Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Lost in linguistics

One of my favorite parts of the book Bridget Jones's Diary are her conversations with her friend Magda, who is recently married with young children. Magda often breaks into the conversation with directions to her kids, but there's no segway like, "Hold on, Bridget" or "I have to say something to the kids real quick." She just jumps right into what she's saying to her kids. Here's an example from the book:

"Bridget, hi! I was just ringing to say in the potty! In the potty! Do it in the potty!"

There was a loud crashing noise followed by the sound of running water and screaming in manner of Muslims being massacred by Serbs with "Mummy will smack! She will smack!" as if on a loop in the background.

"Magda!" I yelled. "Come back!"

"Sorry, hon," she said, eventually returning. "I was just ringing to say . . . tuck your willy inside the potty! If you let it hang out it'll go on the floor!"

My own sisters do these no-segway interjections to their kids a lot. I understand that it's something every parent goes through, but it really cracks me up, especially when what they're saying to their kids is bizarre when taken in the context of our conversation. This morning I called my sister and it went something like this:

Me: "So then the doctor prescribed me some probiotics, which I thought sounded good."

Sister, sounding longsuffering: "No. You have to put underwear on."

This made me giggle so much I couldn't stop.

And aside from the conversational absurdity, a whole ream of questions come into play: "Someone doesn't have any underwear on. Do they have anything on? I bet it's breezy. Why is there no underwear on? Did they take it off? Maybe they like it breezy. I don't think I would. I wouldn't want anyone to sit on the furniture that way, nightgown or not."


Jacque said...

You are too funny. I believe I addressed the someone with her name first! But then, maybe not. The underwear comes off with the potty trips and sometimes doesn't make it back on. I, of course, don't know until the middle of a phone conversation when I catch it, and, of course, can't wait until the convo. is over to address the situation. I'm glad you think it's funny, because one day it will be you!!! =)

Barney Family said...

ROTFLMAO. Thankful for Jacque's comment, because the whole time I was wondering if I said that during my conversation with you this morning (it totally could have been me, too.)

Hugs from mom said...

Or it could have been me! Yesterday Austin and I had it OUT, a full on yelling match because he refused to get dressed. He ran around naked for an hour. But those kind of conversations happen all the time. What you don't see, though, are all the hand motions to try to keep your kids from bothering you so you can just get through one DARN conversation.

Kylen and Adrienne said...

Amen, sister! That's how pretty much all my conversations are with my sisters, too!