My kids speak a language that I sometimes do not understand. I am not talking about the aforementioned Spanish, French, or even Chinese. I mean they speak some sort of abbreviated half-language hybrid that I, even as a native – and pretty successful if I must say so myself – user of the English language, find it difficult to comprehend.
From what I have observed, it is a language of shortened forms. “Movie” becomes “move.” “Sandwich” is “sand.” “Orange juice” get shortened to “orange jew.” “Butter” becomes “butt” (you may begin to understand the appeal). Otherwise, this made up language serves no purpose. It only serves to confuse and confound me because I DO NOT KNOW WHAT IN THE HELL THESE KIDS ARE SAYING half of the time.
Do you remember the movie “My Cousin Vinny?” It stars Joe Pesci as Vincent Laguardia Gambini, an inexperienced lawyer who goes down to Alabama to represent his cousin who was mistakenly accused of murder. Pesci employs an exaggeratedly thick New York accent throughout as he plays the fish-out-of-water role. One of the funniest lines from the movie stems from his inability to be understood by the members of the Good Ole Southern Boys Club who run the show…
Vinny Gambini: It is possible that the two yutes…
Judge Chamberlain Haller: …Ah, the two what? Uh… uh, what was that word?
Vinny Gambini: Uh… what word?
Judge Chamberlain Haller: Two what?
Vinny Gambini: What?
Judge Chamberlain Haller: Uh… did you say ‘yutes’?
Vinny Gambini: Yeah, two yutes.
Judge Chamberlain Haller: What is a yute?
Vinny Gambini: [beat] Oh, excuse me, your honor…
Vinny Gambini: Two YOUTHS.
So this morning Kid E gets up before the sun and he stumbles into my bedroom. He still sits for his morning pee, so I drag my sleepy self out of bed for the assist. In the dark I fumble for a light switch. It is not my first time, so I know not to turn on the bright overhead light because that will assuredly lead to a meltdown of epic proportions. Kid E can only tolerate gradual exposure to bright lights in the early a.m. I turn on my closet light, which manages to shed just enough lumens that we may both watch as his stream manages to inevitably miss the bowl, yet not so much that it causes retinal damage before our pupils can adjust.
This light issue has been cause for fights in the past. It does not matter that Kid E may be telling the truth and he may have actual light sensitivity, I keep telling him that he is a whiner and everything seems to bother him and he should just rub some dirt on it and move on. He keeps complaining about things and I sigh and mumble under my breath how he is worse than any of my girls. But then sometimes he overcomes and he mans up. This was one of those mornings.
Kid E: “Mommy, I’m yoost!”
Me: …Ah, you’re what? Uh… uh, what was that word?
Kid E: Uh… what word?
Me: You’re what?
Kid E: What?
Me: Uh… did you say ‘yoost’?
Kid E: Yeah, I’m yoost.
Me: What is yoost?
Kid E: [beat] Oh, excuse me, Mommy…
Kid E: I am USED to the light. My eyes adjusted.
Wish me luck for tomorrow…