Thursday, July 15, 2010

Stuff that makes 'em crazy

Inside the walls of every house there lives a language. Family talk. Sayings and expressions you say that maybe your parents said to you and you swore you'd never say yet, whoa there they go..right off the tongue and out of your mouth. You can hardly believe it yourself.

Then there are the things you say that belong to your own family, some come out when you are being mean mom or cautious mom and others erupt when you are being fun
dad mom. Expressions that make only your own family laugh. Or in the case of a certain Generation Y, expressions that make them roll their eyes. They can't help the eye roll...their parents are just so ridiculous sometimes. Secretly they like that.

Today on Flashback Friday we are invited to write about those sayings and expressions our families said when we were growing up. Or when our own children were growing up. Mine is a mixture of cautions and fun expressions and it's possible my baby is turning 20 but we still say 'em. These words and sayings have been, and continue to be, part of the fabric of our family. I guess this post is part flashback, part everyday life.

You may have noticed I like words. So do my girls. We talk a lot. It is quite common for my husband's head to spin around 360 degrees at the dinner table as he tries to follow our conversations. I like crossword puzzles and scrabble and er, blogging. There's a long list of sayings and expressions I could post here but I think I'm gonna go with a top 10 things we say that make our kids alternately roll their eyes/stomp their feet/and laugh when they don't feel like it and sometimes when they do.

10. 'hip'...I cannot explain why this word appeals to me but my girls hate to hear me say it. When I do, they inform me that anyone who uses the word is not. Hip, I mean. Whatever. I still like it and continue to throw it out there now and then. And they continue to laugh at me.

9. 'Psyche!' husband loves this word/expression and it must be said very loudly. He cracks himself up and will look for ways to interject this into life here. He loved nothing better than the year daughter2 took Psychology in school which he felt gave him a legitimate reason to shout the word at least once a day. He also likes to say everyone uses it but um, no...they don't. Once we heard a character on tv say Psyche! and hubs spent the rest of the night saying, "Told you so." If you are not sure how this expression might be used imagine a nearly 20 year old daughter who loves chocolate reaching for the last m/m in a bowl. Just as it is almost within reach of her dainty little fingertips Dad swoops in and pops it in his mouth. This is followed by a loud Psyche!

8. 'SOUSKI!'...this word must also be shouted. Don't ask me what it means but my husband loves to say it and loves to teach toddlers to say it too. Parents of young children love him...he is a walking bundle of hidden talent and entertainment.

7. "Do everything without complaining"...and this one must be sung. Loudly and off key by moi. When my girls were younger they had a cassette tape (yes I'm old) called Hide 'em in Your Heart. It was bible verses set to music by Steve Green and this was one of those verses (you can listen here...#52 in the playlist). When my girls had chores to do around the house and needed a little 'encouragement' to do them cheerfully I'd break into this song. Really really loudly. They would rather dust and vacuum than listen to me sing. I occasionally still break it out when anyone offers a complaint about anything. Seriously, this tip should be published in Practical Parenting.

6. "You look like a Hootie in the Woodie"...This sprang from an expression my dad used to say anytime me or my sisters and brother had hair that needed to be combed, or in the case of my brother, cut (hey, my dad was a Marine, remember). He liked to say, "You look like a hoot owl in a bush." Years later I started saying the same thing to my own girls if they got up with bed head. In their adorableness they morphed it into 'hootie in the woodie' and it stuck. And if I'm being honest these days there are mornings I wake up, look in the mirror and think it about my very own self. Sigh.

5. "Be careful"...if my children had a nickel for every time those words have left my mouth they would not need to phone me with one of their favorite sayings which is, "Can you put money in my account?"

4. According to my girls I have a mantra and my mantra is this-"Call me when you get there." Kudos to my parents for surviving four children's teenage years with nary a cell phone in sight.

3. "I'm just sayin' is all"...said when we want to interject our opinion but, in a nice way. We all throw this one out there a lot. It's fun.

2. "Perception matters"...this one always gets a big eye roll because it is usually associated with their request to do something that I am going to nix. Like co-ed sleepovers in high school (I don't care if nothing is happening, perception matters), unsupervised parties in the early teen years (I don't care if everybody is a 'good kid', perception matters) get my drift. Hey Washington-perception matters! Oops, tangent-sorry.

1. And now... my most favorite of all which my kids will know without even looking...."No hanky panky!" They used to get slightly annoyed when I'd say this but they came around and as they would be walking out the door they would look at me and say, "I know, I hanky panky." In fact in recent years daughter2 has been known to end a phone conversation with me with the words, "Remember mom, no hanky panky." Hey, isn't that why we got married? That's not TMI is it?


  1. These are great! Obviously my favorite is #3. Your "no hanky panky" is way better than my mom's " keep that thing in your pants" to our boyfriends as we left for the evening. Ugh. I get the eye roll with my " you're guilty by association." but I think I'm going to start using "perception matters." It totally works!!
    Have a great weekend!

  2. In my small group we say "Their/my/Your perception is their reality" because whatever someone thinks or does is motivated by how they perceive things to be. In other words if it "looks" like a duck...

    Now that my DD is 15 and stepping on the path of "going and doing" I have heard myself say on more than a few occasion "Call me when you get there!"

    Well said!


  3. Oh this cracked me up! Another word geek! I love Scrabble and crossword puzzles too.

    Loved the list of your familial sayings. And I loved your intro.

    Oh, and as soon as I saw "Do everything without complaining" the song started going around in my head even before I read that you had the Steve Green tape! My son LOVED that when he was a toddler. We practically wore the DVD out.

  4. If my perception matters, I think you are hip. And those girls of yours should be careful...they will be saying all these things more before they can yell "Souski-Psych!" three times. I'm just sayin'...

  5. Hi Joyce ~~ You made a nice list. Southern Oregon University Ski club is SCOUSKI. Did hubby by any chance attend school there?

    My generation has the kids saying to us, 'call us when you get home.'
    Daughter, Karen, has only been in London four weeks now. KP is here to stay, Billy (husband) has to go back to get furniture on the way and to bring his daughter, BP, who is thirteen.
    Karen started a blog but hasn't written. She invited you to check it occasionally: (you'll have to copy and past this)
    She said you might have some tips and was wondering which small village you lived in. Her neighborhood is St. John's Wood, one that I could never afford to live in.

  6. Love these sayings! Perception Matters is a big one for me too!

  7. Joyce, this was a great post! I laughed so much, because I can identify with these things! My oldest son does the "psyche" thing. I don't know who he learned it from--but it wasn't me! I really like the phrase "hootie in the woodie", it cracked me up! The image of your husband's head doing the 360 degree thing was funny, too. Thanks for making me laugh--a lot!

  8. Enjoyed this Joyce. And I think you are pretty HIP too!

    Now this has me trying to think up some sayings from my family....

  9. I was laughing the whole way through this! Love the "No hanky panky"! I tell MS basically the same thing, only I word it differently. Hey, if it gets that little thought into their mid, what does it hurt? :D

  10. Hi Jo, What about.....Bow Chicka wow wow?

  11. I love this list. "Psyche" dates your husband a bit. I remember that from the 80's. (I guess it dates me too!)

    We used to play the Hide 'Em CDs too. I like to sing "Honor your mother, and your father . . . " :)

  12. i constantly say 'be careful'...good list ;)

  13. That was dumb.
    ha! Get it? Get it?
    PS-If you don't get it, I mean that it was not dumb. :)

  14. I love your sayings. And sorry to agree with your hubby, but we used to use psyche all the time! lol

  15. We must have words when we have children no matter how old they are. I have a so many!