The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

And that’s why Speech Pathologists are bad mofos.

Today was Bucket Head’s first day of Speech Therapy for the new school year.

It seems like just yesterday he was referred for a speech screening… the day I accidentally wore two pairs of underpants to church. Ah, good times. And let’s not forgot the IEP last year where I made all those dick jokes. There must be a special place in Heaven for Speech Pathologists who have to work with the children of parents like me.

I’m thrilled that he is going to get the help he needs, but I’m also sad at the thought of losing his adorable little Bucket Headisms. That kid sure does make us giggle (secretly) with his unique way of speaking.

It will be good though when he stops saying things like:

“I wanna rape.” (Which means “I want a grape.”)

“I yuv cheese dicks.” (“I love cheese sticks.”)

And my personal favorite:

“May I have a douche bag?” (“May I have a juice bag?”)

Bucket Head’s Speech Therapist is my new hero. She’s so sweet and positive and patient…with both of us.

And the more I’m exposed to it, the more I’m convinced that you have to be a pretty bad mofo to be a good Speech Pathologist.

Not only do they have to frequently work with unstable parents, but also, they have some of the coolest and most dangerous lingo you’ll hear in an educational setting.

Take my sweet little Bucket Head, for instance. The phonological processes he is in need of help with are:

Cluster Reduction
In Speech Pathology, that’s what you call it when someone reduces the number of sounds in a blend, like saying “ream” instead of “dream” or “wack” instead of “black.” This can be a dangerous speech impairment, particularly if one lives near the ‘hood and/or near overprivileged suburban white kids who speak in an urban dialect for show. For instance, saying “That boy’s shirt is wack,” could be misinterpreted as a dis which could lead to violence.

Personally, I would like to use the term cluster reduction in regards to my extended family life, which can often be one big cluster f*ck, particularly after adult beverages have been consumed. So now you’ll know what I mean when you hear me say “Shoot y’all, we need some cluster reduction up in huuuur,” at the next Beard Family Reunion.

Fronting
To a Speech Pathologist, this means that a sound that is normally made with the middle of the tongue in contact with the palate towards the back of the mouth like /k/ or /g/, is replaced with a consonant produced at the front of the mouth like /t/ or /d/. Bucket Head says “titty” instead of “kitty.” That’s always a real crowd pleaser.

However, in other circles, “fronting” means you are acting like you are more, or you have more than what really exists. As in “Prudence wore those fake Chanel earrings like she was made of money, but that bitch was straight up fronting.”

If you are a Speech Pathologist in an urban area and you tell a parent that their child is “fronting,” you better be prepared for a response like this:

 

and,

Gliding

In Speech Pathology, “gliding” means someone replaces the “liquid” consonants /l/ and /r/ with /w/ or ‘y’. So when Bucket Head says “I yuv yickin’ yemons, Mommy,” he is gliding his liquid consonants.

However, according to the Urban Dictionary, “gliding” is short for “glidin’ dirty,” an unhygienic form of “homie gliding,” which is defined as a sexual act between two male heterosexual friends, usually involving alcohol, lubrication, and too much free time.

Thus, I would strongly encourage Speech Pathologists in urban settings to avoid using the term “gliding” at all. Mmmmkay?

Just something to thing about.

Now go hug a Speech Pathologist! They deserve it!

Signing off, without a lisp, thanks to MY speech therapist many moons ago,

-Leslie

Have you hugged an SPL professional today? They have one of the most gangsta jobs in any school setting. Read why one suburban mom thinks Speech Pathologists are such bad mofos!

ยฉ Copyright 2011, Leslie Marinelli, The Bearded Iris. All rights reserved.


87 Comments

  1. My younger son started speech therapy when he was 2. Only this year (he’s starting 9th grade) did he get parental permission to take a break from it, although over the summer his speech got worse so I guess it’s going back onto his IEP. Your Bucket Head will be fine. My kid had only 2 sounds (not even words) at 2 and now he won’t shut the F up! Here’s one for you: He was about 10 and taking therapeutic horse riding. For some reason, they had him try riding facing backward. When he got off, he said, “That hurt my peeshin.” Thank goodness only I knew what his “peeshin” was!

