One of the best things about moving to a different location/state is getting to take in all of the new surroundings, new restaurants, new traditions, and new sights. In other words, everything is NEW! Most of it is exciting, some of it is boring, but no matter what it is, it is something new.
A few weeks ago, we were checking out our unfamiliar territory and decided to hop into a small, one-off, Italian restaurant. I use the term "Italian restaurant" very loosely because it was more like an over-priced pizza joint that happened to serve variances on the doughy tomato and cheese pie. They did have a decent Stromboli, though!
Anyway, it was apparent the owners were from the New York area, judging from the decorations on the wall. Their attempt at making a hole in the wall more appealing by decorating with Yankee and Giants nick-knacks was not lost on me. I'll give them an A for effort, but an F for their choice of team memorabilia - hey, I'm a Washington DC team fan, what can I say?
Despite the ugly sports team memorabilia, there was one sign that made this place have a spot in our permanent memory banks. It was because of this sign that we will probably go back, at some point, and try them again...while overlooking the Giants/Yankees junk.
The sign was a simple, ordinary, boring sign that had letters painted on a weathered strip of wood. It was what my son said that made it so memorable.
A little past the half way point of our meal, in his best Italian accent, my son asks, "Mom, what does 'Kuita ya belliachi', mean?" My wife and I speak multiple languages, but Italian is not one of them. We can usually figure out what a phrase in Italian or Portuguese mean, based on the languages that we know (Spanish and French). "Kuita ya belliachi" was not one of these phrases that was easily figured out, though...until we looked at the sign...
Hanging on the wall behind us, the rustic looking sign read "Quityourbellachin'!" Karma must have been in full force that day since we had just discussed the fact that he needed to stop complaining and whining about stuff. Quit your belly aching, stop whining, stop complaining, and any other phrase we have used in the past has now, permanently, been replaced with Kuita ya belliachi. So far, it is working well.
This, of course, brings up a piece of advice I would like to share that may help you in the future...assuming you have children. Sometimes, parents can get into a rut, just like kids. What worked before, isn't even cause for hesitation on their part now. In other words, kids become immune to time-outs, restrictions, and no candy days. A month ago, any of these responses/threats would have stopped them dead in their tracks, shaped them up in a jiffy, and life would have been good and moved on. At some point, they decided time-outs are bearable enough that the price of sneaking a candy is worth the payment of sitting in a corner for five minutes.
As parents, we need to be creative because we never know when something will stop working. These are the times that we need to say, "Kuita ya belliachi!" so that he gets the point. In the case of his belly achin', his whining changes to laughter after we say the family phrase in our best Italian accents. Of course, this has only been in practice for a little over a week, but it is is working so far!
When this one stops working, we will try to draw from our family experiences to trigger his attitude stopping mechanism to work quickly...otherwise, it's back to the drawing board, and back to him sitting in time-out...only this time it will be for 30 minutes so that I can take a quick power nap!
Do you have a family motto or sayings that only you and your family would understand? I would love to hear about them, if you do. Feel free to send me an e-mail or post a comment.
Please be sure to check out the Examiner article that corresponds to this story HERE.
As always, thanks for reading!