Code Cracking, Bug Miles, and Eruptive Similes

My husband and I used to have a secret code.

And by code I mean “spelling words instead of speaking them” when discussing a topic in front of our children filled with the possibility of a potential meltdown if we don’t agree to follow through.

You know.




Tuesday night we spelled about the latter in the car, agreeing it was not a good idea due to The Tackler’s behaviors earlier in the day.

The following night, the topic of dinner came up and once again, we spelled out our options, this time NOT mentioning Cici’s in any form, overt or secret code.

The Tackler: I want C-I-C-I-C-I for dinner.
Me, CG, Bobbi: (blank stare)
Me: You do, huh?
Tackler: C-I-C-I spells Cici’s! I’m learning how to spell dinner without saying it.
Me, CG, & Bobbi: (giggle)
CG: Really?
Tackler: I’m learning it from you guys!
Me, CG, & Bobbi: (Collapse into hysterical giggles)

Next option: pig latin.

* * *

Tackler: Look, I made it all the way to the gym! It’s five hundred miles to the gym!
Bobbi: I don’t think it’s *quite* that far Monkey.
Tackler: BOB, I was talking about for a bug.
Bobbi: A bug?
Tackler: It’s only five miles for us, but it’s five hundred million miles for a bug because they’re so small.

Sounds about right to me.

* * *

I love how you can learn so much about a five year old’s interest based on their use of similes and metaphors.

Look, if you zoom ALL THE WAY OUT, you can go as high as Mount St. Helen’s ash!”

“The Pacific Ocean is as long as 356 dinosaurs!”

“As I floated down from the Eiffel Tower using my parachute, I came down slower than Hawaii’s lava.”

That’s my volcano/map/Eiffel Tower obsessed boy.

I’m so proud.

What interesting comparisons do your kids say?

About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos ( sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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16 Responses to Code Cracking, Bug Miles, and Eruptive Similes

  1. I had a friend that never spelled things out in front of their kids and it seemed like it took their kids longer to be adequate spellers and readers. In my experience, it’s quite funny how using the code in the first place seems to shorten it’s shelf life, eh?

    • It is further proof children are sponges.

      Lil Diva shows no wish to even learn what the weird shapes known as letters are, so I’m hoping the code will be intact for a while, at least for her.

      Meanwhile, my son just grins in delight over his induction into the Secret Code Club.

  2. Annie says:

    So cute! He’s a super smart one. Watch out! 😉

    I just love the way children see the world.

    • Children really possess a magic on how they see things. When I heard about the bug miles, I had a quick flashback to my childhood and thinking a similar thing: our hills a bug’s mountain, a neighborhood block a day trip…

      But I never phrased it in “bug miles”.

      I’m sure your kids have some great ones. 🙂

  3. Kathleen says:

    Your bio is just about perfect. 🙂

  4. Katie says:

    I wouldn’t count Lil Diva out yet. Little Man shows no interest in letters either and then one day he just started reciting the alphabet and identifying letters on pictures etc. Totally caught us off guard.

    The spelling is already losing its effectiveness for us. Last night we were out for our weekly Friday night Mexican and after dinner I asked Albert if we should go home or to F-O-O-S (I.e frozen custard). Little Man piped up, “Let’s go to F-O-O-S, Mommy.” They learn so fast!

    • Never underestimate the power of ice cream… or frozen custard.

      I keep wondering if she’s more of an auditory learner versus visual – she picks up speech and sounds very fast, and as a baby used to cry when I sang to her (my son liked my off-key singing) – only Bobbi could sing to her.

      She has also been a covert learner on many things, since a baby – hiding her skills. So I keep hoping.

  5. Ashley K. says:

    Hi Kelly!

    This post is super cute! I post stuff like this all the time on FB and my friends get a kick out of it. The latest one… I’m in the car with my daughter Mia, Me: We need to clean this car Mia. Mia: Yea, we need to take it to the dry cleaner.

    Gotta love kids. They make life extra fun.

    • Hey, Ashley! Thank you for stopping by. I post about it on facebook too, but I like an easier way to find such quotes again, and until facebook has an easy-to-search archive, I will often re-share in a blog post.

      Also? My car could totally use a visit to the dry cleaner. Mia may be onto to something.

  6. Bella says:

    They’re so smart! My little nephew only eats cookies and so he was able to pick up on the fact that we only spelled out words when he brought up the fact that he was hungry. Sure enough, one day he spelled cookie. Cute enough to merit one or two, don’t you think?

  7. My parents nicknamed me ‘radar’, not a lot escapes children. I love your little one’s use of language, he’ll go far. 🙂

    • It is true – they don’t miss much.

      Just an hour ago my friend was talking about an astronomy class and how she wasn’t afraid of meteors anymore, and my son – previously deeply engaged in drawing – popped his head up and asked, “Meteors? What about meteors?”

      I swear just spelling will grab his attention now…

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