A friend of mine came to work one afternoon, still bright red, muttering under her breath. When I asked her what was wrong, she gave a rueful laugh. “I’m trying to wean my three year old daughter,” she said. “It’s not going so well.”
My friend and her daughter had been at the grocery store earlier that day, and the little girl had decided she wanted to nurse. She began signing to nurse, and her mother gently explained that nursing was all done. Her daughter frowned. A little while later, she pulled on her mother’s shirt, trying to make her desires clear. Her mother untangled herself and gently reminded her daughter that nursing was all done. The little girl was beginning to get frustrated, but continued her efforts to get what she wanted. A battle of wills ensued…
Clearly at the end of her rope, the little girl stood in the middle of the produce aisle and screamed at the top of her lungs, “**I. Want. TITTIE!**”
The moral of this story: be careful what you call nursing. It might come back to haunt you. And think very carefully about how you wean a child who can talk.
My son spoke French before he spoke English. I’d never thought about it until a friend of mine asked in horror, “Why is he asking for titty?”
Blush. “Oh. He’s not,” I stammered. “He’s asking to fait tete. It’s erm, French for nursing.” We started using the English word that night.