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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Finely tuned communication

Broadly speaking I am outnumbered. All too frequently I make the mistake of dealing with three conversations simultaneously and lose the thread completely. Generally speaking, I find it more efficient to complete one conversation first and back track later to pick up other threads. I like to think of it as my anti-unraveling campaign.

The latest crop of ditties that the boys have acquired is rather disconcerting. What is even more disconcerting is the hilarity that accompanies each one. I find it increasingly difficult to concentrate on anything at all in the whirlpool of laughter. The fact that it is also reciprocal and infectious makes it hard to keep a straight face for more serious conversations.

“Come along now, it’s time to put away your clothes.”
“Time? What time it is being?”
“Ah, time to put away clothes.”
“Subway! Eat fresh! Subway! Eat fresh! Subway! Eat fresh!” he cooes.
“You want us to put away the laundry? Why?” queries my independent pre-teen. It would appear that is someone else who is in need of a few life skills.
“Cheese is an adventure! Woe,” he announces in a breathy tone, oblivious to his sister's strident tone.
“Well they’re your clothes.”
“How much wood can a wood chuck chuck!” he giggles.
“But that’s your job.” Her body language tells me all I need to know, but her brothers continue to circulate their own circuitry.
“Now I weemember. If you shout fings, you remember them still. I LIKE PIE!” he bellows, little liar that he is as he rolls back in fits of laughter.
“What’s my job?”
“Innernet! Innernet! Innernet!” the robot voice still plagues us.
“Put away the laundry and other mom stuff,” the eyes roll but she spares me the 'duh!'
“Gone fishin! Gone fishin! Gone fishin!”
“Au contraire. My job is to teach you how to put your own clothes away so that you can be independent and grown up.”
“Bet on it. Bet on it. Bet on it.” The robot sounds optimistic.
“Fine! But I don’t want to be grown up and inde..........”
“Are we nearly there yet! Are we nearly there yet! Are we nearly there yet!”
“Sorry dear? What was that again? I don’t think you quite finished what you wanted to say.”
“Gedda new look fur yur bedrorom!”
“Fine! I’ll do it but I don’t know how?”
“Eggy eggy eggy!” even though Easter is long gone.
“We’ll learn how to do it together.”
“Hold dah ice! Hold dah ice! Hold dah ice!”
“Fine but whataya gonna do all day if you don’t do the laundry any more? Sit on yur butt and chat to yur friends?”
Mercifully she didn’t say 'fanny'!
“Butt jokes! Get yur butt jokes here!” the list of banned words grows daily.
“What an excellent idea! I will sit on my bottom all day and learn how to use my cell phone.” 7 years after the event.
“Yur welcum! Yur welcum! Yur welcum!”
What!” Her face is a caricature of incredulity.
“No ifs no buts no co co nuts!”
“Um……well…..I suppose I’ll do everything I usually do except put away the laundry.”
“Pretty pretty shiny shiny.”
“Fine! But you don’t put the laundry away now anyways. There’s always at least three hampers of laundry at the top of the stairs.”
“Good fur you! Good fur you! Good fur you!”
“True but what about the other four hampers? And it’s never the same laundry, it’s a constant turnover around here.”
“Count dem? How many pairs of hands do you think I have? Two! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!”
“I don’t believe you! You’re a li………not telling the truth.”
“Gonna stab yah in the head wiv a fork!”
“I know! How about I teach you how to sort them, wash the dirty clothes, then dry them, then fold them and then you’ll see how many full hampers there really are on the average day?”
“Here’s to gluttony!”
Fine! I said I’d do it alrighty.” She flounces from the room, a gesture that she's worked to perfection over the last few weeks.
“Bring on dah rainbow……and dah weather forecast is……fine!”

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