I little while back I had said that the word 'what' is the most used word in my vocabulary. I wasn't exaggerating. Not even a little bit. 'What' can be used in so many contexts, and I have become painfully aware of all of them. If I had a dollar for every time I used the word 'what,' I would give the Trump family some competition.
My son has entered this phase which is more than mildly annoying. He starts to tell me about his day, which is great, but in between every half sentence he breathes, "And guess what?" He will not continue with his story until I say, "What?" Being the concerned mom, I always say it.
"Mom, we did this project at school, and guess what?"
"My friend Abby, the one at school, guess what?"
"She started drawing some clouds, some blue ones, and guess what?"
Anyway, you get the picture.
My second all time usage of the word 'what,' is one that mom's all over the world have to deal with, I'm sure.
"WHAT!! FOR THE 50TH TIME, WHAT DO YOU WANT?! WHAT?!"
The last 'what' has now become loud and strained, which my sensitive son constitutes as yelling. He looks at me, the corners of his mouth turn down and his lip trembles. The tears start to well up in his eyes, because he has absolutely no idea why I'm shouting at him. Which leads to the third most common type of 'what.' The 'what' that I have to repeat over and over again, because he is blubbering, whining and speaking some unintelligible language in a sing-song, voice that draws every word out and makes it at least two syllables longer than necessary. His breathing becoming hitched with hiccups thrown in for drama.
"What, Kaiden? What's wrong?"
"You don't mmmnfmmmffr, and then mmffmmnnff," (sniff, sniff) "And, and then mmmmber nmmfif,"
And then there is the 'what' that I hate using, but warrants double usage. Usually there is some kind of panic involved. I think the sense of impending disaster, especially with her children, is something that is hardwired into a mother's psyche. We are actually able to determine the severity of the situation based on the one word "mom" and how it's spoken by our children. For example, I was working downstairs when Kaiden screams, "MOM!!" And that was when I said the double, "What? What?!" as I was running up the stairs.
"Kamrin put a pine cone in the microwave and it's on fire!" (True story.)
And of course we had to incorporate the, "Whhhaaaaat?" from the movie, "Despicable Me." spoken by one of his faithful yellow minions. For those of you who've seen it, you know what I'm talking about. For those who haven't, rent it when it comes out, it's great. You'll be doing it too.
Despicable Me (click here for the short version)
Last, but certainly not least in my family, we have the all too familiar...well, let's put it this way. My sons were taking a bath and I was trying to get in 10 minutes of down time by staring at the TV while folding laundry. I hear giggling and then nothing. If you're a mom, the nothing is what puts them on your radar. It's like your a deer in the woods and all of a sudden you a perfectly still, your ears twitch, and you smell something just not quite right. I waited a moment, and sure enough I hear some splashing, and then a loud THUD, followed by more uncontrollable laughter. And then silence. I didn't wait for round three. I open the door to two naked boys sliding across the bathroom floor on about a quarter inch of water. I soak it in for a split second (no pun intended), try to keep my head from exploding and growl, "WHAT THE.....!"