15 May 2020

Bess Tuggle's Memoirs of Surviving Children: They're Always Listening

When my children were little I could tell who they’d been around by their vocabulary.  “Sh!t” meant they’d spent time with Gramma.  “God D*%@ it!” meant they’d been hanging out with Grandpa.  “AH-JO” indicated a ride with Grandma.  “AH-JO,” short for A$$-hole-jerk-off, was her road rage word when she tried not to cuss in front of the boys.  It didn’t take them long to learn what it meant.  Children are very astute.

            Thing 3 developed, at about two years old, a noise that had me stumped.  It was a cross between a grunt and a groan.  “Grumh” is the closest I can come to it, and that’s not quite right the right sound.  Close enough to count.

            The noise didn’t phase me at first.  With two older brothers and one younger brother, not a whole lot -did- phase me.  I chalked it up to yet another phase.

            I didn’t worry until the phase continued longer than most.  This is the child that also nick-named himself “Me-non.”  “Me-non wants…”  “Me-non needs…”  I was getting concerned about his little mind.  Strange names and guttural sounds too?

            Then I noticed he only did it when he bent over to pick something up.  A toy, a shoe, whatever.. was always accompanied by his lil’ grunt.  Now I was worried about internal/gastrologic problems.  This was a curve ball that hadn’t been thrown at me before.

            As I was finally getting up the gumption to call our doctor (can’t mention his name, he’s since retired, but he was -wonderful-) I had a revelation. 

            I was running late cooking supper.  I was over the stove when his father came in from work.  He sat down in his recliner, “grunt,” then bent over to take off his work boots and grab his slippers, “groan.”

            MYSTERY SOLVED!!! 

            I didn’t bother to share this lil’ bit of information with his father until his father finally noticed the lil’ grunt.  I looked at him and told him to pick up his slippers.  He just looked at me but yup, he got it!

            I’ll spare you details on what my boys’ taught my bird to say for another column.  That might be a short-story in itself.  Until then, “SSSSsshhhhhh…”  They’re always listening.  Always listening…   

A jack of all trades, Ms. Tuggle has been a Covington resident since the late 70’s. She's been a K-Mart cashier, cabinet builder, vet tech, office manager for a beef cattle ranch and water well company (where she was able to hold benefits for D.A.R.E. and Scouts), a court reporter, business manager, assistant at a private investigation firm, legal assistant, convenience store clerk, landscaper and elementary school substitute teacher.  Her greatest pleasure is being a wife, mother and grandmother.  Her stories are all real, and all names will be withheld to protect the innocent, and also maybe the guilty, depending on the crime & the Statute of Limitations.  


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