Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Learning New Words

An entire lexicon of strange words is out there waiting for unsuspecting new dads. Some words are used in the regular world but not normally by people like me. Using these words is not an option because I have a reputation to uphold. I am not talking about some of the 4 letter words that you feel like screaming after a tough day. I am talking about baby words. These are the words that you learn for the first time when you have a baby or words that creep into your vocabulary unsuspectingly due to the condition of fatherhood.

One of the words that I don't think any self respecting man uses is "poop". As a grown man I had never used the word poop. I am certain of that. Since Braden has arrived not only do I use it every day but I have written 2 blog posts about poop for the whole world to see. Other words that I have heard but previously never used are passie, onesie and the entire -ie family. Apparently adding -ie to the end of a word transforms any word to baby lingo.

There are also some words whose mere existence is unknown to single or childless men. I think women are born with a knowledge of most of these words. What is not innate they must pick up from their girlfriends or some of those magazines crowding the check out isles at Wal-Mart. Us guys don't learn the words until the first time our wife shares them with us. We get a stupid look on our face and say "Huh?". At this moment we become enlightened. Eventually despite our best efforts we will use these words too. Two of these new words that may come into play after birth are cradle cap and colic. Thankfully Braden has escaped both conditions, especially the latter, but I learned these words anyway due to diligent baby preparation. While there are plenty of normal words to learn, Pregnancy terms are the real vocabulary jungle. Every word referring in any way to pregnancy is new to a first time expectant father. This is an entirely unknown land to the pre-baby male persuasion. Some of them are frightening if I can be perfectly honest. Just some of the many pregnancy words I learned are crowning, breech, amniotic sac, effacement and my personal favorite fundus. It is just fun to say fundus.

I know that vocabulary is just the beginning of my education. If we should truly try to learn something new everyday then becoming a father is the never ending fountain of knowledge that will help us achieve that goal.


Al Bundy said...

I hate to tell you this, but the "Huh" moments never stop. Just when you think you have caught up, your wife will spring a new baby or toddler term on you. I think our wives spend the (very little) spare time they have reading books on raising children.

Great Post!

Daddy Files said...

Very good post! And I think we can all agree as men, we wish we could unlearn everything about placentas and afterbirth.

I still get the heebie jeebies thinking about that...

Super Mega Dad said...

I'm with Daddy Files on this one. There's so much about that whole process that I wish I could just forget just like women forget the whole pain of childbirth part.