There's a quecho in my house. My daughter has this habit of repeating the last word or words that I say in the form of a question. I refer to this phenomenon as a quecho. Doesn't it sound like a quecho should be really cute? Like something from Dr. Suess. But it's not. A quecho is really, really annoying.
Me: "Did you finish studying for the math test?"
Her: "Studying for the math test?"
Me: "Which hair clip do you want me to remove? The round one or the green one?"
Her: "The green one?"
Me: "Don't forget to bring your toothbrush to grandma's house."
Her: "Grandma's house?"
At first I was very tolerant of the quecho; it was endearing. In fact, I encouraged the quecho. My daughter doesn't like people to know she's from out of town. Sometimes, when she would nod in agreement with what I was saying and I was pretty sure she didn't understand at all what I'd said, I'd tell her she needs to not be afraid to ask questions when she doesn't understand. And she got pretty good at it, for the most part.
The quecho was indicative of my little English Language Learner learning English. A vocabulary builder.
Me: "Would you like some avocado?"
Me: "I need to go to the mall."
Her: "Mall?" (Hard to believe at one time I needed to explain "mall" to her. Same goes for "salon", "manicure" and "chocolate milk shake".)
Me: "Don't worry. It's better to remain a mystery."
But now. Well, now the quecho is saturated with 13-year-old attitude. It's not a learning experience. It's a nerve churning experience. If the present day quecho were truly about vocabulary building and curiosity it would be so much better, but now that it's tinged with teenage rebellion I can hardly stand it. I won't compare it to nails on a chalkboard, because that's too cliched, I'm just saying (get it?), but maybe it's like hearing one of those yippy dogs bark or someone rubbing two styrofoam coffee cups together.
I try to give her little hints to get her to stop, saying things like, "Quit repeating and questioning everything darn I say!" and this often works, for ten or fifteen minutes. Sometimes, I imitate the quecho by doing it myself, which is how I broke all my children of any tendency toward whining. In the end, I know, the quecho is my own damn fault. I taught her to do it. I created a quecho monster.
But I don't think a reprieve from a barrage of attitudinal drenched 13-year-old quechos is too much to ask. Is it too much to ask?