December 6, 2007

Today I caught Noah teasing Camille. This isn't something new, the tune is almost always the same, but the words always changing. Today's chant was "Mei Mei is an asparagus". When I called him on it, he protested that he wasn't saying anything bad. We had a conversation about tone vs. words. I was glad he wasn't calling her something worse, but I am getting just as agitated with the teasing tone as she is. I guess this what "they" mean about "paybacks". As the oldest child, I did plenty of teasing and taunting. Now as the Mama, I am seeing it in a different light. I used the same sing-song taunt. I wonder if that sound is a universal one. Same tone in different languages/cultures? Perhaps it is part of our human wiring. Did Neanderthal children tease each using that same grating tune? These thoughts were on my mind this morning as I drove the kids to the dentist. And I remembered a website with sounds of children all over the world making animal sounds (oink in the US, boo boo in Japan for the pig sound...click on the animals surrounding the home page to hear the sounds). Perhaps I should send in a recording of the "teasing" song and see if it is as universal as I think it is.
Tisra said...

Asparagus! Ha! I know it's mean and the tone was horrible- but what a *creative* insult. :-)

I agree that its not *what* you say, but *how* you say it and I'm working on that with my kids too.

And, you're right, I do wonder if that taunting tone is universal- I'd bet it is at least with Germanic and Romance languages.

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