24 August 2012

Little Pitchers Have Big Ears

Oh, my! Kids are the best at making you see the error of your ways. Recently, when Princess wanted to do some crafts and was told she couldn't, her response was a simple and vehement "Oh, Hell!"

Ouch! Apparently Daddy has not gotten his language completely under control yet. I sure thought I was doing better than that. I guarantee you I'm doing a whole lot better now! I could almost feel my Mama pop me upside the back of the head and hear her say, "Little pitchers have big ears!"

Now being the curious creature I am, I had to look that up. Did you know it's actually based on fact? In the olden days of centuries past, small earthenware jugs had to have disproportionately large handles to enable a person to easily pick them up. Some fellow, probably after drinking a few pints of ale out of said small earthenware jug, decided that the handles of the jug looked like big ears. Thus was born not just one, but two idioms of the English tongue. "Jug ears" and "little pitchers have big ears."

Hmm...perhaps the trend setters we look to for our language are not the most sober examples to emulate.

In any case, "little pitchers have big ears" still means that the youngest person in hearing distance will automatically forget everything else being said and pick up on the absolutely worst thing you say. Said youngster will then store it up in their cute little mind, waiting for exactly the right moment to spring it loose on an unsuspecting world. Generally at a moment when that youngster's offending parent is congratulating himself on how great an example he is to the precious developing minds under his careful tutelage.

Oh, He...

Oops...

Um, oh my!