Upset Sauce and Crabbalin’ Water

When my sons were small, they were quite adept at inventing names for things. I’ve inherited that ability from them. I was just thinking about these names this morning as I prepared the nuts for the sweet potato casserole. My husband was a bit confused when I asked him where we’d stored the thocka-thocka when we moved to this new house. I needed it to chop up those nuts. I had to describe that indispensable tool to him.

Oh, you know what I’m talking about – that thing that goes ‘thocka-thocka’ when I chop things up.

As he was still having trouble visualizing the implement, I just had to go ahead and look for it myself. Aha! There it was, in the cabinet under the counter. I whipped it out and began to chop nuts with great enthusiasm to demonstrate.

Hear that? That ‘thocka-thocka’ sound? THAT’S why it’s called a thocka-thocka.

Somehow he wasn’t convinced, but he humored me, good husband that he is.

That started a whole train of thought that took me traveling back in time – not so much to Christmases past, just to the past. I remembered when I named those loppers used to lop branches off trees, the Cindys. Yes, of course they were named for Cindy Lauper. I never cared for her style of ‘singing,’ and I’m not particularly fond of branch-lopping. It was quite a logical correlation, at least in my mind.

Then there was the time my older son was helping my brother-in-law build a work bench. At two years of age, he was the ideal assistant to Uncle Bill. His dad came out to the worksite to observe the progress, and asked our son what he was doing at that moment. Busily hammering away at a bent nail, he looked up and said, “I’m dokin’.”

Dad was intrigued.


Yeah, Dad.

Oh, I see. Well, what’s that thing you’re hitting, there?

It’s a doke!

Ah . . . and what’s that called that you have in your hand?

It’s a doke-doke.

Ah-ha. Uhm, and why is it called a doke-doke?

My son, with the patience and superior knowledge of a two-year-old, gave his father that, “Don’t you know ANYTHING??” look, and replied,

’cause you doke dokes with it!

That explained everything! His dad went off chuckling at our son’s ingenuity.

Not to be outdone, our younger son was also able to give titles to deserving items of interest. One of my favorite instances was when he’d once injured his finger. Well . . . I’d better elaborate on that a little more – it wasn’t the fact that he’d hurt his finger that made it a favorite memory. It was what he said to let me know he needed help.

Mom, I hurt myself. I think I need some of that upset sauce.

I looked at his finger and agreed. I got out the ‘upset sauce’ (epsom salts) and put some water on the stove to heat so I could dissolve the ‘sauce.’ As it was coming to a boil, my son was sitting patiently waiting and watching the pot boil, while he held his injured finger up. He was distracted from the pain for awhile as he watched bubbles form on the water. Suddenly he alerted me to the fact that the water was ready.

Look, Mom. That water’s crabbalin’!

And indeed, it was merrily bubbling over the edge of the pot. As I put the upset sauce into the pot of crabbalin’ water, I thought, “If Hollywood gets wind of this child’s gift for coining phrases, he’s got a job for life!”

Back to present-day morning preparations . . . it’s time to clean the floors for the gathering of friends and family. The simple acts of sweeping and mopping again released memories of days gone by.

It’s 35 years ago; I’m in the kitchen preparing to clean the floor, and my son wants to help.

Mom, can I get the sweep for you?

Makes sense. If you mop with a mop, then you MUST sweep with a sweep.

Which took me to yet another japanese chicken (that term is defined on my other blog, the REmissionary). I was thinking of the sewing frenzy I’d just finished for Christmas. I recalled the time my younger son decided he needed to do some mending. He was about three and wanted to fix a hole in something all by himself. He came and asked me for the necessary supplies to complete that task.

Mom, can I use your needle? Do you have some theard? Uh . . . I mean some thord? Uhm . . . Mom, tell me everything that’s in your sewing box.

Another perfectly logical train of thought – that thing he wanted HAD to be in the list I was about to name off for him.

Can you remember your kids renaming anything more logically than its original name?

I just wanted to share a few special, favorite memories on this very special, favorite day. And I’d like to take this opportunity to pray a most wonderful, blessed, memorable CHRISTmas Day to you and yours!!!

M E R R Y   C H R I S T M A S    Y’ A L L !  ! !


3 thoughts on “Upset Sauce and Crabbalin’ Water

  1. Those are wonderful remembrances! Made up words are a lot of fun. I know we’ve embarrassed ourselves in public with them, but I can’t think of a single one right now. 🙂 Hope you had a lovely Christmas, and Happy New Year to you!

  2. Pingback: Weekly Writing Challenge – Ghosts of December 23rds Past | Joe's Musings

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