Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Talk, you know, converse.

Back in college acting class, I studied something called the 'Meisner Technique'.

From Wikipedia:

The most fundamental exercise in Meisner training is called Repetition, in which two actors face each other and "repeat"  back and forth.

Basically, it goes like this.  You stand with a partner and say something like, "It is a nice day" and then your partner says back, "It IS a nice day".  Then you say, "It is a NICE day" before your partner replies "It is a nice DAY!"  You continue this repetition for several minutes, conveying various emotional truths to each other without ever varying from the original phrase. 

Got it? 

Excellent!  Consider yourself now qualified for a satisfying career in auditioning for antiperspirant commercials.

The reason I bring this up is that, of late, life with the Snood has devolved into one long Meisner exercise.  Because he has started to express his every thought, feeling and emotion using the only word he knows.  And that word is:


Snood and I sit together, for hours at a time, engaged in deep conversations which sound something like this:

Snood:  ARP!  (I am deeply concerned about the appearance of a mysterious new object around the outer ring of my exersaucer.)

Me:  ARP! (Why don't you investigate and get back to me?)

Snood: ARP!  (It seems to be some kind of man-like figure whose transparent belly region is filled with marbles.  How whimsical!)

Me:  ARP! (I'm glad you like it).

Snood: ARP! (Wait a minute!  Did you put this here?)

Me:  ARP! (Yes, I found it in the sale bin at Ross for only 2 dollars and I thought you might enjoy it.)

Snood:  ARP!  (By gum, you've done it again!  You are surely the best-est mommy in all of Christendom!)

Me:  ARP! (Thanks, Snoodie!)

*end scene*

To be honest, some of our conversations are not quite as pleasant .  For example:

Snood:  ARP! (I'm hungry)

Me:  ARP! (I guess it is about that time. Give me a second and  I'll make you some cereal.)

Snood:  ARP!  (I said I'm hungry!!!)

Me: ARP!  (Oh no!)

Snood: ARP!  (I'M HUNGRY!)

Me:  ARP!  (Snoodie, I'm hurrying!)

Snood:  ARP!  (You infernal idiot!  Where's my food?)

Me:  ARP!  (I can't find the applesauce!)

Snood:  (devolving into unintelligible screams) (I told you forty-five seconds ago that I was hungry and I still don't have any food!  You are the worst mother ever!!!!  EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

*end scene*

Whether our conversations are good or bad, positive or negative, each one foreshadows the same inevitable truth.  And that is that, sometime within the next several months - the Snood is going to learn how to speak English! 

And that is going to seriously cramp my life style.

No more cursing in the house!  

No more questionable television choices while Snood plays in his jumperoo within earshot!

As you probably are already aware, once these kids start to understand stuff - they hear EVERYTHING.  

When my sister Kate was about three years old my mother came upon her sitting on the floor and singing a little song of her own invention.  The lyrics were, "when mommy breaks a glass she yells, dammit, dammit!"

A friend was riding in the car with her young son last week.  As she flipped through the radio stations she landed on a commercial for a "gentleman's club" that was featuring "Friday Night Jello Wrestling."  "Jello wrestling?" her son shrieked from the backseat, "We have to go to that!!!"  She is still trying to explain to him why they will not be attending an event that combines two of his all-time favorite things.

The point being that Snood is growing closer each day to reaching this stage himself - and it makes me wonder if it might, perhaps, be time for me to take action.  

Do I need to start weaning myself off Akon and Howard Stern and attempting to build up a tolerance for Raffi and the Wiggles?

Should my husband and I start doing drills where we practice yelling out, say, "Fudgie the Whale!" when I bang my hand against the counter or someone cuts him off in traffic?

Maybe we should.   Last night I sang Snoodie to sleep with a song I just couldn't get out of my head after hearing Jamie Foxx on the radio:

Blame it on the vodka!
Blame it on the Henny!
Blame in on the Blue Tap, got you feeling dizzy.
Blame is on the ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-alcohol!  Blame it on the ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-alcohol!

Oh, car rides blasting Power 106 - where hip hop lives!   I think I'm going to miss you most of all!