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Lost in translation


I often wonder if I'm speaking in some off-the-wall language that no one other than me can understand.

My husband and children for example regard my words with the oddest, glazed-over expressions on their faces like I'm a talking dog -- they're amused by the noises I'm making, but they don't give a crap about the kid in the well.

I'll ask Jerod a straight-forward question that requires nothing more than a simple yes or no --

"I'm really tired. Will you please take Ashlyn so I can go to bed?"

"What do you mean?"

"I'm tired, and I want to go to bed. Please take the baby."

"You want me to bring her upstairs so you can lay down with her?"

"I want you to keep her down here for a while so I can get some sleep."

"You want me to go to bed?"

"MORON! sit HERE with Ashlyn until she falls asleep. It's YOUR turn."

"Huh?"

Call me crazy, but it doesn't seem too complicated -- "Will you please take Ashlyn so I can go to bed?" It's certainly not deep enough to garner the existential "What do you mean?"

There must be an electrical glich in the speech center of my brain -- a short circuit that scrambles my words into gibberish somewhere between the thinking and the talking.

My daughter asks me which shoes she should wear to dance on the coffee table. I tell her to dance barefoot on the floor, and she comes to me 10 minutes later with two mismatched pairs of heals she lifted from my closet.

"Should I wear these ones or these ones to our party."

I ask her nicely to return the shoes to my closet -- "I already told you; you can dance barefoot."

"What did you say, Mommy?"

"I SAID -- mwa-mwa, erm mwa, erm mwa, erm mwa ..."

I'm starting to fret about all of the tax forms and other such legal documents I've signed through the years attesting under penalty of perjury that English is my first and only language. The authorities might conclude that I'm not in fact me -- that I stole Alexis Bacharach's identity.

Perhaps I belong in a mountain cabin like Ted Kaczynski or Nell from the 1994 movie starring Jodie Foster.

One thing is certain -- either my English is very poor, or my husband and children suffer from occasional selective cognitive impairment.

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