  2. Oh, the douche bag story was one of my favorites. I will be sad for your blog but happy for Bucket Head when his speech is corrected.

  3. Wow, thanks for the lesson. I feel like I learned a lot about speech pathology AND “‘hood” culture. Fabulous!
    I glided when I was little. My mom’s favorite quote of mine was, “I wanna wear wipstick so I can wook wike a wady.”
    Good luck to Bucket Head!

    • Oh PHEW – you mean the speech pathology definition of gliding, and not the urban dictionary one! (You nearly gave me ANGINA there!)

      Okay, so that wipstick quote might be the cutest thing I’ve heard in a long long time! I wanna t-shirt with that on it!!!

  4. As a product of public school speech therapy as a child please don’t worry your pwetty wittle head Iris! My last name was Brady, I had 7 brothers and sisters, I was the youngest, and I had a lisp so I was “Cindy Brady” of the Brady Bunch at school. If I can survive all that AND be the normal, upstanding, church going, vodka guzzling mother of three I am today then Bucket Head will come through with flying colors just like I did!

  5. You must have been in a better school I was. All I got was a toothpick to hold between my teeth while I constantly repeated, “Sally sells seashells down by the sea shore.”

    Needless to say, I still have the lisp. Vodka anyone?

    • Yes please!

      Never heard of the toothpick! Meanwhile, my teeth were so buck, I could eat corn on the cob through a picket fence. That’s probably why I got the “special” equipment installed in my head. Good times.

    • Laurie Amador, M.S. CCC-SLP

      January 28, 2012 at 8:00 pm

      Hey Ann, If you are ever ready to give it another try….fixin’ lisps is what many SLP’s do easily. We have come a long way from toothpicks!

  6. Mushmouth still got all the ladies spittin dat fire and playing his homemade bass guitar in the Junkyard band. No wuwwies Buckethead.

  7. Oh good lord, my MD (Emily) and I were traveling to Savannah (where I catch my flight back to California at 5:50 a.m.) and we were discussing your blog, and she brought up Buckethead, called him by name. It was hilarious like you and the kids were old family friends.

    PS OD had speech therapy too at age 3 or so because I horrible mother that I was, was unaware she could not hear what we were saying to her and that she could not speak well because of her fluid filled ears, that then had surgery to put little tubes in them and speech therapy at the local college for a year or so….. I don’t think we even had to pay for it. I just remember the speech therapist was French and her name was spelled Aimee, the same as OD…..but we call her Amee not Amae like the french…..

  8. Okay. So I confess, I have been lurking on your blog for a couple of days. You are so flippin’ funny and real! It is a blast to read your past! (Yes, I have to give my kids marbles if I cuss. Flippin’ is all you can get out of me these days! hee hee–Marbles = money and toys for kids.)
    Anyhoo, your blog post today reminded me of a recent episode I lived through. Caution: Tell your Grams all of the words that may be misconstrued as obscene words or awkward conversations may take place before your return!

    My 4 year old can’t say the word sucks. It comes out as “sex” My 9 year old nephew was over visiting grandma at the same time my kids were there. He found out Bear’s weakness for the word sucks. He convinced him to say it over and over. My 10 year old found this very funny. They were giggling so much Grams was curious what was so funny. So the 9 yr old says “tell grandma.” Bear says “SEX” Grams freaks out and sits the kids down to have a talk about sex.

    Good times!

  9. Wow! Priceless! I am a retired school guidance counselor with lots of SLP friends. You have been forwarded!!

  10. Are you sure douche bag was not deliberate?

    I jest. I’m glad he’s getting help. You won’t run out of blog fodder anyway, weird shit happens to you all the time, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. My nephew couldn’t say purse- came out pussy. We even bought him one to carry around and he called it his pretty pussy!

  12. Speechies are great aren’t they? Our son had a fantastic speechy who is forever known in our house as Dr Betty. And no, she was nothing like Dr Phil.

    • Oh you Aussies have the THE BEST words for things! From now on, Bucket Head’s Speech Therapist will be our “Speechy” too. It sounds so hip! So trendy! Like everyone needs a Speechy! WHAT? You don’t have a Speechy? What a loser! EVERYONE should have a Speechy!

