My toddler’s favorite word is “whoa.” He says it about 850 times a day, and has three variations that he uses depending on the situation. Sometimes it’s a one-syllable “whoa,” like for when he’s just climbed on the back of the couch for the first time, but you can tell he knew he would eventually. Cool, but not a huge deal. Then there’s “whoa-uh!” This he reserves for little surprises like when I give him a bigger apple slice than usual. “Whoa-uh! Big!” But my favorite is the 3-syllable version he uses when he’s extra excited. Imagine Christopher Walken saying it. “UhhWHOAuh!” It’s really all he says right now except for a long, drawn-out “Hiiiiiiieeeeeee,” both in a raspy vocal fry. So basically I hang out with a very friendly, surprised, mini Christopher Walken all day.
My husband is a very patient, understanding father who tries his best to take our children’s feelings into account when making decisions about their lives. Except when it comes to putting ketchup on certain meat products. I first suspected his prejudice one day when my daughter came in from the kitchen where he was cooking and innocently asked, “Mommy, why does this family never put ketchup on steak in this house ever and that’s final?” I was packing her lunch for school this morning and asked her, “Do you want mustard on your salami sandwich today?” She clearly didn’t think her father could hear, and whispered, “ketchup.” Before she could even get the word out he walked in quickly and said in a very serious yet disappointed tone, “NO. We do not put ketchup on salami. You know that.” I had a vision of our future. “I love your new tattoo sweetie, you did such a great job designing that. But…what’s that? That red stuff in the corner of your mouth? I can’t believe you would disappoint us like this after all we’ve done for you. You better have been eating french fries, that’s all I have to say.”