A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: spl

And that’s why Speech Pathologists are bad mofos.

Today was Bucket Head’s first day of Speech Therapy for the new school year.

It seems like just yesterday he was referred for a speech screening… the day I accidentally wore two pairs of underpants to church. Ah, good times. And let’s not forgot the IEP last year where I made all those dick jokes. There must be a special place in Heaven for Speech Pathologists who have to work with the children of parents like me.

I’m thrilled that he is going to get the help he needs, but I’m also sad at the thought of losing his adorable little Bucket Headisms. That kid sure does make us giggle (secretly) with his unique way of speaking.

It will be good though when he stops saying things like:

“I wanna rape.” (Which means “I want a grape.”)

“I yuv cheese dicks.” (“I love cheese sticks.”)

And my personal favorite:

“May I have a douche bag?” (“May I have a juice bag?”)

Bucket Head’s Speech Therapist is my new hero. She’s so sweet and positive and patient…with both of us.

And the more I’m exposed to it, the more I’m convinced that you have to be a pretty bad mofo to be a good Speech Pathologist.

Not only do they have to frequently work with unstable parents, but also, they have some of the coolest and most dangerous lingo you’ll hear in an educational setting.

Take my sweet little Bucket Head, for instance. The phonological processes he is in need of help with are:

Cluster Reduction
In Speech Pathology, that’s what you call it when someone reduces the number of sounds in a blend, like saying “ream” instead of “dream” or “wack” instead of “black.” This can be a dangerous speech impairment, particularly if one lives near the ‘hood and/or near overprivileged suburban white kids who speak in an urban dialect for show. For instance, saying “That boy’s shirt is wack,” could be misinterpreted as a dis which could lead to violence.

Personally, I would like to use the term cluster reduction in regards to my extended family life, which can often be one big cluster f*ck, particularly after adult beverages have been consumed. So now you’ll know what I mean when you hear me say “Shoot y’all, we need some cluster reduction up in huuuur,” at the next Beard Family Reunion.

To a Speech Pathologist, this means that a sound that is normally made with the middle of the tongue in contact with the palate towards the back of the mouth like /k/ or /g/, is replaced with a consonant produced at the front of the mouth like /t/ or /d/. Bucket Head says “titty” instead of “kitty.” That’s always a real crowd pleaser.

However, in other circles, “fronting” means you are acting like you are more, or you have more than what really exists. As in “Prudence wore those fake Chanel earrings like she was made of money, but that bitch was straight up fronting.”

If you are a Speech Pathologist in an urban area and you tell a parent that their child is “fronting,” you better be prepared for a response like this:




In Speech Pathology, “gliding” means someone replaces the “liquid” consonants /l/ and /r/ with /w/ or ‘y’. So when Bucket Head says “I yuv yickin’ yemons, Mommy,” he is gliding his liquid consonants.

However, according to the Urban Dictionary, “gliding” is short for “glidin’ dirty,” an unhygienic form of “homie gliding,” which is defined as a sexual act between two male heterosexual friends, usually involving alcohol, lubrication, and too much free time.

Thus, I would strongly encourage Speech Pathologists in urban settings to avoid using the term “gliding” at all. Mmmmkay?

Just something to thing about.

Now go hug a Speech Pathologist! They deserve it!

Signing off, without a lisp, thanks to MY speech therapist many moons ago,


Have you hugged an SPL professional today? They have one of the most gangsta jobs in any school setting. Read why one suburban mom thinks Speech Pathologists are such bad mofos!

© Copyright 2011, Leslie Marinelli, The Bearded Iris. All rights reserved.

Jesus Loves Me

gool bus

tute titty

I regot







If you understand any of those words, congratulations… you speak Bucket Head.

If not, allow me to translate:

gool bus = school bus

tute titty = cute kitty

I regot = I forgot

no-ball = snow ball

nack = snack

woperate = cooperate

yater = later

nuggle = snuggle

wack = black

For those of you not playing along at home, I’ll summarize: he can’t really pronounce beginning blends, the letter “L,” or the hard “C” sound. I think it’s pretty cute. The kid is not even four years old yet, so I really hadn’t given it a second thought.

Until yesterday.

As if I didn’t have enough on my mind; particularly after realizing, at church, while in the midst of my assigned shift of Eucharistic Adoration, that the semi-clean jeans blindly retrieved from my bedroom floor that morning included a stow-away pair of dirty panties nestled in one of the pant legs. Apparently even Jesus needs a good laugh now and then.

Needless to say, after church I was not my usual confident self when I arrived at preschool to pick up Bucket Head. After a quick pat down in the parking lot to make sure there were no other sundry items hitchin’ a ride, I made my way through the throngs of noisy nannies, grannies, and professional SAHMs, to Ms. Evelyn’s classroom door. Cue unpleasant surprise number two…

Preschool Teacher: “Did you happen to sign Bucket Head up for the speech screenings next week?”

Me: “Noooooo. (perplexed look and tilt of head) Do you think I should????”

Preschool Teacher: “Well, yes.” (facial express: DUH.)

Me: “Oh my God, are you serious?” (a little slow on the uptake, as usual)

Preschool Teacher: “It’s just that I noticed he struggles with several different sounds and it would really help him to be ready for kindergarten if he could work on that.”

Me: (dry mouth, gulp, followed by disbelieving head shake) “I remember the flyer coming home in his backpack a few weeks ago, but I tossed it in the recycling bin thinking it didn’t apply to him. I mean, he’s only three. Surely this is just a developmental thing. Right?” (another painful dry gulp)

Preschool Teacher: (nervous smile and eye twitch)

Me: (rapidly and a little too close) “I mean, how bad is it?… compared to the other kids in your class.”

Preschool Teacher: (stepping back a bit and placing hands in the self-defense-ready position) “Well, I can’t discuss other students, but it couldn’t hurt to get the screening.”

Me: (suddenly realizing that I’ve frightened her) “Oh. Okay. I guess I’ll stop by the office and see if they have an extra flyer.” (big sigh)

Bucket Head: “See you yater, ayyigator!” (to Teacher, big smile and wave)

And…. scene.

Perhaps a woman of greater poise could have managed this information better, but unpleasant surprises aren’t really my thing. And two in one day? And immediately following an hour of alone time with The Blessed Sacrament? What… did I not pray hard enough? Did I pray for the wrong things? Is God punishing me for my slovenly ways and clingy panties? Or is this all just a coincidence…

I just don’t know.

But I can tell you this: it never feels good to hear “there’s something wrong with your child.” After three kids and several high-maintenance pets, you’d think I’d be used to it by now, but no… it is always a shot to the heart. Granted, I realize there are many many worse things a parent can hear, and I’m grateful that whatever this is or isn’t, it’s probably fixable. My heart and prayers go out to all the parents out there who are facing much scarier battles.

So today, in addition to vowing that I will put my skivvies in the hamper from now on, I give thanks to God for not giving me more than I can ever handle. Clearly he/she knows me all too well.  To Ms. Evelyn and all the teachers of the world who deliver difficult news to freaky parents, I salute you. Thank you for all the love and care you give to our children every day. And Jesus, you are welcome for the slapstick yesterday. Try the veal (just not on Friday). I’ll be here all week.

In prayerful thanksgiving and praise,


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