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KAKEEROO AND KARTUDUs
3 June 2006
Mary was giving pats on the head to people who could tell which TV show had Mr. Bainter the Painter on it. I read the entry a little too late to be the first in with "Captain Kangaroo," so I guess I don't get a pat on the head, but I laughed at myself (the dogs thought I was weird) when my very first instinctive thought was "Kakeeroo."
After your children have grown, when you begin to critically examine your language, you discover that there are words and phrases common to the family that might make others look at you as if you were from another planet.
Jeri was too young to say "Captain Kangaroo," when she first became a TV kid (something she has weaned herself from, I'm sure she would want pointed out). So when she heard the theme music for the show start, she would race into the living room shouting "Kakeeroo! Kakeeroo!"
I can't think of "Captain Kangaroo" any more without also thinking about Kakeeroo.
Likewise, Walt didn't even blink the other night when I asked him to pick up a package of tortillas because I wanted to make kartudus for dinner.
The word "kartudu" didn't originate with our family, but with Char's family. I'm not sure how "taco" got translated into "kartudu" but I think that both families still periodically enjoy "kartudus" which look surprisingly like the tacos that everybody else eats.
Nobody in our family looks at all confused when anybody talks about a gakee. "Gakee" became the accepted word for a security blanket when Paul coined it at some point in his toddler days. You have to differentiate between "gakee" and "blanket." Not every blanket can be elevated to "gakee" status. Ned still carries his gakee around in one of his jacket pockets. Every nearly 40 year old needs a little extra security now and then.
In my family, my mother and I still can pass knowing looks at each other if I mention "floppies." The story goes that I would pick wildflowers when I went out walking with my father and bring back "floppies for Mommy." (all together now: awwwww)
Likewise my mother will still, on occasion, look at me in a certain way and say "I give it to you if you say please," in that little girl way that I used when holding something behind my back and asking the adult in my life to ask me nicely for it.
Around here, if you list a bunch of things that you're going to do, invariably either Walt or I will add "...but first, my pegs," remembering the time when Jeri would list the things she wanted to play with, and then indicate which of the toys on the list was the first thing she intended to play with.
Walt and I still refer to the UPS truck as "the wine man," remembering when either Tom or David started recognizing the brown truck as the vehicle which delivered cases of wine to our house (in the days when we used to order it by the case).
I'm sure that all kids, as they reach adulthood, roll their eyes when parents recall things that happened back during the years when they were learning the language.
"Yeah, Yeah, Mom...we're tired of hearing it..."
But for parents, it's just kind of endearing, remembering the time that your little darling was running around the house, all baby fat and dimples and curls and big eyes, discovering the world. When they were beginning to master the English language and would create little words that just stuck because they were so cute.
Of course, as an adult, I never stopped being embarrassed whenever my father joked that the doctor who was delivering me, as I began to make my entrance into the world, called out "It only has one eye!" (because I was a breech baby). But I hope that our memories of our own children's little mannerisms and speech peculiarities don't embarrass them too much.
Nevertheless, I suspect that if I had been first to sign Mary's guestbook and told her that Mr. Bainter the Painter was on Kakeeroo, I probably still wouldn't have gotten a pat on the head.
PHOTO OF THE DAY