  13. Iris, I am a professional Speechie and love working with my own little Bucket Heads! Yours is precious, and I wish him all the betht with hith thpeech thewapy!

    • Oh Martha, you divine Speechie! Thank you for all you do and all the fronting, gliding, and cluster reducing you put up with on a daily basis! The world is a better place because of you.

  14. Thanks! So funny.

  15. Thank you so much for posting this. I’m a “speechy” and I love my job. I laughed so hard at your post and shared it with all my work friends. He’ll do great and even with good speech, kids still say the most hilarious things. I hope Bucket Head has a fantastic school year.

  16. I think speech pathologists have learned all they know from the ghetto.. yo.
    They know whats up.

  17. We love the idea of being “bad mofos” rather than “prissy missies” in twin set and pearls – particularly since “we” are dudes! Your summary of the processes is pretty spot on and, as you point out, errors in these can make for some hilarious mistakes. Oh, and least someone feels they’re “safe” because they don’t have a speech problem, these processes can go wrong for ANY of us – especially at the pub!

    And remember to make a collection of those “gems” you hear – they’re worth their weight in gold when your kids grow up and you want to embarrass them in front of their friends. Sure, some folks might think that sounds a little cruel, but those are the folks who don’t have teenagers ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. I’d not read this one before! Thanks for linking in your post for today. I had no idea his speech was so…. awesome! ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. I’m an SLP and it’s about time someone realizes what bad mofos we are! I spent 8 years working with little preschoolers from some very interesting backgrounds. I learned all about fronting from them! One of them could not put together complete sentences but she could sing every work of Beyonce’s Crazy In Love and most Outkast songs. It’s a crazy fun job!

  20. OMG… I stumbled on this post just in time for the holidays. Please picture me chanting โ€œShoot yโ€™all, we need some cluster reduction up in huuuurโ€ from now until New Year!!

  21. I love this blog! As a preschool speech path, I write down the little gems (just like these) that kids say–almost every day. Not only do they make me chuckle, but they help me show parents how far their kids have come. Thanks for being such a cool parent…your SLP is lucky! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Aw, thanks! I’M the lucky one…our SPL is the bombdiggity! And Bucket Head has made SO MUCH PROGRESS this year. I’m truly grateful. Thank you for all you do to help these awesome and hilarious children!

  22. I just died! I must also inform you that the link to this pot is making the speech path circuit! Loved it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. I once had a preschooler who substituted f for s…..so you can imagine what he said when he asked for a “sucker” after speech! His mom and I decided to have him call them “lollipops”!

    • Bwahahahaha! That’s awesome!

      • My son (now 20) also replaced the “s” for an “f” when he was little! I tried to get him to say lollipop, but he just couldn’t remember that word for some reason. So one day when we were at the bank drive thru, he yelled to me, “Mom! Tell that wady I wanna f*ck -er!” I about died laughing. It is now one of my favorite stories of him when he was little.
        This is the first time I have read your blog. A friend of mine shared it on Facebook. I am now going to go read more. I love it!

  24. Thanks you so much for sharing! I am an SLP working with middle and high school students. I see students with language concerns more so than artic (speech). I do enjoy some of the things they say and do. I appreciate how supportive you are of your son and his therapist. We need more parents like you!

    • Thank you! I’ve really enjoyed this whole process…watching him improve every week and seeing how pleased his SPL is with his progress. It’s been a great year!

  25. Denise Caldwell

    January 21, 2012 at 9:07 am

    I’m a speech pathologist and I have to first say that, yes, we are bad mofos. Secondly, I thought you’d like to know that today’s blog is going viral amongst speech pathologists. Thirdly, I love your blog because it mirrors mine: These Kids Are Driving Me to Drink and Other Tales from the Crib but yours is better because you actually carve out the time. Love your humor!!

    • Ha! There sure are a lot of you guys! Love that! The world is a better, more articulate place because of you. Thank you so much for sharing the love and helping to spread the word, you bad mofo! ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. There are 130,000 of us and we all like this!

