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Do you speak kids?

I do. Not fluently, but I am learning every day. It is quite a complicated language to master though, because it keeps evolving so I find it hard to stay on top of the latest changes. I have been studying it for ten whole years, and I am still not as good as I would like to be.

To be fair, first I thought that kids came from another planet, so I did not try too hard to “get it” because what were my chances to communicate with aliens?!!! Then I realized that they could NOT be from a different planet. Because if they were, their planet would be a really big mess! So then I thought, “Maybe kids speak a different language”? Which would have been an easier solution.; You just need to learn the new language. It might not be super easy, but it is definitely more manageable than the reality which is: kids use the same words as us BUT THEY HAVE A DIFFERENT MEANING!! Arghhh, no wonder it is taking me so long to understand. Here are a few examples:

 “dinner is served!”

Parent language: there is still a good ten minutes before dinner is on the table so everybody must drop what they are doing instantly, wash their hands, and sit down in silence until mom brings the plates.

Kids language: dinner won’t be served for another ten minutes so the plan is to stay put, ignore the first, second and third call and wait until mom’s screaming has become hysterical. By the way, no need to wash anything before we eat…

 

“dirty laundry”

Parent language: clothes that have been worn during the day and that need to be put in the laundry basket as soon as they are taken off, in order for mom to wash them.

Kids language: clothes that might have been worn anywhere between five minutes and three days. Once you decide you have had enough (and by the way, strong smell or colorful stains have nothing to do with that decision) you throw them on the floor, wherever you are standing and you wait. If after one day the laundry fairy has not picked anything up, move the pile to another part of the house – your bedroom, your mom’s bedroom. Anywhere you fancy really. Just avoid the laundry basket.

 

“Bed time”

Parent language: you have three minutes to take a shower, brush your teeth, get in your PJs, and get to bed. In a quiet, civilized and organized manner. And don’t forget to feed the pets.

Kids language: you can squeeze in another game on your DS. Then you need to remember to search the internet for some majorly important stuff like “Do cats whiskers turn gray when they become old?” or “What is the best knock-knock joke of all time?”. You should switch the TV on briefly. You never know what you might be able to learn in a nanosecond. No need to feed the pets, you have not done it for a year and they are still alive so they clearly don’t need to eat – that or there is a pet fairy who does a better job than the laundry one… Remember to pick a fight with a sibling. No need to brush your teeth, you already did it two days ago.

These are just a few examples. I could write a whole dictionary. In fact, I might just do that…

 

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