Monday, June 6, 2011

What They Say/What They Mean

It's quiet. A little too quiet...

HAHAHAHAHA!! Just kidding. Around here there is no such thing. But it is quiet--for now. The children are all still abed. This is their first weekday out of school, so I was left with firm instructions: "Don't wake me 'til 11 AM or later." I used to think that AM and PM stood for Ante Meridiem and Post Meridiem. I was wrong and it took me having children to learn that these really stand for "Alright Mom?" and "Please Mom?". As in: "Don't wake me 'til 11, Alright Mom?" or "Please make sure I'm out of bed by 6:15 Alright Mom? I have a project to finish at school." or "I'm going to the movie with my friends and it doesn't finish up 'til 10:30 Please Mom?" or "Can I stay up past 9:30 Please Mom?".

There are other things that I've learned don't really mean what I think they mean. My children are masters at double speak. They say one thing when they really mean another. Let's examine, shall we?

What they say: If we get a dog, I'll feed it without being asked, take it for long walks, play with it, like alllllll the time, brush it, and nevernevernever get annoyed when you remind me to do these things.

What they mean: I will feed the dog without being asked for the first week or two, then I will behave as if you are asking me to build the Great Wall of China. I will take it for long walks only if you come along to clean up the inevitable poo, play with it when I can drag myself away from facebook/video games/my cell/the telly/anything else that seems even remotely more interesting than lobbing a gross, slobbery tennis ball 4, 732 times, and what's a brush, again?Oh. And I will be annoyed each and every time you remind me to do something.

What they say: I cleaned my room.

What they mean: I shoved all my neatly folded clean clothes into the drawers so my drawers won't close. I raked up all my important stuff that is so important I cannot bear to part with it yet I've left it laying all over the floor to be walked upon and rammed it into my closet. I pulled up my bedspread but left the sheet in a hump at the foot of the bed so it looks like I've hidden the body of one of the Seven Dwarfs in my bed. And if you say that it doesn't meet your standards I am prepared to argue with you until the Second Coming or you give in from frustration--whichever comes first.

What they say: I'm bored.

What they mean: Be my cruise director. Find ever more entertaining things for me to do. Take me somewhere--preferably somewhere loud and/or expensive and/or filled with all of my school friends that I don't get to see everyday. Buy me something.

What they say: I'm hungry.

What they mean: I know I just ate a nutritious, well-balanced meal that you spent time thinking about and preparing knowing that everyone would be satisfied but now I'm bored and cannot think of ways to entertain myself and so I feel that I must eat. And I feel that I must eat something junky, so please don't offer me a piece of fruit or cheese because that's gross and weird and I will only roll my eyes, turn up my nose in disdain, and tell you that I'm huuuuunnngry and fruit or cheese cannot possibly fulfill me. Gawd, don't you know what the word 'hungry' means??

What they say: Yes. I brushed my teeth.

What they mean: What is this thing you call a 'toothbrush'?

What they say: I'll be right there.

What they mean: I'll be right there. Right after I check facebook/play one more level on this game/finish this show/find a lost toy that I haven't been interested in since 2009/pound my sibling/play deaf and pretend that I never heard your first 368 requests.

What they say: Everybody else gets to do _________!

What they mean: Absolutely nobody is doing _________. My friends and I all say the same thing in the hopes that our parent will be the first to cave, thereby creating a domino effect because I can throw those parents' names out and say that they're letting their kid do _______ and they're good parents, so you should let me do _______, too.

What they say: You're the meanest/worst/dumbest mom, ever!

What they mean: I hate when you tell me 'no.' I haven't liked being told 'no' since I learned the meaning of the word and maybe if I say mean words to you, you will give in and quit saying that word I hate.

What they say: Whatever.

What they mean: I stopped listening 3 minutes ago.

What they say: Sorry.

What they mean: I have said one word and it almost killed me. Please make sure that you understand I mean it in the most general sense. I may be sorry for any one or more of these things: being sassy, disobeying, fighting, arguing, sins of omission, lying, or quite possibly that you are my parent. Just make it mean whatever you want it to mean so that I can get on with my life.

What they say: I'm sorry mommy.

What they mean: I'm really and truly sorry. I crossed the line. My bad.

What they say: You're such a dork!

What they mean: I love you.

What they say: That was a good meal.

What they mean: I love you.

What they say: You look pretty in that.

What they mean: I love you.

What they say: I emptied the dishwasher.

What they mean: I love you.

What they say: You're the best mom ever.

What they mean: I like what's happening right now and you will retain this status until you do something that I don't like. Then you will be the worst mom ever. But for now, let's go with it. Also, I love you.

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