Battle Royale
Auf Wiedersehen


There is a Simpsons episode in which an electronic Smokey the Bear asks, "Only who can prevent forest fires?" and goes on to say: "You pressed 'you' meaning 'me'. That is incorrect. The correct answer is 'me' meaning 'you."

And that pretty much sums up conversations with Patrick these days. Patrick has the habit of phrasing almost everything the way he would like us to say it. Thus he will sidle up with an endearing expression and say, "Do you want an alphabet cookie?" when, of course, he has no intention of offering me anything at all. It is baffling. It is also a hard thing to correct because I find myself saying, "No, baby, you, YOU, Patrick, you, say, may I, I meaning you, have a cookie please?" So he dutifully repeats, "May I have a cookie please?" only to have me say no. Then he gets all mad like I tricked him. And really, you can see his point.

He only has one more sound left to master before he can tell his speech therapist that he must sell seashells by the seashore, so see ya. O accursed 'W' sound that my language development reference sheet swears most children master early! Sometimes Patrick says 'm' as in "go for a malk" and sometimes he says 'v' as in "do you vant some vatermelon?" Personally, I prefer the latter pronunciation because it adds a touch of Count Chocula to an otherwise humdrum day. But he is starting to get the "w" more consistently and I expect that we will wrap up therapy by the end of the summer.

Not that Patrick is ready to start voice work for the BBC or anything, he still talks like a little kid, but he is finally within the range of normal for his age. So.. yay! I am proud of him. He was always so good-natured about going and I know he worked really hard. He would walk around saying "The A says ah and the A says ay. The B says buh. The C says suh and the C says kuh..."

I have no idea why I was so resistant to the idea that he might have a speech delay. I mean, big deal. So what? He had a speech delay, he went to therapy for six months and now he is all better. A big thank you, by the way, to Jamie who emailed me a long time ago when I wrote about Patrick's speech patterns in a blog entry. She said that she was a speech pathologist and that what I described sounded "atypical."  And it startled me enough to actually overcome my reluctance and get him evaluated. And he did have issues. Wasn't that nice of her to write to me? Community in action, right there.

Speaking of community, I loved reading your comments on the last post. I always love reading your comments. This time I was particularly fascinated by Geeky's assessment of the state of my union. Geeky decided that both Steve and I must be volatile types given to wild outbursts and passionate reunions. I laughed outloud and read her comment to Steve, then watched Steve's eyelid twitch in acknowledgement. Actually Steve is the most conflict-avoiding person on the planet. Make that two planets. Since I am tempestuous like tropical weather I find his silent acceptance of all things weird and unnerving, so for his own well-being I goad Steve into anger in order to get him to express himself. It's healthier for him that way. Well, at least that's my story. If Steve wrote this blog (I assume he would still call it julia at juliajulia dot com dot julia, since he is as obsessed with me as I am- we dream of me and compare our dreams) his version of our fights would be very different and would most likely rest heavily upon words like "unreasonable" "scary" "erratic" and.... I just went in to his office and asked him to describe me when we are fighting. He came up with: "ass-chihuahua." What the hell is that about? Remind me not to have him guest blog...

Anyway, I was amused by how perspective shades the narrative, right? I mean, I like a good fight with the shouting and the biting, so no one laughed more heartily than I did as I described it. It sounded like a rollicking ol' time to me but poor Steve probably hated it.

I just went in and consulted him again (isn't this fun? it's like you're all here with me!) He was typing something work-related and he did not look up this time.

"Do you hate it when we fight?" I asked.

"Ummm-hmmmm," he said. I waited.


"I hate it."

"Do you have anything you would like to add to that?" I asked.

"Ass-chihuahua" he said. "Now get out."

And you wonder why I (meaning me) spend so much time online. My family never makes any sense and I am obviously dying for conversation.