I remember a time when we couldn’t wait to hear our little guy talk. Actually talk, say some real words that we might be able to understand. We could have conversations, teach him things, and tell knock-knock jokes. Baby Babble is cute, but we looked forward to a time when he could finally carry on a conversation.

Our days were filled with words only a mother could understand. While the incoherent snippets of speech were cute, when darling little sentences started drooling out of his mouth we thought we were making forward progress. We can communicate with the alien!

Now we are back to babble. We’ve come full circle in 16 years of parenting.

He does actually talk. And although he does speak some pretty mean German, the bulk of what he says at home is supposedly in English.

We just don’t understand it.

One reason is that acronyms have taken over the language of the young, and if you can’t keep up with them you are SOL (I will say this is “so out of luck” for my readers who prefer I have a clean mouth). Throw in a few twists like quotes from movies we’ve never seen and references to books we’ve never read and our dinner conversations seem like a throw-back to baby babble times. With a deeper voice.

Added to this problem is the fact that he is very much into science and is taking three science classes this term. Hubs and I were business majors in college. Even if we had been science majors, I think the whole field has changed since back then. Those science dudes just keep discovering new stuff. Or making it up.

So much of what he tells us about his school day is cloaked in Forensic-speak or Physio-babble.

We still ask him what he did in school while we are eating dinner. But while he’s spewing science words and phrases (we think he makes half of them up), we politely nod and look interested. More acronyms, a few words that we remember from watching the whole glove scene in the OJ Simpson trial, and a hypothesis for his independent research project. More nodding, maybe an “I see” thrown in for brownie points.

The overwhelming sound of “duh” fills the air as he waits for some sort of question or comment from us.

Then we turn our attention to our daughter, asking about her day. How hard can it be to understand 7th grade?

OMG (that’s like “wow”)….did you know Pluto isn’t a planet anymore?


  1. The Flying Chalupa says:

    Oh, this is just a GREAT post, plain and simple. So funny. The acronyms just KILL me. I can barely bring myself to LOL. Ever. In fact, it pained me just to type that.

  2. Aging Mommy says:

    I love this post, just wonderful. Being such an older mother I imagine I will have even more problems when my daughter is a teenager than you are having. I guess I should relish this current time even more than I already do when the only person who really understands all she says is me πŸ™‚

  3. OMG Sherri! Are you raising my children? This is so funny to me. I love being corrected for my ineptness! We prefer…"hmmm…is that right?" Works like a charm!

  4. Booyah's Momma says:

    Aw, Sherri, your posts always give me things to look forward to when my own kids get older πŸ™‚ What's ironic about this… I ask my preschooler what she did at school, and she'll say, "Nothin." I thought that wasn't supposed to happen until they were teenagers? So I'm relieved to know they talk to you, even if you don't understand a word they're saying!

  5. Seeing what my kids are learning in kinder and 2nd grade, I see myself being baffled by what they are talking about within about 2.4 years or so.

    I likey the retweet button, Sherri! I always love your posts and now I can RT them πŸ™‚

  6. LOL – I've worried for a while what my kids will be picking up at school. Not from the teachers but from the other kids. It's amazing what they come up with, isn't it?!

  7. I will read this with a most-definite glass is half full perspective. Because…he *is* talking to you. At 16. That's a huge deal! I think when I was 16 I might have grunted at my parents. Once a week. πŸ˜‰

    You're doing a GREAT job! (And since I doubt I'll be on this weekend…hope you have a VERY Happy Birthday tomorrow!)

  8. Haha!! It's nice that you still ask about his day, even when you know you're not going to understand the answer πŸ™‚

  9. My mom and I used to joke that my brother spoke his first sentence when he was 23. Before that it was moans and grunts before he went and hung out with his friends in the basement.

  10. Just smile and nod…

    Hey, count yourself lucky that he hasn't moved into the adult phase of muttering. Every time my husband says something I have to follow it up with "huh?" or "what?!" or "why don't you speak like a human being so I don't have to make you repeat yourself constantly?!?!"

    That's the one I think they don't grow out of. My dad does it, too.

    Good luck with the acronyms!

  11. Yes, we are already encountering this with our 8th grader. I am especially humiliated when he asks for help with his honors math homework. I think he is figuring out not to bother, that's it's quicker to do it by himself.

    I had a fifth grader last year, and i learned the answer to that question: NO, I am NOT smarter than a fifth grader.

  12. Yep…got the same language going on in my house. My 17 yr old's favorite word is, "Beast"…everything and everyone is a "Beast"….fun times! lol

  13. I guess I can talk to my 7th grader for a few mroe years, but really OMG, half the time I want to tell her to STFU.

    Happy Birthday

  14. I hear ya! I have a 14 year old who only deigns to speak when spoken to, and then it's only monosyllables and grunts. He's nice. But he's nicer when he's not speaking. Thank goodness you have a 7th grader, right? Right???!!!

  15. Kristin @ Peace, Love and Muesli says:

    At our house science is what the cool kids studied! It's great that he is passionate about learning.
    I remember going through a peachy phase, every second work out of my mouth was peachy. Drove my parents bezerk. I can see why now.

  16. Melissa (Confessions of a Dr. Mom) says:

    SO funny Sherri! I'm currently in the "I don't know how to answer that question" phase but I can certainly see how fast the time flies and soon enough I will not be able to decipher my children's language. Hilarious post Sherri, just too hilarious!

  17. Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds says:

    I know this day is coming for me soon. At least she'll be able then to show me how to use my cell phone and change the channel on the TV – even if my stupidity does disgust her.

  18. The Empress says:

    Don't you love living with teenagers? They make you feel so young (now, if that doesn't sound like something the chico's lady would say…)

  19. So funny. I remember being that kind of teenager. Impossible to live with, let alone communicate with. I finally saw the light at about 17… that light being my parents were actually really neat people.

    Hoping this phase soon passes for you…