Sunday, March 8, 2009

Lost in Translation

I should put translator on my resume.

Now, I did not take extra language courses in school for translating competency.  In fact, my accent was so horrible in high school that my beautiful teacher, senora from Spain, graded me only on my written exercises. (Thank goodness too!  I probably would have failed miserably.   Me llamo Annie turned into MAY Yam -o Annie.  eek!)  No, I have not been schooled in my translating abilities.  Instead, I have had to learn on the fly as my kiddies ( and sometimes hubby) go through each new and frustrating stage.

Fortunately, Ab, my first, was quite a gifted talker at an early age (I have no idea where she gets that from.)  She did have her moments, however.  When she was about 18 months old, she would point her finger at hubby and me, screw up her little face into a sourpuss pucker, and shout, "Fool."  (Obviously, she was talking about Paul and not me!) After much cajoling and laughter about who actually was the "fool, " one day I watched Ab as I was about to climb up the step ladder to reach my top kitchen shelf.  Instantly,  out came the finger, and the "Fool!" Finally, it dawned on me.  "Fool!"  was really "Careful!" something that I had probably said to her about a gazillion times being that she was the first born.  From that moment on, I have honed my translation skills.

Since then, I have figured out that Ab's "Tinkerella" was really Tinkerbell, and El's "BA!"  is her word for Abbie.  There have also been some tougher word puzzles.  It took me a few days to figure out E's frustrating sentence, "Mommy, that's a hard time."  (And no Paul, he was not referencing his male counter-member.)  Turns out that "Mommy, that's a hard time," translates to . . . "Mommy, that's a long time."  So long becomes hard in E's language.  That's a man for you . . . always confusing long and hard.

Recently my skills were put to the test when Ethan approached hubby and me.  His eyes were clearly watering and his face was a little blotchy too.  As he crawled up into my lap, I asked,
"E, honey?  What's wrong?  Why are you crying?"

Instantly he replied, "I'm not crying mommy.  I had the achoo's.  It's probably just aller-jesus." With that he hopped down and was off to play again.  Achoo's and aller-jesus???  This was a new one.  

Hubby looked at me perplexed.  "WHAT did he just say?"

And without hesitation I answered, "He was sneezing and thinks he has allergies."

"Allergies?  So what was that about Jesus?  How did you figure that one out?"  He looked at me in awe.  

"It's my translating skills.  Ethan has really brought out my gift."  We both chuckled at my obvious bravado, and Ethan's turn of phrase.

So while there are moments every day when I wonder if Jesus is truly in Ethan's heart . . .
at least I know that he is in his nose.


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