  27. Three Boys' Mummy

    January 21, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    I’m a mama AND a SLP and I’m laughing out loud at your post and your comments!! Thanks for the positive press for those of us who fight the fight everyday!!

    Here’s my current favourite in my house: my middle keeps telling people “Owen’s cock turned geen!!” “Owen” is his big brother and the “cock” is one of those training clocks that turns green when they can get out of bed without mama turning RED!

    Thanks for the laugh!

    • Oh that is AWESOME. I’m thinking we need T-Shirts for you people that say something like “I’m a Bad Mofo SPL. I help children say clock instead of cock. You’re welcome.”

      • I am an SLP as well. My husband has a shirt that says “My wife is a Speech Pathologist. Her annoyed when I talks like dis”

  28. This is awesome. I love your blend of informative and funny. My 16 month old says ‘cock’ instead of ‘sock’. This lead to his declaration that “cocks go on toes.” I’m sure he will get it right some day, but in the meantime, I have it recorded to embarrass him with later.

  29. As a school-based SLP I am jealous of Bucket Head’s therapist and how appreciative your are! I’d love to have a parent like you, even just in one IEP meeting! I will now be following your blog. Good luck to Bucket Head!

  30. I too am an SLP. I live and work in Small Town USA. Your tutorial on the double meanings for phonological processes was VERY informative. Makes the looks from some of my more street savvy parents make so much more sense when I tell them their little boys have trouble with gliding! Ewwwwwwww!

  31. Ok, another Speechy is cracking up! So, so funny. I have been told many times to make a coffee table book about my job. ๐Ÿ™‚ I should! Just a few weeks ago, I got to one of my little Buckethead’s houses and she opened the door and said “hi, fewapee.” we figured out that she thought my name was “therapy” because every time I rang the doorbell her mom would say, “oh, yay! Time for therapy!”

    I also had a little girl tell me that she wanted a “tough pink titty” for Christmas. After a little discussion, I did determine that she wanted a specific pink stuffed kitty. Ahhh, memories! Thanks for stirring them up. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Lol. My nickname was Peach because whenever I came to get a client from their day program group they said “speech is here” and the clients said “peech”

  32. As a fairly new speech pathologist myself I have to say first of all THANK YOU for the shout outs and love… and as an SLP who has newly moved from a quaint Texas town to a school in the “hood” as you’d call it in the Northeast… I appreciate the tips lol. Definitely forwarding this to all my speechy friends!

  33. Dear Bearded Iris,

    You rock! I am a Speechie in Alabama and was turned onto this post by another Speechie friend in Chattanooga, who had it sent from her by her best friend from Las Vegas. You are traveling the continental U.S.

    I definitely want a t-shirt! Thanks for the shout out. We have a tough job and for the school based SLP’s we just “walk the halls”. Thanks for your appreciation for our profession!

    You will be so happy that you kept up with Bucket Head’s sayings. My son was in intensive speech therapy for 3 LONG years. He now attends a high school 4 hours away because he is too smart for his own good. With that being said, Buck Head will be just fine! I will become a follower of your blog. I literally spewed Dr. Pepper through my nose!

  34. Tant you fuh matin me waf! An SLP and a kwaze mom!

  35. I am a speech therapist for the birth to 5 population, and this post made me laugh. The errors I hear in my job daily make it worthwhile. Two particular favorites are a fronting error where one of my clients produces the word “shark” as “shart,” which I have come to learn is the word for farting so hard you poop in your pants.

    I also have another child with a motor planning disorder that makes it so that he can try to imitate a word 5 times, and it will come out differently each time. My favorite example of this was when we were playing “Go Fish,” and he had so nicely said it several times. 20 minutes later, I wanted him to show off to his mother, so I told him to imitate “Go Fish,” and he proudly shouted “piss off!” Fantastic.

    Another horrifying story is the same Go Fish child, who was upset that his speech notebook was ripped. This was rectified by him screaming at the top of his lungs, down the hallway at his daycare “raaape!!! RAPE!!!!” (By the way, he meant tape).

