Hobbitspeak Continued

Movie PosterThe Wife got a much-deserved night out this evening, leaving me in sole charge of the Hobbit. He’s off to bed now, after a fine meal wrought of microwaved leftovers, fresh strawberries, and milk, followed by a half-hour of running laps after his daddy (a game known as “Daddy Run Fast Truck”) and a viewing of the very awesome film The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. None of that, though, is possibly of interest to you.

What may be interesting is to hear what the young master pronounced to me in the middle of dinner. Looking up at me, eyes glinting innocently above his macaroni-strewn cheeks, he smiled and said, “Dolphin jump water. … Mommy, uh, whale. … Mommy. … Whale, psycho, oh boy.”

Lest you think I’m mistaken in my memory, I assure you I’m not. After a few moments of sputtering and gagging as I attempted to prevent my just-sipped drink from spewing forth from my nose (successful, thankfully), I picked up a nearby pen and immediately jotted the, um, communication down.

It doesn’t look good, I know. At first glance it appears that our wee bairn, already too clever for his 2.5 years, calmly explained to me that his mother reminds him of a whale and that, furthermore, she’s a psycho. Oh, boy, indeed.

Never fear, though. Yes, Sherry is well along with spawn, but by no means could anyone — even an odd-thinking Hobbit — say she’s whale-like. No, no. Hobbitspeak, you see, has no sense for semantic spacing in its fledgling sentences. Confusing, I know. But not without sense. The above, for example, is best translated thus:

Sitting here oozing my fingers through cheese-smothered macaroni, Father, I’m reminded of seeing a dolphin jumping in the wide waters of Charleston Harbor on my last trip to the Aquarium. You’ll recall, no doubt, that Mother took me. I had a wonderful time, such that I bring it up now, in this moment of you taking that big, steady drink from your cup. On a different subject entirely, another creature that lives in the water and has, on occasion, been known to jump in and out of its depths is a whale. In fact, just the other day Mother and I watched a film with a whale doing just that. Pinocchio. Truly a classic film, the hauntingly sweet, oft-times lyrical tale of a puppet who wants to become a real boy. How I laughed and enjoyed it!

I know what’s going through your mind. “Sure,” you’re thinking. “He was talking about Pinocchio. Uh-huh.”

I, too, once harbored such doubts as I watched other parents miraculously translating Hobbitspeak into some rationalized thought or request that had seemingly no relation to a child’s utterances. Yet it turns out that it’s all true. Passed from Hobbit to Parent by some mystical osmosis, the ability to translate this stuff is remarkable indeed.

Samwise put this all much more simply and profoundly a few minutes ago, but I suspect you’d just think he was talking some nonsense about fish, a cheese grater, and Beowulf.

Trust me, though, it was really deep stuff.

6 Comments

  1. That’s actually a very accurate translation! What a train of thought that little hobbit has….

  2. And…given what you told us about the poop translation yesterday, what percentage of error is there in this one?

  3. I hope not much, Mary. I mean, if the Wife says it doesn’t mean “psycho,” it does not mean “psycho.” Right?

  4. C. E. Bollinger

    “I mean, if the Wife says it doesn’t mean “psycho,” it does not mean “psycho.” Right?”

    Just keep telling yourselves that, sir. Meanwhile, hiding sharp objects beyond Hobbit reach might be a prudent. 🙂

    Seriously, it is clear that young Samwise is a deep thinker with an agile mind. I’ll never forget the time I was driving my young nephew — about your son’s age at the time — up the mountain to his new home. It was just us, while his parents drove the rental truck behind us.

    We had been listening to music and noting large trucks as we passed them, when he tapped my shoulder and said in his most solemn voice, “You know, Cathy, [product name here] acts fast and works deep.”

    Clearly, he was quoting from a TV ad, and he was expecting a reply. So after nearly driving our vehicle onto the road shoulder while stifling a guffaw, I nodded solemly back, saying, “Yes, of course,” which seemed to satisfy him.

    And I made a mental note to find a subtle way to suggest to my sister that perhaps her son might be watching a bit too much television. Their minds truly are little sponges, and processing continues long after initial absorption.

  5. I’m pretty sure the “Oh boy” is an indication that Dr. Samuel Beckett has leaped into your child.

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