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News from the Nest: Embracing preschool slang

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It's been over a month now since my family took a trip to Itasca State Park. While we were there, we were reminded multiple times to make sure we put our garbage into garbage cans to avoid visits from raccoons and bear that live in the area. For some reason my son, 5, really embraced the phrase "garbage can" and since has been using it as slang or at least his go-to phrase.

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Instead of saying "ah shucks" when something doesn't go his way he says "ah garbage can." If he intends to call someone a name, which I highly discourage, but he is only 5, he calls them a "garbage can." Could be worse, right?

My husband doesn't really appreciate the phrase as much as my son. In his defense, the little guy does greatly overuse these words. Although I don't like the name calling, I think his other uses of the phrase are often quite humorous and creative.

The other night we were sitting at the dinner table having supper. My sister-in-law, who is currently living with us, sat down for a meal with my kids, husband and myself. As we were enjoying our tacos, some salsa from my son's taco squirted out on to his chair and his immediate response was "ah garbage can squirters!"

My sister-in-law and I started giggling like little girls in church. We couldn't control ourselves and the more one of us laughed, the more the other laughed. We tried covering our mouths so my son wouldn't see, but his face lit up with pride knowing he was so comical we couldn't compose ourselves. To try to avoid the looks from my husband, I had to leave the table so I was out of view from everyone while I gathered myself. Finally everyone settled down and supper resumed.

Later in the evening my husband asked what exactly our son had said. When I told him it was "ah garbage can squirters" he broke out in laughter and appreciation of the little guy's wit. I reminded him our 5-year-old could be coming up with much more profane language and so for now we should embrace the phrase as he has.

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