  36. OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!! From yet another Speechie!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love it!!! Long live Bucket Headisms, even if its just reminicing at his wedding or other important family events. This is the coolest job in the world. Be glad he doesn’t have swallowing problems, that just opens up a whole new can of SLPs are Bad Mofo’s worms. I love the reaction when people ask you what you do and you explain that you teach people how to swallow the results are priceless!!!!!!!!

  37. I’m an SLP too and had to share what some others have said about this post getting around. Someone posted it on facebook and SLPs are going crazy in a good way saying everyone must read this post. It is hilarious and we’ve got a million more. Here’s a couple of my favorites: I had a elementary school girl tell a boy who was bothering her “you’re getting on my nuts” (she confuses sayings). I also had a first grade boy who substitutes an /sh/ for an /s/ tell us about a picture of a shopping cart in a store. He said he “sh*t in the shopping cart”. My fellow SLP friends think we could make a great comedy/sitcom show about the life of a school based SLP or take a comedy act on the road. Thanks for a great post that highlights speech therapy in an enlightening and funny way!

  38. Yet another speechie here… I so seriously needed this laugh today! I’m known to a lot of my prek and early elem kiddos as CNET after a set of autistic triplets shortened my name — their mom would say “come on.. It’s time to go see miss Lynnette” and they turned it into CNET. It’s stuck and I should seriously put it on my license plate one day! Love the post and so glad you appreciate your very own speechie!!

  39. I love this! I am a first year speech therapist at an urban district. It’s good to know those slang terms for the phonological processes since many of my parents would likely be offended if I said that their child needs to stop fronting or reduce his gliding, ha! I had a student (a hardworking middle schooler with a lot of articulation errors) tell me around Halloween that he loved to eat horsies. I looked at him and asked, “horsies?” and he said, “yea, horsies!” I soon figured out he meant Hershey’s. There’s a big difference between wanting to eat a horsey vs a Hershey.

  40. Ha ha ha! My son says “bitches” for Fishes, as in… Where my bitches? (in the bath) Are we eatin’ white bitch for dinner?
    Great blog.

  41. Ms. Buffy a.k.a. Ms. Peech

    February 2, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    So my kids call me Ms. Buffy because they can’t pronounce my last name, but just this week I was dubbed “Ms. Peech!” by one of my new kiddos… for “Ms. Speech”.

    Thanks for the shout out to SLPs and I will gladly take the title of “bad mofo” and wear it proudly! I guess I realized that I went into the right profession when a student’s mother wrote a letter to me in which she stated that because of me and my work with her son, he would be able to ask the girl of his dreams to marry him… I still tear up thinking about that… Always nice to get a “go hug a Speech Pathologist.” This job is hard, but more than rewarding.

    Good luck to you and your sweet boy… and thanks for the shout out… this post is going viral with the SLPs… ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. Speechie from Mississippi

    February 3, 2012 at 9:11 am

    This speechie from Mississippi loves this blog!!!

  43. Another SLP here laughing my ass off at this post. This is BRILLIANT and I am sharing this on Facebook! THANK YOU!!!!

  44. valeriewoods@sbcglobal.net

    February 9, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    I find the SLP comments really funny! I am an SLP and probably should have kept a notebook for all the funny comments and situations. My friend’s boy couldn’t say truck due to fronting…and used an f for the tr. good times. give me my *&@? Speechie is “cute” but considering all of the knowlege, school, certification it is a bit undermining. I don’t think if it was a male dominiated profession we would use a diminuative form like that. Kind of like techie..but do you call your psychologist psychie, or doctor..medie, or dockie? Personally, I like S.L.P. or Speech Path.

    • I think one of my Australian readers (who is also an SLP) left a comment a while back calling herself a “Speechie,” and it stuck for me. Those Aussies have great names for things. Good point though! I love my son’s S.L.P. and I would never want to diminish the importance of her work with a cutesy name. I will be more mindful.Thanks for the comment!

