Good Night! Green Beans!

Wait, what did you say?

Good night! Green beans! by Jenn Greenleaf

Our children are currently seventeen, eighteen, and nineteen. So, I find myself thinking back to the funny things they used to say when they were little. I love reminiscing about such things and have a lot of it written down in memory books, as well as journals.

My oldest used to bend at the waist, ball his fists, and swing his arms while saying, “Hot Pata,” each time I made spaghetti or macaroni. No matter what kind of cereal he was eating — oatmeal or cold cereal, it was, “Hot See-wee-all.” We heard these phrases when he was two. Broccoli was “Twees,” yogurt covered raisin were “bubbles,” (we still don’t know where he came up with that one), and all varieties of meat was chicken (that lasted until he was in his teens — which I love). When he was around two and a half, he tried saying motorcycle, and it came out as, “motor-beak-eek-icle.”

I didn’t meet my stepdaughter until she was three (about a month from turning four), but I still got to hear a lot of wonderful things from her. For example, yesterday was, “Last morning,” and different was “differenter.”

My youngest was probably the funniest of them all. He tried hard to say his brother’s name as soon as he could speak — Brett was Bett. When he met his stepsister when he was two, Larisa became Wawisa. He would try to say “actually,” when he was three, and it came out as, “ak-oo-lees.” He tried saying his Uncle Eric’s name when he was two, and it came out as, “Uncle Egg-Lick.” His Aunt Tracie’s name came out as, “Aunt Two-she.” He would try to say, Mommy, and it would come out as, “Money.” He was pretty good at saying full sentences when he was two. For example, when the other two wanted to get up in the morning, they’d send him into our bedroom. He’d ask, “Money, is it whack up time yet?” That translates to, “Mommy, is it wake up time yet?”

Each of these memories makes me think about things I used to say when I was little. I have a distinct memory of my parents, as well as my grandmother saying goodnight to me. I don’t remember my age, but I recall having difficulty reaching the bed’s height. So, I was little. When they tucked me in, they were saying, “Good night! Sweet dreams!” My little ears heard, “Good night! Green beans!”

I remember feeling intense confusion. I thought about green beans for a few minutes. Then, of course, fell asleep. I never asked them about why they were saying that. Later, as it became easier to get into bed, things changed. My parents or my grandmother was still saying, “Good night! Sweet Dreams!” However, I was hearing, “Good night! Sweet peas!”

Why did they change it — are sweet peas better for me? I hate peas. Maybe if they’re raw and from the garden, that’s one thing. Cooked? No, thank you. The confusion continued. I was glad I didn’t have to think about green beans anymore. We ate them from the can and, in my opinion, they were terrible. It wasn’t until I moved out that I discovered frozen and the many ways fresh garden green beans could be cooked, so they’re not gross. That’s a different story.

Anyway, it wasn’t until I was older that I finally heard it correctly — “Good night! Sweet dreams!” it took me years to realize they weren’t changing it, but it was me who was hearing it wrong. That was comforting. I mean, seriously, why would they mess with me like that about vegetables right before bed? I ate them. I didn’t like them, but I ate them. I talked my mom about this in adulthood, to which she said she had no idea I heard it wrong. I wished I had told her sooner so, like the memories I had with my children, she could have had that one.

Sleep is something I usually don’t like talking about due to my issues with hypersomnia. I typically try avoiding it as much as possible. However, I thought this story was light-hearted and amusing. So, I’m going to try to think about this topic from a different perspective more often. As tricky as hypersomnia is to deal with, that doesn’t mean every story connected to sleep has to be negative. As you can see, I led the story with funny memories and happy anecdotes. Not only is it funny to think about how we hear things, but also what we may be thinking about as children before falling asleep…like vegetables, for example.

What funny memories do you have about your children or childhood?

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Jenn Greenleaf is a freelance writer hailing from the great state of Maine. She launched her career in 1999 and, since then, her specialty has been content writing and SEO. Follow Jenn on Facebook or Twitter, or Working Freelance Writer’s Facebook page.