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Desperate Working Mommas
Your one-stop site for fanatical television snarking, questionable political analysis, occasional attempts to address the parenting issues facing working mothers, and halfhearted promises to stop obsessing about the entertainment industry, already! Oh, not to mention the random bitching and moaning. There's always that.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Lost in Translation II

Okay, you know how sometimes something your child says, or rather, the WAY your child says it, just strikes you funny and you can't stop laughing and of course then your kiddo is thinking "Okay, Momma has gone completely nuts and they will probably come to take her away in a straitjacket and-- oh, no!-- does this mean we won't be getting dinner tonight because I am HUNGRY, yo?" because in your child's opinion she was just making a perfectly reasonable statement when suddenly you go all bat-crazy on her? Because of The Funny? Even though other people may not understand why you think it was so freaking hilarious in the first place because the humor is lost in translation? Do you?

While driving home from the library with my daughter yesterday I had one of those experiences.

After an exhaustive cataloguing of all the animals my eight-year-old would like to own if only her stinking mother weren't allergic to every freaking animal known to man, totally ruining it for the whole family, I am so serious, GOSH!, she asked me this stumper:

"How come the fish we buy always die, even though we feed them and take care of them and change their water?"

Ever the conspiracy theorist, I replied, "Well, I think the store just sells us bad fish. See, they're just about ready to croak when we get them. It's a wonder we keep them alive as long as we do, actually."

"Oh." Brief pause. "Well, I think we should get another fish. They are SO easy to take care of."

What, other than the dying thing?

I glanced at her in the rearview mirror and could see her sweet little face all full of eagerness and hope with a side of certainty that our next fishbowl denizen would live a long and prosperous fishy life. Which, again with the conspiracy theories, it probably would NOT, despite my best efforts-- and note, I do stress "MY"-- if recent forays into pet ownership were any indication.

(Honestly. I knew I shouldn't have let them watch Finding Nemo for the gazillionth time. Stupid Dory--thanks, CK!-- and her "I will call him Squishy" hilarity.)

I tried to break it to her gently. "Well, sweetie, you have a bird already and all you have to do is give him food and water... which you NEVER do, I might add. That's pretty easy, don't you think?"

(Translation: There is no chance in hell I will buy you another pet because I am sick to death of taking care of the one you have now and if I weren't terrified of his little birdy spirit coming back to haunt me all Grudge-style I would totally let the caged bird sing and fly away for one glorious day of unfettered freedom before the neighbor's cat caught him and ate him for dinner.)

Hannah whipped out what I am SURE she believed to be her trump card: "Well... you forgot that I have to clean his cage! Yeah... and... YUCK."

Oh, no she d'int.

"Que'?" I asked holding my hand cupped around my ear, a gesture clearly lost on the occupant of the backseat. (I hate when my witty gestures are used in vain. It's a little embarrassing, too. Like the knee-jerk "Ta-daaaa!" I always do when I trip over a crack, even when there is no one around to see it. And when I just said "I" I totally meant "people." Because I totally don't do that "ta-da" thing. Seriously. Uncool, much?!... Wait. What was I talking about?) Righteous indignation swelled in my bosom! (Heh. I said "bosom." Okay! Focusing!) And I was like, "Um, excuse me? Hello?! Child, I am the only person in our family who has EVER cleaned that bird's cage!"

I waited for her usual vehement rebuttal, her impassioned cry of "nuh-UH!" or perhaps "whatEVER!", but... silence. I glanced in the rearview mirror, curiously anticipating what I was now expecting to be a well-thought-out refutation. She's the dilettante of disputation, that one. Then--

"Huh... good point."

(Good point? GOOD POINT?! Okay, missy... who are you and what have you done with my daughter?)

Then, in a surprisingly detached "Eh, you got me" way, she shrugged and summarily dismissed me by picking up one her newly checked-out books and beginning to read.

I couldn't help it. I burst out laughing. It was so unlike her to just give up a perfectly good fight like that. I mean, I practically slapped her across the face with the proverbial glove, you know, threw down the gauntlet, for heaven's sake! (Did anyone else ever think a gauntlet was some sort of cup? Maybe confused it with a goblet? No? Really? Me neither.) I admit to feeling a bit let down by the quick surrender. And the way she said it?!... Woo! Cracked me RIGHT up.

