Friday, January 25, 2008

Interpretation (and other) Challenges


It finally dawned on me. Why it took so long, I have no idea. Slap my forehead, why dontcha.

I've been pretty good at interpreting my children's unique communication styles and enunciation peculiarities. It's so cute and I rarely, if ever, correct them. Unless of course, it will raise eyebrows at the Super Wal-Mart or -- gulp! -- church. Chalk it up to wanting them to stay little a while longer.

One of my favorites is when Mark says "I want to hold you" when he really means "I want you to hold me." This is usually when he's exceptionally tired or has gotten hurt.

His other most often used line is "You happy to me Mommy." So adorable until I realized that it is not a question. It is more of a, well, a demand really. When he knows I am upset with him for an infraction, he pierces me with those cerulean blue eyes and declares: "You happy to me Mommy!" And then he'll throw the thumb's up sign in my direction for added emphasis. He is looking for a thumb's up in return. Sometimes he gets it.

At around 13 months old Michael began asking for a "grink" when he was thirsty. I was sad the day he pronounced "drink" correctly. The Calm One and I even had a moment of silence for it's passing. Sigh . . .

Less mournful was the passing on of his erroneous pronunciation of "dump truck." Forgive me for actually typing this out, but it always sounded as though he was saying "dumb cukk." Slight variations of that proved to be quite embarrassing in public. We were always very quick to loudly proclaim, "Yes, it is a yellow DUMP TRUCK, isn't it Michael?!" So as to smooth over anyone's offended sensibilities.

But, I must admit that I was flummoxed (dontcha love that word?) when Cherie came home from preschool one day talking about her "Nanners."

Now, she has a grandmother whom we all call "Nanny" and I immediately assumed Cherie was talking about her. And yet, I couldn't put together what she was saying with what that must have to do with The Calm One's mom. And why she was suddenly pronouncing it incorrectly.

So, of course, my next thoughts were "nanners" of the yellow fruited variety. Not so.

As you may have already guessed, she was talking about manners. Why it took me so long, I have no idea. And I am glad that she is getting extra instruction on table manners. Maybe it will rub off on her brothers who are exceptionally lacking in this area.

While we've worked on table etiquette and "please and thank yous" all along, she recently started to make a conscious effort to incorporate what she's learning. Mostly because we keep telling our fun-loving offspring that they won't see the inside of another Wendy's until they can behave in public. And you can forget going to a real restaurant.

No, there won't be any balloons from Applebee's to trip us up during the late night bathroom visits until they can learn not to climb over the back of the booth to make their unwelcome acquaintance with other patrons. And no more of those annoying whirling, hopping Happy Meal toys that get stuck under the couch cushions to surprise unsuspecting visitors until they learn that public bathroom stall walls are not to be looked under or sprung over to spy on other vulnerable, uh, potty go-ers.

No indeed.

And I won't even mention the hilarity over half empty ketchup bottles which make noises to the delight of any six and three year old.

No, let's not even mention that.

So, bring on the "nanners," I say. Bring 'em on and be quick about it. Although, if I never saw a noisy, twirling plastic toy, it would be too soon.

I'm just sayin'.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1/28/2008

    Who are children have you been taking to resturants. They can't be the same well mannered ones that eat out with me. They make me proud to be called Papaw.
    After helping to raise a little boy who inspected every restroom (probably several times) in every state, on every trip, a trip to the bathroom when someone really has to go is not a problem. The children know him as Uncle B..
    He also had an irritating(to me) habit of ordering steak at a seafood resturant, chicken at a steak house and seafood in a chicken resturant. Somewhere along the line he grew out of that, but when we eat out I always wait to see what he orders, habit I guess.
    Keep doing the great job you are doing, some of the things they are doing are even rubbing off on ME.

    ReplyDelete

Dear Readers of note have said . . .