Justin’s favorite place) and H-O-M-E D-E-P-O-T (Justin’s second favorite place). This way I am able to say what I need to say without triggering a “Justin Meltdown” after he hears the word “Target” and yells at me that he has to go there right now this second to get a “Color Changer Doc Hudson.”
There are two problems with this:
1) You are presuming that the other person you are speaking with is quick enough to put together the letters you are spelling to understand the words you are trying to say.
2) You are also presuming that the child really doesn’t know what you are saying.
I have now been proven wrong on both accounts!
I love GWE with all my heart, but she is not great at the “Spelling Out Loud” game. Most times, we’ve been successful at this type of communication. (We did get 100% on communication in our pre-wedding test from the Synagogue.) However, there have been times when I’ve told her something and she just looks at me. I can see the wheels turning, but she gives me the look of “Does Not Compute!” Eventually, she will get what I am saying – but at that point I’ve had to include hand motions and a Power Point presentation.
As to the second problem – I think Justin is on to us. I know he cannot spell and I know that unless the conversation is specifically about him, his toys, or his room, he tunes us out. But now, I’m starting to wonder….. I was talking to GWE about whether or not we bought a gift for a friend of ours who was having a surprise birthday party. I specifically spelled out “gift” and “birthday party.” After this long (spelled out) discussion, Justin turned towards me and asked, “Will there be chocolate cake at the birthday party?”
HUH!?!?!?!? How did he do that?!?!?!?! What else does he know that we don’t know he knows!?!?!?!
In the future, I may be forced to revert back to my 3rd grade Spanish in order to have a discussion that Justin won’t understand. “Donde es la bibliotheca? El Gato esta en llamas! Arriba!!”
PS: Spelling does not work when you need to curse. I’ve learned that it’s far easier to scream “Fucknutshitbagassholes” at the other drivers on the road then it is to spell it out in the heat of the moment.