Figures of speech are so fun. I use them all the time. It is probably one of the weaknesses of both my speech and my writing. I love a good cliche. I do try to use them in unique ways or to make a funny point about some little piece of wisdom I've gained, but you know what they say about cliches...
The really fun thing about figures of speech is watching my daughter try to process them. The not so fun thing about it is trying to explain when she asks what I mean.
We were all driving in the minivan the other day, or I guess more accurately we were all stopping in the minivan. In fact we had been sitting at an intersection for quite some time waiting for the light to change and there was no traffic coming from the other direction. Of course I was running late and thus a bit impatient to get going. I spoke to the traffic signal to spur it to action (I do also have a way of speaking to inanimate objects that is quite fun). "There's no one here but us chickens!" and immediately regretted my pronouncement. "What chickens, Mom? I don't see any chickens. Where are the chickens?" Yeah...try explaining that one.
The other day at the breakfast table I was being peppered by requests from the twins. More this, please...can I have some banana, please...I want some milk...and I wanted to remind them that Mommy only does one thing at a time, but instead I said, "Hold your horses!" I could see from the blank look on the child's face that she wasn't holding a horse, she didn't see any horses in the vicinity, and even if she did see a horse it wasn't hers and she didn't have any idea how to hold it. I asked her if she knew what I meant and she said, flatly...no. So I explained that was just a funny way of saying 'I need you to wait," and she grinned at me as if to say "Why didn't you say so?"
The best piece of this is when she picks up on some phrase and starts using it herself, in some truly creative ways. Usually it's just a word that she latches on to and carries around with her for a few days...sprinkling it into her conversation wherever she may go. One day, quite a while ago, she overheard me talking on the phone and I asked, "Well what are my options?" Oooh she loved that word "options." All day long and for quite a few days afterward she would ask about her options - even when there weren't any - just because she liked the sound of it I guess. Recently she likes the word "lucky"...as in "I was lucky that I got to use that pencil because I really needed to write." As if there is a vast shortage of pencils and she has stumbled upon one just in the nick of time. Not that I can ever find one when I need one mind you...
I'm wondering if I should introduce her to Jumpin' Jehosaphat...she might find him kind of fun. What do you think?
This post is brought to you by the letter J...as in Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. Please visit the other posts Jammin' on the letter J this week!