It’s Not All Mary Poppins

The Point Would Be…?

Sometimes Arthur, that champion of verbosity, is a bit incoherent.

“Mar. Wee. My pic. chr. My, my, my ic. chu. Ic. Chr. Pic. ic. chr. Onna cowwwn. Turr.”

You have to understand that this is not stuttering. There is no strain in his throat and jaw, there is no tension, there is no distress in his face. The words are comiing out slowly. Where I’ve written a period, there is a pause of about a second’s duration. A comma is about a half-second’s pause. Try it: Say those syllables out loud, giving the pauses indicated, musingly, consideringly, in an almost completely flat monotone with a ever-so-slight cheerful inflection. You’re just sharing information.

“Your picture is on the counter?”

“Yeah. Inna kit. Chn. The one wiv da, da, da…” Pause while he plays with his hands, shifts from one foot to the other, looks skyward. “My pic.ic.pic…chr. The one wiv da, da, da cull. urr. wiv da cull. ur. wiv da cull.ur. pay. pa. pay. prz. on. it.”

I have the upper hand on you folks. I have the context. What I’m quickly losing is patience.

“The picture you made by gluing scraps of coloured papers?” I have part of the context, at any rate; let’s see if we can hasten this to its destination.

“Yeah.”

“It’s on the kitchen counter?” Now that we’ve established this, I’m waiting for the next installment. His collage is on the kitchen counter. And…? And he’d like to make another? And it has water spilled on it? And he’d like me to get it down for him?

“Yeah. It’s on… it’s on…” More shifting. More gazing skyward. “On. On. On. The. Cowwwwn. On. The. Cown. Tr.”

“Your picture is on the counter. Yes, I know this, Arthur. We put it there.”

“Wiv da. Cull. urd. Pay. pay. pay. prz. On. It.”

“Your picture with the coloured papers on it is on the kitchen counter.” I’m being warm, I’m being kind. “Yes, sweetie, I understand.” I understand, I understand, I understand, already!! It’s on the counter. It’s in the kitchen! It’s made with coloured papers! Yes, yes, all right already! Cut to the chase, boy!

Since he doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to get to the point, I press the issue. “Why are you telling me this, Arthur?”

He looks at me blankly. Apparently the question surprises him.

“I dunno.”

Proving my absolute professionalism, I ignore my fingers’ involuntary twitching and do not shake the boy, I do not scream, I don’t even let him see me roll my eyes. I turn my back. Emma giggles as she gets full value of the strain in my twisted face and sees my hands clutch the air as I let out a silent “Aaaaaaagh!”

Emma’s been playing a fair bit of Sims2 which her stepsisters got for Christmas. She has an interpretation.

“You know what? He’s like one of those really outgoing Sims. His social bar is dropping and he needs to talk to fill it up. It doesn’t matter what he says, it doesn’t matter if the other guy is listening, he just needs to talk.”

It makes good sense, really.

February 4, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 13 Comments