There used to be a cartoon that ran on the Disney channel when the kids were small called Rollie Polie Olie, about a family of cubed robots. On one darling episode, Olie and his best friend followed his little baby brother Binkie around the house trying to decipher what Binkie was saying. They called his pre speech language Binkie Speak. Lately as I follow the kids around the house, I wonder if I’m not doing the same thing now; trying to decipher what all the grunts, groans and growls the boy has been using in leu of the English language mean while hoping his sister does not follow suit.
When the kids were learning to talk, it was fairly easy to figure out what they were saying. They usually pointed at the object of desire or employed the words or phrases so often, I was able to pick up what they meant. The doll, for example would say “Boo boo baba” quite regularly whenever she didn’t get what she wanted. The boy learned to talk fairly quickly by pointing at something and saying part of the word, for example “po ber” meant Polar bear” or “GOOOOOL meant gold, as in gold fish. Yet none of this helps today, to understand the language of teenagers.
I wish there was a guide book to help me understand grunts, groans and growls of teenaged boys. After all, not only do you have to listen to the cadence used, but also be able read their non verbal cues as well.
“Boy have you gotten dressed for school? “Hrmmph” he replied. “Is that a yes or no?” I ask. “Grunt”. “Speak English please?” “Growl”.
I wonder if I responded in kind if he would begin talking in English again. Yet at the same time, I’m am afraid I may grunt the wrong way and end up promising him a new car or something. In addition, the doll’s ever vigilant ears would never forgive me if an accidental grunt or growl ended up as an insult to her. Lord knows she’s got her own way of perceiving grunts too. I sometimes wonder if the real cavemen and women noticed their teenagers grunting in ways that were foreign to them too and how they handled them. Did they simply conk them on the head and grunt “knock it off?” or let them go off on their own new grunting way.
Regardless I suppose I’ll just have to pay closer attention to him so I can decipher what they all mean. The sad thing being, as soon as I figure out the boy, he’ll be ready for college and no longer employing them. And then there is also the doll’s language to contend with too. I suppose I could surmise all this new deciphering will keep me young and mentally active…though in reality the whole thing sounds like one big headache to me.
Sigh. Hrmmmph, grunt. Sigh.