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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Co-ordination and balance or Treason!

[Pre - holiday in England]

We return from the garden centre. I am full of beans. [translation = ready to plant]

My son is wasted. [translation = American term meaning excessively tired, as opposed to the English, term meaning inebriated.] I took him with me as he doesn't react quite as violently as his brother does to this kind of trip. Spouse cared for the other two.

Now don't get me wrong, I am entirely delighted that my two severely speech delayed boys now talk, it's just that the thought processes behind the production of those words, is still far too fast and complex for me to understand. More often than not, I tie myself up in knots. [translation = intractable ones]

My son collapses of the floor like the deflated balloon that he is, together with matching sound effects. [translation = shopping is exhausting for him]
“Whatcha got mom?” asks his sister with enthusiasm.
“Ooo I bought loads of lovely things just look!”
“Gee but you were only gone half an hour!”
“Really, it seems sooooooo much longer. [translation = ten minutes drive there, 3 minutes choosing, 7 minutes queuing, paying and packing, 10 minutes drive home] Anyway, now we have to decide what to put where? Want to help?”
“So you remember the vine that died on one side of the arbors because of the frost?”
“Well, should we replace it with this glossy Jackmanii, or this smouldering Stephanotis?”
Junior appears in the kitchen, “what you do! Plantings are in dah garden not in dah house! Dirty!”
“They’ll be in the garden soon enough, we just have to decide which one to put where? Do you want to help?”
“NO! I am hating dah gardin and I am hating dah plants also.”
“Fair enough.” He hovers close by, brewing.
I reconnect with my daughter. “So what do you think?”
“I love that velvety purple, that will look lovely next to the other three white ones on the back fence.” I pause. Two arches. Three vines. Three white vines.
“Hmm, maybe we had better put the Stephanotis there then they’ll all be white, and they’ll all be scented which will be lovely when you’re sitting there.”
Junior buts in, “what it is, ‘assorted’?”
“Um, various, mixed, that sort of thing.”
“Why you are calling him Jack den?”
“Because that’s what he….er, it is. It is a Clematis Jackmanii, it’s Latin, named after the chappy that bred him, er…. it…..I think.”
“What rhyme it is?”
“Yes. What be rhyming wiv Jackmanii?”
“Jackmanii, Jack boy e i, Jill girl e i, e i e i o e i!”
“That’ll do nicely, well done.”
"He is ancient?"
"Who, er who is ancient?"
"Well, he...it's probably got a couple of years growth I suppose."
"A couple is two!"
"Yes, that's right, good boy."
"Argh, NO!"
"You said he was ancient."
"Did I?" As usual I have completely lost the thread of this conversation.
"Yes, you said he was Latins. Latins is ancient too, he cannot be only two."
"Oh, yes, I see what you mean. Breeders give plants Latin names so that everyone in the world can understand them. It's a common language. It doesn't matter what language you speak, everyone......understands......Latin." I peter to a halt anticipating an onslaught of additional questions that I am surely unable to answer. However, to my surprise, he seems completely satisfied with this response. I turn to my daughter again, who has waited patiently [again] throughout.
"So, shall we make a start? Find the fork?"
Junior has been cogitating for a few minutes.
“But he is not a Jack, he is a ‘patio plant,’” he spits twanging the elastic of the label.
“He’s a patio plant too. A plant can be more than one thing. Just like you! You’re masculine, a scholar, a chanters, a lyricist, an American, a fleet of foot, a Brit, a feline friend, a chocolate connoisseur, a jester, lots of different things all at the same time, all rolled up into one little boy.” I stop my brief list. I wonder if he can translate all those terms. Should I have used simpler language? I wait for him to process. Why do I keep doing that? Using too many words?
"I not little," he asserts after a brief pause.
"True, you're quite big now." I wait a bit longer....reminding myself of the discrepancy between his receptive and expressive language skills. [translation = understands what comes in but can't necessarily come out with the right words]

“What it is ......‘a Brit’?” [translation = oh no, tragedy!]

We will be in England in less than three weeks. Pass me the Globe!


Anonymous said...

I too enjoy that my eldest talks... but this potty mouth... out of control. Honestly, I'm losing sympathy fast... he knows right from wrong and has been taught social skills etc... there is no excuse, he is not significantly delayed anymore... he doesn't stop it... he's going to have major problems in the playground and I'm annoyed enough at the moment... to let it happen.

The little one is chatting lately... ok, in my world that's easy 1 word requests. But it's soo nice after he had so much difficulty with getting the words out.


Melissa said...

love the conversation over the plants :) And I finally understand that these posts are from before your holiday... sorry about that. I was thinking you were crazy to do two big trips like that this summer. Turns out I'm the only crazy one. Who knew? :)

DandyLyon said...

“What it is ......‘a Brit’?” [translation = oh no, tragedy!]


I think you just have to accept that you're doomed.

mjsuperfan said...

Sometimes after I read one of your posts, I consider slowing down the whole effort to get my guys talking. Maybe a few more years of PECS! Just kidding of course, but I think your brain must be exhausted by the end of the day.

At this point I'm hearing monologues such as: "shoe...school...backpack...monkey...penguin...hair...shoe...monkey...backpack", etc.

Niksmom said...

ROFL and laughing, and laughing! Oh but your children must wear you out with their boundless energy and inquisitiveness. God bless them, they (and you) bring smiles to so many of us when we need them!

kristina said...

Charmed to know that everyone knows Latin!

And generally charmed by your seeing the adventure in the anyday.

Unknown said...

"wasted = American term meaning excessively tired, as opposed to the English, term meaning inebriated."

Odd, I haven't heard it used to mean 'tired' before, just in reference to someone being so severely inebriated or stoned that they can't function. Usually with "totally" or "like, totally" in front of it, as in:

Surfer/Deadhead/etc.: "whoa, we got totally wasted last night!"
Valley-Girl: "like, ohmygod, I saw Adrian and he was like, totally wasted!"

(Though I would have also heard "wasted" used by my more academic-minded friends as referring to a drastic loss of body mass. :)

Anonymous said...

*Perhaps missing the point*

I think your son was mixing up Jack the chappy and Jack the plant.

Jack the chappy is probably ancient. Jack the plant is two years old.

As an aside, dual citizenship -- does it just happen, or do you have to do that sort of thing intentionally?

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