Children are so literal. When waking Drama Queen up a few morning ago, I uttered the phrase, "Up and at 'em!" I remember when I was very young my parents would say the same thing to me, but I thought they were saying, “Up and Adam.” That made no sense to me whatsoever.
My parents, as all good parents do, also frequently asked me if I was lying. Now, where we lived/live it came out as, “Are you lyin’?” To my young ears, “lyin’” sounded like “lion.” I answered them truthfully every time: No. All the while I was thinking, “Of course I’m not a lion. What are you thinking?
As adults we often forget how things sound to small children. When my sister was young, she was trying to tell me something but couldn’t seem to get the words out. When I told her to “spit it out,” she immediately put her hand to her mouth and spit an imaginary something out of her mouth and went on with her story without missing a beat.
A few days ago Drama Queen opened the kitchen junk drawer and asked me why I had a hammer in there. I was totally joking when I said, “If the kids get out of line, I hit them in the head with it.” Was she concerned with me hitting them with a hammer? No. Her comeback was, “But, Mom, you don’t make the kids stand in line.” (I worry about her sometimes.)
My very favorite miscommunication is from the time I was a college student working in the church nursery and many of the kids had been gone with the chicken pox. I hadn’t seen one little girl for several weeks so I asked her if she had had chicken pox. She thought for a minute and came back with, “No, but I’ve had chicken nuggets.”
Out of the mouths of babes.