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The stay-at-home dad: When kids repeat ‘Toy Story’ gags and hip hop lyrics

by TYLER WILSON/Coeur Voice contributor
| October 17, 2020 1:00 AM

Kids say the darndest things. Especially when you encourage them.

A little kid wants nothing more than to be the center of attention. If “saying something cute” gets a positive reaction, you can bet he or she will keep saying it well beyond the natural expiration date.

Our 3-year-old loves being the star of the household, as do most youngest children in a family. His parents and siblings love hearing his cute little voice saying adorable things, which is most everything except the screaming fits about bedtime or using “the big potty.” He knows we love it too, so anything that elicits big laughs will get repeated for days, weeks, even months on end.

Most are innocent enough. For example, he likes spouting two specific catchphrases from Woody in “Toy Story.” It’s no surprise, as these particular phrases have been uttered by yours truly at least 15,000 times since I first heard them back in 1995.

It’s not just how he says it that makes me laugh. It’s the entire performance.

He’ll walk up to me awkwardly holding his foot and yell:

“THERE’S A SNAKE IN MY BOOT!”

I laugh. He giggles, then finishes the bit:

“SOMEBODY POISONED THE WATER HOLE!”

It’s funny every time. He does it with what I call his “adult voice,” which is just him puckering his lips together and attempting to speak in a slightly lower tone. Usually he starts to giggle somewhere in the middle and the “boot” and “water hole” parts revert back to his high-pitched cute voice.

Recently we discovered this mix of “adult voice” and “higher-pitched giggle-trail-off” sounds almost exactly like a certain Sasha Baron Cohen character that enthralled frat guys for the back half of the 2000s.

Yes, my 3-year-old son has the perfect “Borat” voice. Perfect timing for that surprise sequel coming to Amazon Prime later this month.

For the better part of a week now, my son just walks around the house hollering:

“MY WIIIIIIIIFE!!!!”

Then, every so often, he’ll say, “VERY NIIICE!!!”

To be clear, he’s never seen the very R-rated movie and has no idea why his parents think it’s so funny.

Not to be outdone, our 5-year-old daughter continues to exercise her constant feeling of FOMO (fear of missing out) by reciting some of my favorite 90s-era hip-hop lyrics. She still knows how to deploy her own cute voice for my entertainment.

Since she only attended pre-school for half days last year, we used to listen to a lot of Pandora and over-the-air “classic hip-hop” radio while waiting in line at to pick up her older siblings at school. The lyrics were clean (mostly), the beats were dope, and she liked being “in” on her dad’s musical preferences.

I didn’t know how much she liked it until a family member asked her to name her favorite song.

“Got Your Money,” she said.

That’s the hook to an Ol’ Dirty Bastard (RIP) song, and now, even a year later, she regularly belts out the chorus part by singer Kelis:

“Hey. Dirtay! Baby I got your money. Don’t you worry. I say ‘HEY!’ Baby I got your money!”

Okay, again… she only listens to the radio-friendly version, and she doesn’t know any of the actual rap.

Nevertheless, I suggest she say a different favorite song when asked.. Her usual response is either “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” or “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus. In her defense, all three songs are BANGIN’.

So, yes, kids say the darndest things. But usually it’s the parent that made them so cool in the first place. Luckily, our kids have me and MY WIIIIIFE!!

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Tyler Wilson is a freelance writer and stay-at-home parent to four kids, ages 3-9. He is tired. He can be reached at twilson@cdapress.com.