Saturday, June 10, 2006


The youngest learned a forbidden phrase four days ago: shut up. We don't use that in our house. If we need someone to quiet down, we say hush, please. Or just plain hush if we're in stern mode.

I explained to the youngest that shut up isn't allowed. When the oldest and I had this same discussion, at roughly the same age, he nodded solemnly and banished the phrase from his repertoire.

The youngest, on the other hand, tried it out again. And again. And again. When he realized that saying shut up meant an automatic trip to timeout, he used that time to rethink his strategy.

The next day I heard him singing to himself. Thinking it sweet, I came closer to listen.

Ring around the shut up
A pocket full of shut up...


The following day found him playing with trains.

Chugga chugga shut
Chugga chugga up
Chugga chugga shut
Chugga chugga up


Yesterday we were riding in the car when he smiled and said Knock-knock! I smiled back at him in the rearview and replied Who's there? He beamed and said Shut! Knowing where it was going, I declined to participate further.

I'm waiting to see how he tries to work it into conversation today.

stubborn as a mule
Extremely obstinate. This simile evokes the proverbial stubbornness of mules, whose use as draft animals was once so common that the reputation for obstinacy can hardly be as warranted as the term indicates. [Early 1800s]
"stubborn as a mule." The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1992. 10 Jun. 2006.