Unbagging the Cats 1

Unbagging the Cats 1

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Send Lawyers, Gorillas, and Elephants. The Words Have Hit the Fan.

I love words. Always have. It was a red-letter day when my ninth grade English teacher wheeled in the TV to let us watch Wordsmith on PBS. For some odd reason, my peers did not seem to share my elation.

When Genius was born, I talked to him nonstop. You never know when a toddler might grow up to be on Jeopardy and need to regurgitate obscure facts. Before the Parents as Teachers budget was decimated, Genius had his own personal educator who made home visits. She said she loved to come to our house. Not only because the floor where she interacted with Genius was free of roaches, but because he talked like a little adult. "I'll bet you talk to him like an adult, don't you? He seems so mature." Ahem. He was my first baby. I did not know there was a special baby language. So I talked to him like a person. Yes.

Sometimes, a child does not know the nuances of adult language. I remember telling toddler Genius, who had a stubborn streak, believe it or not, which I attribute to his father, that he was so argumentative, I was certain he would grow up to be a lawyer.

"I am NOT a lawyer!" said Genius. "YOU are the lawyer!" He had the word confused with liar. Well. As the little boy said with a shrug of his shoulders, no words necessary, in Liar Liar, "Same difference."

This afternoon, The Pony got into the act. He tried several times to explain to me about a smell emanating from an object. Three times, he became tongue-tied, trying to get his idea out. I finally put an end to the struggle. "I get it. You're wanting to use the word emanating." The Pony concurred.

Nearer to home, we passed a house where a large brown hound was sunning himself on top of a red Chevy Cavalier. Not on the hood or trunk. On the roof. He covered the entire square-footage. The Pony and I debated on how he got up there.

"Duh. He climbed up there."

"HOW?"

"How do our cats get on top of our car? He used his feet."

"But cats can climb. Dogs can't."

"They can jump. How do you THINK he got up there? Perhaps when the people bought their car, it came with a large brown dog on top. The dealer put him there, I guess."

"No. Somebody at home put him there. They would have noticed at the dealer. He's only like the one-hundred-pound gorilla in the room."

"Uh huh. Then nobody would have noticed. Because one hundred pounds is mighty small for a gorilla. They weigh much more than that."

"DOH! I feel so foolish now."

I didn't have the heart to tell him about the elephant in the room.

8 comments:

Leenie said...

There's just no winning with lawyers, gorillas, elephants and/or argumentative children.

Josh Hoyt said...

Words are wonderful and it is amazing how they evolve and change. I bet the dog got on top of the roof by some sort of magic. It is a magic dog.

Sioux said...

(I should not ask, I know) but have you read the children's book "Frindle" by Clements? It is well written and appeals to word lovers.

Stephen Hayes said...

Words are like magic beans from which amazing things can grow.

Linda O'Connell said...

I'll bet you and your geniuses can do word scrambles in seconds. I too talked non-stop to my first. Boy was I sorry when she started yapping.

knancy said...

Had you mentioned the Elephant in the Room then you could have gone on to talk about the 900 Pound Gorilla that took over for the Elephant in the Room who then became the 800 Pound Gorilla. And then I am sure he would have deduced that the 100 pounds missing from that gorilla morphed into that 100 pound hound dog on the car roof which, in essence, could have been ignored if you had not spoken about it to begin with!

Cathy C. Hall said...

So I,too, talked to the Juniors like they were little persons and one day I used a high-falutin' word and Juniorette said, "I have NO idea what that means."

"But I've been using that word for 10 YEARS," I said. "And you never thought to ask what it means?"

She just shrugged. Explains a lot about the blank looks I used to get. Well, I still get blank looks. But I think it's for a different reason.

Val said...

Leenie,
Well...I can still beat my husband. Figuratively, of course.

***********
Josh,
Maybe it was a sign. Like that devil I found on my porch one morning. Granted, it was a stuffed red devil, of the kind you might win in a grabber machine. But how it got there, I'll never know. Nor the fate it portended.

***********
Sioux,
I have not read Frindle. The lowest I've gone on the kidlit is middle grade. Except for those Mouse and Cookie books.

Now you've given me the most scathingly brilliant idea for a blog post. Well done.

***********
Stephen,
Like large dogs on car roofs.

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Linda,
Yes, the consequences are astounding. That boy never shuts his mouth. Except when his fingers fly in the texting mode.

***********
knancy,
Wow! A reading problem. Kids need lots of practice with those.

The Pony is usually oblivious to the world passing by. I feel like a tour guide morning and afternoon, trying to draw him out of his book or laptop. He probably thought I was making it up, until he saw that dog. He was duly impressed.

************
Cathy C.,
Sometimes, I think they listen to us like dogs. Dogs hear blah blah blah FIDO blah blah EAT blah blah blah. And kids hear blah blah blah PIZZA blah blah ALLOWANCE blah blah blah NEW PHONE blah blah.