Monday, July 27, 2009

Lost in translation

Foreign languages were never my thing. I suffered through two years of Spanish in Junior High and a semester of Spanish in college. I can understand Dora the explorer. My High school German teacher suffered through three years of me and I can successfully say my name in German. Oh, wait, I think that's still in English.

Much to my surprise, since becoming a mother I've learned a new language. It seems I speak the foreign language of MOM. Momspeak is a language that all children misinterpret and/or don't hear. And thus, many things get lost in translation. Here are a few from our house.

Momspeak: Get your shoes on, we have to go get your sister.
Child's translation: Don't wear shoes, mom is just kidding.
Result: Ten-year old child goes to Walmart without shoes.

Momspeak: Go do your Saturday chores.
Child's translation: Play with toys in your room, fight with siblings.
Result: A very unhappy parent who ends up repeating the original phrase ad naseum.

Momspeak: Go play downstairs or outside.
Child's translation: Beat the snot out of all siblings.
Result: Chores

Momspeak: Go to the bathroom and get in the car.
Child's translation: Dink around, eventually locate a shoe, whine about going to the bathroom or just don't go, wait until the vein in Mom's forehead bulges before going to the car.
Result: Much yelling from mom, all of which are repeatedly misinterpreted by the children. Mom should just stop talking.

Momspeak: Get off the computer.
Child's translation: Finish game, even if it takes ten more minutes.
Result: Getting banned from computer if the child takes too long to translate the following phrase, "GET OFF THE BLASTED COMPUTER...NOW!!!" That wasn't too hard, was it?

I seem to have perfected Momspeak, now if the children would just perfect the translation of said foreign language, we could all live together in peace. It feels a little Tower of Babelish at my house. I try not to get frustrated at the continuous misinterpretation of the things I say. Heaven knows my German teacher repeated the same phrases at us for three years and we never did understand her. But it seems that my children, much like their mother, aren't very gifted in the foreign language department. Such is life!


Jana said...

You make me laugh....hard!!! It is so treu though!

Susan said...

Your German teacher had a brain tumor.

Stacey said...

Yes. Yes she did. But I wonder if we weren't instrumental in giving it to her.

Evie said...

Cute post!:)