On the Beach

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

What passes for conversation around 4 children

I want to give you a loose transcript of a conversation that I had with a friend the other day. Our kids had just finished an  extra-mural (I still can't get my head around that phrase, but have been forced to use it like it's normal. It makes it sound like my kids are painting another wall. It just means extra curricular).

At the time of the conversation we had 4 of the 5 kids we have between us there (ages-3-5).We were on a grassy area on the edge of a dirt car park and I was attempting to impart to my friend my enthusiasm for buying a sewing machine (don't judge me). To preserve her anonymity, I will call her kids "W" and "X",and mine "Y" and "Z".

Me: "So, I'm thinking of getting one to share with my mum! How cool...HEY Y!! STOP RUNNING IN THE CAR PARK!...is that? I'm not sure what brand but I'm looking around.

Friend: "Where are you looking? Have you....W, X, STOP DOING THAT. I ASKED YOU TO GET YOUR BAG....spoken to the people in Cavendish?

Me:" No, not yet. Just the ones in...."

Z:"Mu-u-um, I can't find my baby panther."

Me:" Have you looked under the bench? Y CAN YOU HELP X FIND HER PANTHER!...in Claremont, On Landsdowne Road, they.....Y DON'T IGNORE ME, YOUR SISTER IS CRYING, PLEASE!"....seemed really very nice.

Friend: "My sister has one but......X, PLEASE COME CLOSER, NOT SO NEAR THE ROAD PLEASE!...I'm not sure how much she actually.....PLEASE, NOT SO NEAR THE ROAD...uses it."

Me: " Yeah, I guess you have to..."

Y:" We can't find the panther, we've looked everywhere..."

Z: *sobbing* "I can't find my panther..boooooooooooo...hoooo......hoooooooo..."

Y:" Can we have chocolate?"

Me:" No, you've had enough chocolate, please find your bag.......factor in how much you use it, but I'm quite excited about......Z!! AWAY FROM THE BIN! YOUR PANTHER'S NOT IN THAT BIN!!...it. I'm looking forward to the lessons."

Friend: You'll have to tell me when you.... W, X WILL YOU PLEASE GET YOUR THINGS? I HAVE ASKED YOU SO MANY TIMES! .....get it. It'll be good for costume making."

Me: *opening car door*  I know, we have so... LET YOUR SISTER IN FIRST PLEASE!! SHE'S UPSET ENOUGH ABOUT THE PANTHER......many dress up days ahead of us."

Friend: *silence* then.."Listen to us...talking and....X, PLEASE JUST GET IN THE CAR...admonishing children in between."

Me? I thought we just had a conversation. I told her about my sewing aspirations, she listened, added her own nuggets. Do people talk differently...?


  1. brilliant! So identify with this! :-) Helen linked you on FB and so I came to have a look. It's a universal type of language "conversations with kids present" ;-)

  2. Thanks for reading. Definitely the universal language of parents!

  3. Typing can't convey how loud we shout across each others shoulders - but how else to wrangle and chat at the same time? :-)