Holly likes to have nice meals where we sit down at the table as a family, say our prayers and eat good healthy organic food in a peaceful manner, talking and telling stories from the day. Lately it hasn’t been so peaceful.

For the past couple weeks, our one-year-old, Luke, had been trying to say something that we’d not been able to understand. Then, two nights ago, we figured out what he was saying. He was trying to say, “FORK,” but he wasn’t saying the ‘r’ and he was mispronouncing the ‘o’. Think about it.

He would say it at the table, really loudly. It was kind of distracting. I’d look over at Holly, and she’d have her game face on, “Everything is okay. Just pretend nothing is happening.” Luke of course was not perturbed, he’d just get louder. There he’d be at his end of the table, across from me at the foot of the table, standing on his chair. Before too long, he’d be howling the word into the air like a wolf in a story he’s been read.

I’d look over at Holly, and whisper, “Should I get out the video camera.

“NO.” She’d whisper back. “Everything is just fine, there is no problem.”

Luke would start yelling the word louder and faster.

I’d say, “It’d be really cute later.”

She’d lean over and say, “I’m just thankful no high school kids are here.”

“Yeah, that’d be really bad.”

His patience would start to give way and he’d start banging his hand on the table.

After a while, our pre-school aged son, would ask, “What is that word he’s saying? What is he saying?”

By this time Luke would be all worked up, and would start banging his cup or bowl against the table as he would continue his yelling one word chant, punctuated each time with a sharp crack of his plate against the table.

I suppose, at this point it’s important to ask, “Are parents stupid?” Imagine the scene: a perfectly normal 1.8 year old asking for something everyone else at the table has. It’s something he uses almost every day. He’s only mispronouncing it by a tiny bit. And yet we don’t have a clue what he’s trying to say. Am I stupid? Is Holly Stupid?

These are important questions to ask yourself when you have kids.

These are the questions the kids are asking.

I just couldn’t go with the ‘stupid’ theory. The word that seems to fit is DENIAL. Denial is a great parental technique, it turns out.

You see, to us it just did NOT seem possible that we’d have a child saying such word. We do NOT have a TV. We don’t listen to shock radio. Neither boy has a parent or significant adult in their lives, at this time, who swears around the home or even at work at all. None of their friends swear, or have enough influence on them to cause this type of behavior. Logically, it just did NOT make sense that we had a son who swore. And yet, here he was at the end of the table, saying this word over and over and over. It was quite a puzzle. I guess it makes sense. We did what the books say we’re supposed to do when a child accidentally happens across a swear word as he’s learning to speak and pretended it wasn’t happening.

Eventually, Luke would give up, get down from his chair, and walk over to my side of the table to get some food.

Well, eventually we did figure it out. I think that Mark was the one that eventually said, “I think he wants a fork.” Then it dawned on us. Of course he wanted a fork.

It was the only thing that made sense.

The meals are a bit more peaceful now that we’ve learned what he’s been saying.

And the Luke is still pretty cute.

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