  45. Made. My. Night.

    -Yet another bad mofo

  46. I was SO thrilled to finally see something ‘cool’ and funny written about SLPs, THANK YOU! Keep it coming. I recently switched back to working with preschoolers and since my last name is hard for even adults to pronounce, I introduced myself as “Miss P”. I learned very quickly that preschoolers understand this as “pee”. I was called “Miss Pee Hole” and told that “pee is for potty”. I now introduce myself as, “Miss Tracey”. I love it!

  47. I’m glad that our 5 year old boy isn’t the only one asking for douche bags. He will say he’s dirdy, which is confusing because he could mean thirsty or dirty. Horsies are horkeys. He stumped me with, bun baydar. Which is fund raiser. For awhile, fire trucks were f*$%s. I know he’ll get past this someday, so I find the humor in his cute mispronuced words and try to write them down so I’ll remember them later. We’ll have our IEP meetings coming up soon, with a different set of teachers.

  48. I have to say as a speech-language pathologist, I chuckled through all of this post. Phonological errors like your son’s are my favorite thing to work on. I’m sure I’ll think of this post the next times I work have an IEP or work on these sounds….hopefully I can stop chuckling by then. Thanks for the laugh!

  49. I’m another SLP who loves moms
    who make dick jokes during meetings!

  50. This post and the comments have just tickled me. Two of my children had a terrible time making themselves understood and I had never heard of nor was told of a speech therapist. Thankfully they outgrew it but it was the reason 4 generations of my family refer to crickets as “prickets”, blueberry muffins as “bluecherry muppets” and we don’t have discussions in our family – we have “disgustings”. There are other ways we mangle the English language but some habits are hard to break.

  51. The majority of my children have been in speech therapy (the exception being my mouthy daughter – go figure, she’s perfectly eloquent) for various reasons and I’ve met some extraordinary people in the last ten year. Yes, they do rock – and they have the patience of a saint! I have fought the Fronting wars, and
    I’m always amazed when they work their miracles and suddenly someone starts pronouncing things accurately. And sad. Oh how I miss hearing Puglips (for Publix) and lowlers for flowers.

  52. I’ve been an SLP for a long time and I had a lot of kids who had trouble with the word truck, but my favorite was a sweet little blond headed girl who I did not allow to say “fish”. Yeah, /b/ for /f/ and she said /ch/ for /sh/. Not good, not good…

  53. Loved this!
    Personally, I work to correct these errors more because it would work better for the kids to not continue to provoke “WHAT DID HE JUST SAY?” reactions from total strangers (and Aunt Betty and Gramma Prudence with the Chanel earrings), than because I want to ‘fix’ their cuteness.
    Kids rule.
    I wuv ve tyoot ones! Wif vey tatin bout tyoot titties and owan douche wovin’ wed wabewees… ๐Ÿ˜‰
    (I’ll translate if need be, but I have me a feeling, you’re fluent in kiddo-ese!)

    Apropos names: the kids at the schools I worked in could not pronounce my name, so I presented myself as “Ms. Y”, which of course, kids being kids (and hearing it as…well…’why’), would ask? “You Ms. Because?”

  54. Thank you that was a laugh I really needed…. As a Speech Pathology student it covered many of the areas and issues I have already had to deal with…. As a mum I love Bucket Heads name as I have 2 in my house…… Turkey Brain and Chucky….. thank you.

  55. You are hilarious! As an SLP, I have heard so many funny pronunciations through the years…I should write a book! “Miss Tafween, tee da wirbel on da fee?” (Miss Kathleen, see the squirrel on the tree?”)… “I no eat kiss on kieday” (“I don’t eat fish on Friday.”). I love my job!!

  56. Great Post!

  57. Fabulous post! I was giggling the whole time! I’ll finish my masters in speech-language pathology this May. Hearing a parents humor like this is encouraging. Thanks!

  58. Heard this one a few weeks ago during a session…Ms. Amanda I love dinohores!! Yikes!! luckily he was ok with saying “dinos” until his /s/ was 100%. Phew..now it’s dinosaurs. We certainly hear our share of funny words.
    -Amanda AKA Ms. Mylanta (lol)!!

  59. YES. As an SLP-to-be, I love this! It’s brilliant. Will definitely be sharing with all my SLP friends. All the best to you and Bucket Head ๐Ÿ™‚

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