Lost in Translation

Our family often has moments in which we notice that we don’t quite fit in outside our home. Whether it’s a glance from a stranger when we are deep in an unusual conversation, or the double-takes when our girls break out into spontaneous interpretive dance at the mall because the mood strikes (with or without music), it’s often an adventure.

Here are a few examples of recent instances that within the house, seemed perfectly normal, but out of the house, caused some raised eyebrows.  If you can relate, or your kids have done the same, come on over. We could use a playdate with some kindred spirits. 🙂

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We love They Might Be Giants. We have a Youtube list full of their songs. C’s favorite song is “What is a Shooting Star“, and B’s is “Put it to the Test“. Even A will sit and chuckle with us, putting her “I’m a cool teenager” persona aside to laugh at the scientist who gets eaten by his plant. I crack up at the “Seven” song. It’s not uncommon for one of us to shout, “We want cake! Where’s our cake?” when discussing dessert options.
…but transplant that fun time into the birthday party of some kid whose family we hardly know, and my girls see the birthday cake and chant, “We want cake! Where’s our cake?” …
Based on their reaction, that family clearly does not watch They Might Be Giants videos for fun. Sigh. 

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B enjoys the American Girl series, and her favorite girl is Kaya, who is from the Nez Perce tribe. The Kaya books have a glossary of Nez Perce words, and B has learned many. The Nez Perce believed in animal spirit guides, called “wyakins“. My little fairy girl loves the idea of this, and told us her wyakin is a dog. Some fun conversations about various Native American beliefs and traditions have spawned from the books. 
…now imagine a Girl Scout meeting, at which a police officer has come to tell the girls about his job, and he has brought his German Shepherd police dog. During question/answer time, B pipes up and tells everyone that she has a wyakin, a spirit guide, and he is a dog that looks just like the policeman’s. 
The police officer was very kind, and said, “Well, that’s pretty cool”, and moved on, but based on their expressions, I don’t think the other moms & kids have read the Kaya books.  
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B has a book called “A Genuine and Moste Authentic Guide: Princess” that she reads like it’s her gospel. I have to say, her table manners and posture have improved greatly. She has also learned some “frustrated princess” words, and it’s not unusual to hear her muttering, “Dash it and diamonds!” or “Flippering frogs!” when things aren’t going her way. 
…now fast-forward to a gymnastics class. She is having a difficult time with a skill, and exclaims “Curses and crowns!”  I’m so happy that her coach appreciates all of her idiosyncrasies. I am fairly certain that the other girls in her class have not read the  princess book, though, judging from the looks on their faces.
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I might be the only at the bookstore who gets it when B sings “Mary Pope Osborne has lost her sheep and doesn’t know where to find them…” then dissolves in giggles. Her dad and I might be the only ones who understand what she is talking about at a big gathering when she states “I need some quiet. I’m over-excited right now.” 
B told me the other night, “You know, Mom, it’s the weird things about you that make you special.”

I couldn’t agree more!

image: Loulse Docker
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9 thoughts on “Lost in Translation

  1. I love this! Sounds about like our family. My daughter is always refrencing things that others have no idea about at all!
    We love the pirate song on Youtube and my husband is always saying “like a monkey without a spatula!”


  2. I absolutely adore every last bit of this post, Nicole! Our family would fit right in with yours! And now I have the Mary Pope Osborne song stuck in my head 🙂


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