Lost In Translation
This week, and it’s still this week no matter how late this post is, America’s Worst Mother™ demonstrates an uncanny ability to predict the future while also admitting that she doesn’t speak “kid” very well even though she has four of her own (Mazel, Ludacris, Circadia, and iPod).
First off, you have to give Meghan credit for predicting the response of President Hard Worker in the last nights debate hours before he mumbled his way into our collective disbelief:
“Is there barits at your house?” this tiny person inquires one day after I’ve buckled her into our car beside Phoebe. My eyes flick about slightly, in the manner of a presidential aspirant searching for a warm, neutral response to a baffling question from the moderator.
Oh, if we all had a nickle for everytime that happened last night…
“Is there bareitz at your house?” Phoebe’s friend repeats, loudly this time, as to the hearing-impaired.
“Bareitz?” I echo hopelessly, “Maybe. We might have some. I don’t know.”
“Yes, you do,” Phoebe puts in irritably.
I cast a look of appeal to my daughter. “What does she mean, bareitz, Phoebs?”
“She means parrots.”
“Parrots?” Phew. “No, we don’t have any parrots at our house!” On secure thematic ground, I proceed confidently, “Wait, that’s not entirely true, we do have a stuffed parrot, a toy, but as for â€” ”
“No â€” !” Phoebe expostulates, as to the witless, “Not parrots. Paris.”
“Oh. I see. No, Paris is still at school.” My poll numbers in the crucial two-to-three-year-old block of urban toddlers are plummeting irretrievably. I am glad the viewing public is not here to witness my embarrassment.
Not that she’s shy about sharing it at a later date with the readers of NRO, which is okay since they have really short memories anyway (remember peace & prosperity?…no, of course you don’t. Toddle off now…)
On the ride home, Meghan spies Dick Cheney being ferried home to his undisclosed location:
As we drive home, an enormous white lozenge appears in the sky ahead of us, then disappears silently behind some trees.
She picks up son Mazel who apparently nodded off during Mel Gibson’s I Know Who You Crucified Last Easter:
Molly and Paris jump into the car and off we go again.
“I need to bring a pan of clear Jell-O to school tomorrow,” Molly says urgently. “For science. We’re making â€” ”
Paris cuts across her, “Where is Jesus buried?”
My mouth falls open in the manner of a yokel hitting Broadway for the first time.
Or, maybe, her mouth fell open like this in the manner of someone busted for lying her ass off.
And later she admits that she coasted through college without learning very much, similar to a certain Presidential candidate who demonstrated as much last night:
“Well â€” ” she begins, and out of my arts-and-letters daughter pours a sudden and astonishing enthusiasm for the petri dish and all that it entails. She is positively rapturous about the structure of plant cells:
“…plus there are ribosomes and peroxisomes, and I’m always confusing them, aren’t you? And the googliman â€” ”
At least that’s what I think she says. Evidently it shows, for Molly pauses and an expression of surpassing kindness crosses her face. “Mummy, you know what a Golgi Body is, right?”
“Don’t talk dirty to me,” I say gamely. Molly laughs.
“Well, the Golgi â€” “
It is hard to believe now that it was once a source of pride to me that I made it through high school and university without acquiring the rudiments of chemistry or physics or calculus or astronomy. I happened to be at school in the years when it was fashionable for students to be relieved of creaky old distribution requirements. This meant I could read all the literature and history and languages I liked, with as few nasty numbers as possible. O lucky me! Or so I thought.
And, with all this naughty talk about Golgi Bodies, it’s only a matter of time before a mother daughter chat ensues wherein daughter iPod learns about budding vesicles, bulging membranes, and the kind of degrading things a Mummy will do after too many daquiris over dinner at Red Lobster.
iPod will never look at Mr. Meghan the same again….
Nor should she.