Where’d He Learn That?

Here’s how my day began:
“Dad, can you help me button my jacket? If it doesn’t get buttoned it will have rancid diarrhea.”
That’s a real sentence uttered this morning. It happened and I had no idea how to respond.  Is there a way to respond to that?  A four year old wanting his jacket buttoned closed is a big win around here, so I went with it.  I was impressed with the use of the word rancid, horridly grossed out by the setting, but impressed with the proper usage.

Still, it was a little much to deal with in a day care parking lot.

I like to play a game with odd phrases.  I call the game, “Where’d He Learn That?” There’s a Price-is-Right style theme song that plays in my head, an announcer to introduce the contestants and big prizes for the winners.  I also spend a considerable amount of time alone.

The game goes like this; one of the kids says something bizarre and I try to guess the origin.  It’s…it’s really pretty self explanatory.  Brevity is not my thing though.  After dropping off the kiddos and returning to my car the theme song sounded and “Dad! You’re the next contestant!” was shouted by the announcer.

“Great to be here” I said to the host, in my decent into madness.

“The phrase is ‘if it doesn’t get buttoned it will have rancid diarrhea.’  Dad, where’d he learn that?” The host’s questions hanged in the air for a moment as I pondered the point of origin.

My best guess: Rancid was learned from my constant “down thumbing” of the band in Pandora and Spotify.  I say “Rancid is awful” enough that he likely long ago learned the word and just recently put together the word with something meaning ‘bad’.

Diarrhea probably came from a day at day care.  A long, long day at day care no doubt.

The desire to have his button buttoned is derived from a grandparent, likely insisting on the matter on a cold winter’s evening.  I attribute this to a grandparent because he is certainly not listening to me when I tell him to zip/button up a jacket.

The urgency of the matter though.  That tripped me a bit.  We’ve been spending lots of time with friends recently and everything is just a little more important, a little more urgent after seeing friends.  There’s an energy after playing that takes days to go away.  Perhaps he’s still riding that play-date high and everything just needs to move quicker.

The idea that a coat has a digestive track is the result of childhood wonder.  We’ll call it that.  I certainly had nothing to do with teaching him to respect his stuff by personifying every single thing he owns…nothing to do with that at all.  What?


So there we have it.  Weird phrases traced back to their roots.  Can’t wait for what happens next.


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