Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Brush-offs and Burglars

My DH accuses me of playing games. It's true - if we are out shopping and I see something I like, I don't feel always comfortable just asking for it. After all he's the breadwinner, I earn nothing. What's his is mine, I know, but still it feels awkward.
Well, it used to. I'm largely over that after almost 21 years of marriage as my collection of Cath Kidston stuff will attest but shopping is not the only time I might say one thing and mean another.
I think we all do it - mums in particular.
3 Handed Clock
In a minute...
 (Photo credit: bartmaguire)
So I collected some of favourite phrases and a handy translation for other family members to use.
"In a minute". That most famous of mum phrases. Which might mean in a minute, but is more likely to mean "when I finished what I'm doing" or " in an hour" or "never, please go away so I can pee/shower/eat in peace"
"We'll see" Generally in response to a, "can I have....?" question. In my house the true meaning is usually either really "no, but I'm hoping if I put you off you'll forget about it and I'll get away with no whining" or " I'll see after I've checked online to see if I can get it cheaper."
"Go tidy your room" Now I'm a little bit proud of this one. Those of you who know me in real life will be baffled as to be fair my children's rooms (well OK all my rooms) look like we have been burgled by the sort of thieves that empty every drawer onto the floor looking for valuables.
They obviously ignore me when I ask them to tidy I hear you thinking. Well -they do make a desultory effort but they have learned to just lurk for a couple of hours in their rooms, pretending to tidy while in fact playing with the first toy/book/craft/puzzle they picked up to put away. Then when I call them to tea or whatever they think I've just forgotten to do the inspection I threatened. But do you see what I did there? I earned myself a couple of hours of peace and quiet in a child-free sitting room. Ha! Devious eh? Occasionally I do the inspection and then rant like a fishwife at the continuous untidiness to keep them on their toes. Especially if Grandma is visiting which is the only time it actually gets vaguely tidied. And since that's not even an annual event being as she's in Cyprus and we'd much rather visit her at her warm, tidy house near the beach, its not too onerous.
"We've run out/don't have any" of glitter/glue/ egg boxes in fact means mummy has run out of energy and is rapidly losing the will to live. This is most frequently used after they have watched those shows on TV which demonstrate how to make a .
scale model of Balmoral or the Eiffel Tower using only the contents of the recycling box. Oh and a trolley load of expensive craft materials from Hobbycraft.
 I mean - I have 7 kids and therefore actually quite a big collection of crafty bits for homework and fun  purposes - pipe cleaners, feathers, tissue paper etc. But they always need the one thing you don't have.
DD#2 at Messy Church
Luckily when I am I the mood to humour them I have a friend who used to teach nursery age children and is now a priest who has a whole study filled with craft bits which I tap into in emergencies! She even saves yoghurt pots and those tubes which come with crisps in them! And more importantly holds regular Messy Church (www.messychurch.org.uk) events with lots of glitter and sequins and shiny confetti which ends up on the church floor not my carpet!
"Ask Daddy" = "please go away I'm tired/busy/had enough of being mummy today"
"Ask your brother/sister"=see above
"We'll ask Father Christmas/the Easter bunny/ random relatives who give birthday gifts."Again, see above.
There are many more phrases we use when we mean something else. But my favourite of all time was used regularly by my late granddad and it took me years to realise it was a brush-off.
Whenever we asked him for anything he would answer :"I'll ask your Aunty Gert- she'll get it for you, she's a burglar."
I didn't get to meet the mysterious  Aunt Gert until I was about 15. She was very old and very frail and I smiled to think how when I was younger I had imagined I was related to (in my head) a glamorous James Bond-esque lady burglar! She never did get us any of the stuff we wanted though......
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