Friday, August 18, 2006

Olivia The Sailor Baby

Jake has been provided with a grand sense of (ten-year-old) comic relief lately, and he is becoming expert in finding humor where I find none. A few days ago Olivia was acting quite cranky and I was desperate to find a way to pacify her, so I parked her unwilling butt into the playpen that Eric had filled with (no doubt toxic) McDonald's-like plastic balls. She was unimpressed and I pleaded with her to just have a good time.

"Olivia, please honey, don't you want to play in the balls?" Titters from Jake's bedroom where he and his friend were playing.

I tossed a ball towards O. "Look O, look at the red ball." That, of course, brough peals of laughter from the boys.

In the same vein, Olivia has been Jake's grinder monkey for the last two weeks. She has been known to throw out the word shit, and I have spent countless hours figuring out where she has picked up such foulisms, God knows it cannot be from me. So when Jake has an audience, or you know, when not, he has taken quite a bit of delight in getting her to say the word. This takes some amount of skill, as she is still in the mimicry stage and he is not allowed to prompt her to curse in any way. (A rule that, by the way, I feel awfully proactive and responsible in setting up.) Her timing has, in defense of my ten-year old Benny Hill, been sometimes humorous: "shit", she says when a toy drops. "Shit," she trumpeted yesterday when I dropped a bowl. "Shit, shit, shit," she's been heard joyfully crowing. Such effective and appropriate usage of the word had even me slightly convinced that she was well aware of what she was truly saying.

I think, however, that I have figured out what is really behind that word. I ask you, what phrase is hollered out around this house, more times per day than any other? Well, okay, behind "where'd I place my m'fing martini". This one: "Simon...SIT". Because yesterday she pointed emphatically at Simon and yelled it out.


1 comment:

amy macdougall said...

Upon reading about Olivia's prediliction for mixing up dog commands with profane pronouncements, i offer up a similar tale (tail?):

My sister in law, recently divorced, moved into a smaller house in a neighborhood, having moved from a large house situationed on many, many acres of land with no neighbors, and her dogs were allowed to run free. In her new neighborhood, there is a leash law which she chose to ignore so her dogs were running free in a much more crowded and public arena.

After she had lived there about a week, a male neighbor stopped by her house around 7 pm, hemming and hawing at the doorway. He explained that the neighbors had elected him to come speak to her about...about...he couldn't quite get it out. She invited him in, introduced him to her two young sons, and asked him what was going on.

"Look", he said, "we know you're a single mom and you're under a lot of stress. but we've all got kids here, and, well, you understand, we don't like them to hear that kind of thing."

"What kind of thing?" She was totally clueless.

"I know you're probably having a hard time and all, I can't imagine what it must be like to have 2 kids, 2 dogs, working, new home, new neighborhood...but the kids here play outside a lot, and, well, we don't like them to hear ..."

She still had no idea what he was talking about.

He finally told her that he and the neighbors were troubled that every night at 6pm she would walk to the end of her driveway and scream "F***!" over and over at the top of her lungs.

6pm is when she calls her dogs in for dinner. Her two dogs are named Jake and...wait for it...Buck.