Ironing out the kinks

I swear that next time I buy a new hose to water the garden I shall purchase one that promotes itself thusly: 'guaranteed to kink all the time.' I am heartily sick of having a non-functioning sprinkler system. [translation = water garden by hand for an hour and a half very late at night or very early in the morning, with a kinky hose]

Junior stands cautiously in the door jam, not really in, but definitely not out. [translation = dislikes 'outside' with a passion] The large cardboard label from the new hose, together with it's plastic ties, lie nearby waiting to be recycled. I fight with the recalcitrant hose and ignore my son. [translation = whilst ignoring a child, let alone an autistic one, is not to be encouraged, if I attempt to llure him to adopt 'out of the house' status, I'll jinx my chances]
“What it is?”
“What is what dear?”
“Er, dah 'kink.'?”
“Ah. Very pertinent question. A 'kink' is a fold or a bend. See this lovely new hose?”
“Yes it is dah lovely red and red is being your favourite colour!” [translation = whoop de do, he knows what I like!]
“Yes, you're right again! But do you see this bit, the bent bit, that is a kink.”

He steps from side to side in agitation, much as small children do when they need to visit the bathroom.
“Kinky! Kinky! Kinky! I am liking dat word ever so much.”
“Ah yes, of course you do.” [Translation = a word with two 'k's is special]
“Why it is saying dat den?”
“Why is who saying what dear?”
“It say not.”
“What not?”
“No! Not what not, not kink!”
“Oh the label. Yes, you're right again, it does say 'no kinks, not ever, guaranteed.'”
“But you said dat dah hose is being having dah kink and dah label saying it not.”

I pause, not wishing to provoke a meltdown at the contradictory nature between advertising and real life.
“Well…….as you can see……..they lied!”
“Lied!”
“Yes.”
“Dey go to jail?” I sincerely hope so.
“No it's not bad enough for jail.”
“What is bad enough for jail?” Questions, questions, questions, all of which are little trip wires for the unwary, 'jail,' being just one of them. This of course, is why the Monopoly board ended up in the recycling, as well as the box, because both had a 'Go to Jail' notification, which haunted the poor child to a point of distraction. I am rapidly running out of ideas when another face appears at the door. A rescuer?
“There's a knot at the other end, that's why it's not working,” my daughter offers as a diagnoses.
“A not'?” he queries.
“No, not a 'not,' a 'knot', the 'k' kind of a knot,” she explains. I feel that I am slipping into a crossword, or is that just cross? I look from one to the other to check the invisible lines of communication. [translation = who is going to lose it first?]
“He is not a liar den,” he states boldly.
“Who is not a liar dear?”
“The hose makers. Dey say 'not kinks,' dey didn't say 'no knots.'”

Works for me. [translation = meltdown avoided, cognitive dissonance abated]

Would that things could always be so “smooth.”


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Do unto others


We attempt rational review rather than ranting and raving. Why is it that I have to herd cats with jelly legs [translation = children] whereas HE sweeps about with a school of well trained fish? [translation = children] I try and keep the tone of 'grossly unfair' out of my voice, during the discussion. What is it that he does or doesn't do, that I am do wrongly or not doing? What is the difference? He shrugs his shoulders with a blank expression in return. I try again to extract the pertinent facts from my husband. What is his secret? Why won't he share?

On the whole, due to spouse's commitment to work [translation = voluntary servitude] he isn't home very much. When he is at home, during the weekend, [translation = sometimes but not necessarily awake] he will often take the children out for a jaunt. [translation = especially lately due to maternal malfunctioning] During such occasions, small people remain vertical and move about as a unit. This is in direct contrast with my own experience where those same small people either lie down or run away or both. Now this is a man who might directly benefit from such behaviours. [translation = weight issues, diabetes and high cholesterol mean that frantic burst of exercise would be a plus] I should really like someone to explain why our experiences are directly opposed? Who should I ask? The perpetrator. [translation = the man with parenting superpowers]

His excursions with the children are not without event, but it's a question of the order of magnitude. [translation = Richter scale.] It has long been my experience that I have failed to perform to the standards that others expect. [translation = could do better] Generally I hover between E for effort and F for failure. For myself, I am content with 'better than yesterday.' [translation = slacker] Be that as it may, for the most part, I am more than happy to cheat and lie to gain a better grade, and for the right now, I long to plagiarize, but he won't give me as much as a peek.

“What?” he asks.
“What what? I didn't say anything?”
“You didn't have to, I can see your question written all over your face.”
“Really! How very astute of you. So what is the answer then oh great one?”
“22.”

It’s always 22, regardless of the question.


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Pneumonia – the end and the beginning

I stagger back from the doctor's office where spouse is holding the fort. “So do you think we should explain to them why you're malfunctioning?”
“Malfunctioning! I'm just ill, that's all. I'll be as right as rain once the anti-biotics kick in.”
“That wouldn't be a very helpful explanation to them though, would it? You'd get yourself in no end of trouble explaining it like that, you'll need to re-phrase it.”
“Yes, you're right. Keep it simple. Any ideas?”
“You're always better at explaining than I am.”
“Oh, I don't know.”
Spouse gathers the troops so that I can preserve oxygen. I explain with a big smile on my face. I await questions, hoping that there won't be any………………….

“Why it is new? Why it not old?” sparks the literal one.
“Not 'new' dear, it's pneu – here let me write it down for you.”
“Pneu! That is the stoopid one. Silent 'n's are in 'gnat' and 'gnaw' and oh! That's right! You are not the bad one afterall. 'Pneu' is in 'pneumatic' too. You are not the big fat lying one! I am forgiving your stoopids.”
In confirmation he darts behind me, lifts my shirt to plant a kiss of compensation in the small of my back.

“You are ill? You are dead?” queries the anxious one.
“No, I'm not dead dear, just ill.”
“Not dead?”
“No. Not dead.”
“When you are dead den?”
His sister intervenes as I become short of breath,
“Remember, nobody dies until they're at least 90 and that's ages away.” What can I say? Ninety seemed like a good compromise at the time.
“19! 19? 19! iz not a big number. 19 is a small number. I hate it, it's bad, I don won you to be deaded.”
“Not 19, 90 you stewpid head, why don't you ever listen properly,” she bellows because this conversation seems to be upsetting for everyone.
I put one arm around her and pull her in close even though I should probably correct her.

“Now listen! Do you remember the blue tape?” I point the kitchen cabinet where handy reference photographs accumulate. It depicts the conclusion to this same debate six months ago when we experienced difficulties with ‘time and death.’
Since it is a recurring theme, I thought it best to keep handy.
It shows blue masking tape running from the kitchen to the stairs,
marked with numerals from 0 to 99.
It is a magic visual cure for this particular anxiety,
or at least it is for now.

Sometimes you just wish you'd never
started in the first place.
Maybe I should have avoided this whole
quagmire and stuck with 'malfunctioning.’

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