A few weeks ago someone told me that Squish had my voice. I didn’t really know how to take that. I sound like a two-year-old? Only my parents can understand me? I am equal parts smoker and Mickey Mouse?

But I think I’m starting to get it. Squish sometimes speaks quietly. Even when he thinks he’s speaking normally, it is often too quiet for those who are standing only a few feet away to hear. Yesterday at Trader Joe’s, the boys asked the cashier for some stickers. She, rightfully, encouraged them to say “Please.” Manchild quickly remembered his manners, but I was surprised when the cashier continued to ask Squish to say “Please.” I was sure he had said it because he is less likely to forget it in the first place. Eventually she gave him the stickers anyway, and I peaked my head around the stroller to “remind” them to be grateful.

“What do you say, Boys?”

“Thank you!” Manchild said.

“Thank you,” Squish said in his cute little voice. Emphasis on little. Little meaning, despite his best efforts, quiet. And I knew that nobody who was more than a foot away would be able to hear him, because I was barely a foot away and I could hardly hear him. And then I knew why I’ve had so many people tell me to speak up when I’ve been talking loud and clear. And then I knew why someone would say that Squish had my voice.

And then I wished I had thought to not pass on that particular genetic trait.

Sorry, Squish. But at least we’re in it together, right?

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