It’s Not All Mary Poppins

And you think I’m Patient!!

George’s mother emailed me this transcript of an exchange she had with her son last week. Yes, she really does speak like that – clear and methodical. And the patience! Lordy, the patience!

George: Mummy, how did you feel when you were four?

George’s mummy: Well, I was sick quite a bit when I was four.

G: No, I mean, how did you feel?

Mummy: Do you mean, did I feel happy or sad?

G: (annoyed) No. I mean how did you FEEL?

Mummy: Are you asking me what did I feel like doing when I was four?

G: (impatient). NO. I mean How Did You FEEL?

M: (perplexed) OK, George, I don’t understand. Usually when people talk about how they feel, they mean one of three things. The first is whether they feel sick or well. The second is whether they feel happy or sad. The third is what they feel like doing, what they want to do. I asked you if you meant any of those three things, and you said no. So you’ll have to explain to me more what you are asking when you say “how do you feel.”

G: I mean, how. did. you. feel. when. you. were. four!?

M: George, I need you to explain a bit more. I don’t understand. Can you tell me another way?

G: (totally exasperated at having to explain something so obvious). I mean, when you were four, did you feel grown-up!!!

M: That’s a very good question. I felt grown up compared to my younger sister, but I still felt like a child.

G: Well, I’m all grown up!

© 2006, Mary P

July 17, 2006 - Posted by | George, parents, the things they say!


  1. I pink puffy heart George. He’s a thinker. And a plotter–I’d like to know what grown up thing he felt capable of doing.

    Comment by MsSisyphus | July 17, 2006 | Reply

  2. Mary, as you might remember from some of the earliest comments I made on your blog…George has always been my favourite. 🙂

    Comment by Kat O+ | July 17, 2006 | Reply

  3. Aw, George. Bryce gets frustrated when I don’t understand his complex, yet hidden questions too. 🙂

    Comment by Kristen | July 17, 2006 | Reply

  4. I’ve mentioned before how much my son would like to play with the boys in your cast of characters!
    Many of our conversations start with questions like this…and at some point include him yelling YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT I’M SAYING!
    (Along with me nodding in complete agreement!)

    Comment by LoryKC | July 17, 2006 | Reply

  5. I have this conversation with Mstr A every day. it’s hard to keep calm when he just repeats exactly the same words over and over again, but there is no point in losing your temper!

    Comment by Juggling Mother | July 17, 2006 | Reply

  6. Ha, I can totally feel his frustration seeping through here and see Pumpkinpie freaking out if it were her. I hate it the odd time I can’t figure out what she’s saying, and I’m sure it makes her insane too.

    Comment by kittenpie | July 17, 2006 | Reply

  7. aww. George!

    That’s almost Arthuresque in it’s hilarity.

    Comment by Sassy Student | July 17, 2006 | Reply

  8. Lord, give me that kind of patience.

    Comment by Granny | July 17, 2006 | Reply

  9. This post has been removed by the author.

    Comment by Haley | July 17, 2006 | Reply

  10. Oops, that one was me. What I said was: Ooh that “how did you feel”. How obvious. I have nothing but admiration for George’s Mother’s patience.

    Comment by Haley | July 17, 2006 | Reply

  11. That is one patient mother! Patience-something that I need to work on!

    Comment by Tracie | July 18, 2006 | Reply

  12. Well, good for George.

    I am still waiting for that to happen to me.

    Comment by Jenorama | July 18, 2006 | Reply

  13. Wow! Give that woman a brownie for not only being so patient in trying to understand what he’s saying, but also for being able to speak so clearly and eloquently throughout! Ask her to send me a copy of her cliff-notes on parenting in this style. Jordan is about ready to throw me to the wolves!!

    Comment by Jennifer | July 19, 2006 | Reply

  14. i like that once he makes it clear what he means, she doesn’t say something like, “oh! why didn’t you say that earlier?” she just asnwers the question like the whole first part of this conversation never happened. she should get a gold star for that one. 😛

    Comment by kari | July 19, 2006 | Reply

  15. I give kudos to George. If anyone is patient it is him.

    Comment by Nanny Louise | July 19, 2006 | Reply

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