"Huh... good point." BWAH! I mean, can you imagine?!

Through my paroxysm of laughter I had the presence of mind to steal a glance at her in the rearview mirror where I saw her look up from her book for a minute and shoot me one of those "What the heck is HER deal?" looks-- which, incidentally, I get from the kids quite a lot, actually-- before returning to her book with an air of indifference only known to a child who is not at all new to the whole Momma Is Driving Down The Road While Laughing Herself Silly thing.

Honestly. I laughed so hard I cried. Seriously. Laughed my butt off.

"Huh... good point." Hoo!

Ooooo-KAY... I guess you had to be there.


link | posted by Cat at 10:48 AM

Blogger LadyBug commented:


I {heart} you, cat.

Happy Valentine's Day!

P.S. I am more than a little insulted at my word verification: fatcr. Did your blog just freakin' call me a fat car?!?

» 2/14/2006 12:48 PM 
Anonymous kalki commented:

Well, I am laughing my butt off, but it's at you. Cause you're HI-LARIOUS. And can I just say that whenever I read a post about you and your kids, I want to come live with you and be one of them? Because it just sounds SO FREAKING FUN!

» 2/14/2006 1:08 PM 
Blogger Circus Kelli commented:

Cat, you're something else all together (in the very best way).
I think you're so great, I'm not even going to point out that the fish in Finding Nemo that talked about "I will name him Squishy and he will be my Squishy" is DorY, not Dora. Really, I'm not going to point that out, because it would be really petty and completely AR, you know?

What IS up with your word verification? UERDP -- I think it's telling me "You're a dip"

» 2/14/2006 1:22 PM 
Blogger WILLIAM commented:

This is, of course, outside the intentions of you post, but I can't help but picture the bird in the movie Dumb and Dumber where they use scotch tape to put him together.

You crack me up.

» 2/14/2006 1:56 PM 
Blogger Nap Queen commented:

HEEEEEEELARIOUS! I pull that with my husband. Sometimes (okay all the time) he calls me on my shit, and I know he expects me to justify my actions, and I'll say, "Okay, you got me." He always looks so surprised, like, "Waaaaiiittt a minute. What is going on here?" It really is priceless. So after all this rambling, what I meant to say was your kid sounds cool.

» 2/14/2006 5:35 PM 
Blogger Charlotte in Pa commented:

Happy Valentine's Day!

I love on the "Finding Nemo" special features when Dory says, "My name's Dory and this is my story. I'm from the reef and I don't eat beef." Too funny!

» 2/14/2006 9:03 PM 
Blogger wordgirl commented:

I love it when I have a moment like that with my kids. It's incredibly energizing and wonderful.

» 2/14/2006 9:31 PM 
Blogger Bente commented:

You funny lady, you!

And I thought gauntlet was some sort of cup right up until about, oh, two minutes ago. :)

» 2/14/2006 10:28 PM 
Blogger Odd Mix commented:

You crack me up, Cat.

I have so experienced moments like that with my kids. I think they wonder what's happened to me and my wife when we simultaneously begin coughing our lungs out to cover the laughter.

BTW, my neck is still tender. But the nerve pain in my back and arm is better and I am moving more freely. SOOOO, back I go. If TGYM wants to give you another massage I can give you her number.

» 2/14/2006 11:07 PM 
Blogger Ern commented:

I soooo remember giving my mom withering looks while she dissolved in gales of hysterical laughter. In fact, I think I might just have to send her a link to this. Hee.

» 2/14/2006 11:42 PM 
Blogger Amy commented:

Hey, I left a comment on here yesterday after wordgirl. Where the heckle did it go?

» 2/15/2006 6:48 AM 
Blogger Vajana commented:

I tried commenting earlier but I couldn't. Love this post, it's great.

You are hee-larious.

Dilettante. Cracking me up.

Blove you!

» 2/15/2006 11:08 AM 

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