My parents think I had delayed speech development. I didn’t string sentences together until long after some of my babbling peers. Some would say I have surpassed them all at this point. And I would laugh. Anyway, I could have spoken at birth if I wanted to speak. Unlike my parents, I became fluent in Latin while still in the womb. As no one in my family spoke Latin and I was fairly pleased with the world order in our home for several months, I simply remained silent.
So I’m sitting in my wooden high chair one eve, chugging back some warm milk, watching mom fry pork chops. As usual, she was singing to me. That night the lyrics were driving me nuts. I had yet to master English but I certainly understood this poor woman named Liza was dealing with this douche bag Henry who kept whining about a hole in his bucket. On and on it went with Henry asking question after question about straw and an axe and water. Liza was really sweet though. She even called him Dear Henry as she patiently explained every single step required to fix that dang bucket.
At that time I thought Liza was his wife. Now, I realize she was a supervisor or manager and Henry had been written up recently so he suffered from analysis paralysis aka the fear of being fired. Liza needed what Evangelist T.D. Jakes calls “the gift of goodbye.”
So I’m perched there with about eight pounds of debris in my diaper thinking “is this what I have to look forward to later in life?” At that moment, I had a legitimate reason to whine but I kept my peace waiting for mama to flip those pork chops because daddy didn’t much care for burned supper. Well she finally finished the chops and that nursery song from hell. She smiled at me as if expecting applause. I pulled the bottle from my mouth and said, “Really? You’re basically telling me this is as good as life gets for me. Really, Mom?”
Mama fainted. Mercifully, the food was cooling on a paper towel. I plopped my bottle back into my mouth and didn’t speak again for three months. Sadly, mama just hummed after that.