A Loss For Words


Language is an amazing thing.

That groups of people, then villages, then communities, then whole countries, then millions and even billions of people, can agree to a certain sound meaning a certain thing is such a marvel. That we can progress from naming objects and actions and people to nuances and grammar and poetry…well it’s mind blowing.

So the idea that people can hear the same nine words and take a completely different meaning from them is equally wow, yeah?

Not if two of the people, who never seem to understand what I mean by pick up your mess or go to sleep, are my children.

My sister-in-law had rather wonderfully offered to take them with her own two kids to soccer so I could do something important around the house (like nap). But then she’d needed to call me.

“Can I talk to Dad?” Master10 asked his Auntie.

“Me too,” chimed in Miss11.

But instead of handing over the phone, their Auntie Bell hung up and slipped it back in her pocket.

“Mum!” said her oldest son. “Didn’t you hear them? They wanted to talk to Uncle Bruce.”

“I had to go,” she told them. “Uncle Bruce had an accident.”

Nine words.

And the result?

Both my nephews – bless them – nearly burst into tears at the idea I’d actually been hurt.

Unlike my two.

Upon hearing I’d had an accident my cherubs actually burst out laughing.

“We just assumed you’d sharted,” Master10 explained to me, and I swear we’ve never used that word in this house.

But to be fair to my kids, they were sort of the most right, because when I tripped on the hose as I walked around the backyard chatting to their Auntie on the phone, I very nearly did shit my pants on the way to the ground.

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“Raising a family on little more than laughs.” 


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