Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Robot Voice

My boys have this weird thing they do, and I don't know how it got started. I think it has to do with machinery and making sound effects for things, which they've done their entire lives ("Vvvvv" car/truck noises, "wumpa-wumpa" washer/dryer noises, etc.). And maybe this started when they were trying to make a sound effect for something (like picking up a cookie) that didn't really have a sound effect "built in." Anyway, when they're playing, instead of acting out what they're doing, like any normal person would do, they narrate it. In this robot voice. So, for example, they'll be playing "Store," and one of them will come to the other and say, "I want to buy a brownie." And then instead of pantomiming getting a brownie out of the oven, handing it over, etc., the store owner will say, "Get-the-brownie-down. Put-it-in-your-hand. Get-the-money." It is, truly, bizarre. And yet I'm totally used to it now.

"I'm going to buy a blanket for my monkey."
"No, we don't sell blankets."
"Yes you do. Get-the-blanket-from-the-shelf. Put-it-in-my-bag."
"No! Take-the-blanket-back. Put-it-away."
"No, you DO sell them! Get-get."
"Do not! Get-back-get-back."


"Okay, do you want to go to my carwash?"
"Yes. Get-in-the-car. Push-the-paying-thing."
"Here come the fwumpy brushes. FWUMP! FWUMP! FWUMP!"
"Okay, now I'm all clean. Drive-away-drive-away. Oh NO! Mud is getting on it and it's getting all dirty again! And seagulls are doing their droppings on it! Mud-mud-mud, droppings-droppings. Oh NO!"
"Okay, now it's my turn. Get-in-the-car."
"No, I'm not done! You aren't in my car."
"Yes, I AM in it! Get-in-get-in, drive-away-drive-away."
"No! Get-the-car-back. Get-in. Drive-away-in-the-car."


"Mmmm, I have lots of mints in my mint-box. Get-one-out. Eat-eat-eat."
"May I have a mint too?"
"No! They are only for me!"
"I'm going to get one anyway. Get-get. Eat-eat."
"No, you didn't really get one. They're still in my box. Put-them-in-the-box. Close-the-lid."
"Nooooooo! Abey! I WANT one of your mints! Take-take. Eat-eat."
"No! They're only mine! Don't eat them!! Get-out-of-your-tummy get-out-of-your-tummy."
"No! Don't get them out of my tummy!!"

and so forth.

Yes, that is correct, they have found a way to argue over imaginary mints. (I probably don't have to tell you that it hasn't helped to suggest, "Since they're not real anyway, can't you just pretend to let him have one?") And yes, thank you, I DO have very odd children. Luckily their quirkiness appeals to me, in some deep primal way. Must be that "mothering instinct" I've heard so much about.


  1. Your boys are so funny. I'd love to hear how all that works out in person.

  2. Now I want to spend more afternoons at your house. And I can't wait for Max to start talking so Sophie can argue with him instead of with me!