Our family has always been in the habit of making up words or phrases to Goof-i-fy our lives. My husband does it the most often, as he was the one who started adding “-pants” on the end of any adjective to indicate an EXTREME AMOUNT of that descriptor. Like, “That song is crappy-pants.” Or, “You are acting crazy-pants.” It is something we all did for awhile, but it has since faded as various other bizarre phrases take it’s place.
When MrZ started using flickr he started using the word, “Jambo!” as some sort of exclamation or curse word. It didn’t occur to me to ask where that came from until after it had been used for several weeks. When I finally asked he said, “It’s Swahili for ‘Hello.’ Flickr told me. I like the way it sounds.” If you use flickr, you know what he’s talking about. If you don’t – whenever you log into flickr – it says “Hello!” to you in a different language and then indicates what language it is using. MrZ saw, “Jambo” one day – and it stuck.
Of course – as NikkiZ has started developing her language exponentially in the last few months – she started saying, “Jambo!” as well. Usually just repeating it when MrZ yelled it at a video game or proclaimed it enthusiastically when eating ice cream. Unfortunately – that is not the only exclamation she has picked up a long the way.
Now – let me clarify – I am no saint when it comes to cursing. I probably use the word “ass” or “crap” 100 times a day. But – I don’t do a lot of yelling profanities. MrZ keeps his daily language clean, but loses it when driving or watching sports or playing games. Because he is usually yelling his infractions, they are the ones she tends to notice and repeat. For awhile – ignoring her worked. MrZ would yell, “Dammit!” and she would follow suit. We would ignore her and she’d continue whatever else she was doing and never repeat it again. Of course, about a month ago she started experimenting with this. Because she’s evil and recognized we were ignoring her for a reason.
One day – she and I were in the dining room and MrZ was playing video games in the living room. He yelled, “Dammit!” at the television and she immediately looked at me and did the same thing. I ignored her and she did it again. And again. AND AGAIN. Eventually she stopped but I knew I would have to come up with a new technique. The next time he did it (probably five minutes later – the games he’s been playing lately seem to bring out the sailor in him) I said to him, “Daddy – don’t say that. Say, jambo!” So he did. And so did she.
That worked for awhile with most inappropriate exclamations. Of course, she would sometimes correct him, “Daddy! Don’t say that, say Jambo!” but we preferred that over the alternative. Then – one day he called someone on TV a “douchebag.” NikkiZ immediately repeated it. I tried to ignore her because that was a word I thought it best she forget. But no – she said it 10 times. All while looking at me while I was trying my best to act like I didn’t hear her. Finally I broke down and said, “Nikki. That is not a nice word. We don’t say that word. We said, ‘jambo’ – remember?” So – what did she do? She started saying, “We don’t say douchebag. We say jambo.” Over and over and over again. Much better – right?
She is quickly grasping the concept of words we don’t say. Unfortunately, she sometimes assumes anytime someone yells that they are saying a bad word. Last night MrZ yelled at the dogs to, “Hush!” Nikki says, “Daddy – we don’t say that. We say, ‘jambo!'” So – I had to explain to her that “Hush!” and “Be Quiet!” are okay things to say. To which she said, “OH. But we don’t say douchebag.”
No honey. We don’t.
Thank god she’s not in daycare anymore.