I Wuz Just Thinking: Hurdling the Language Barrier
April 2, 2023
Betty Mahurin Baker
Just because children hear what you say doesn’t necessarily mean that they really understand what you are telling them.
Today at the laundromat the clothes, towels, etc. were going ’round ‘n ’round in the dryer.
Since the heater is out in my home dryer, I have been hanging the laundry on hangers throughout the house to dry. The repairman is scheduled to come Wednesday morning.
Years ago, the clothesline had been removed from the backyard, so now, no place to hang things to dry in the sun.
Today, I gave up and decided to take the wet laundry to the laundromat in order to get them all dried in about a thirty-minute period.
I put the wet items into the commercial dryer, added my quarters, and pushed the start button.
As I was sitting and watching the clothes tumbling over and over, I was thinking and humming tumble, tumble, tumbling, tumbling, tumbling tumble weed. My mind wandered back when I was a child attending the cowboy shows at the Texan theatre with Roy Rogers and Dale Evans singing their popular song, Tumbling Tumbleweed.
My eyes were closed by now as I was about to dose when I heard a little voice say, “tres, quartro, cinco”.
I looked up and there was the cutest little boy counting to his mother.
He reminded me of when one of my granddaughters was about that age.
It was a hot summertime day and I noticed the dog’s water bowl was empty. I asked little Norma if she would water the dog while I went to town to purchase some ice and snacks for her family. She looked up at me with those sweet brown eyes and said, “Yes, Grandma”.
It did not take long before I returned with the purchases. As I got out of my car, I noticed the dog bowl was still empty.
Norma came running up to help me with the packages. I asked her, “Norma, I asked you to water the dog while I was gone and you said you would”.
She looked up at me and said, “Grandma, I did water the dog….see, he’s all wet!” She did indeed, by using the water hose, watered the dog! A little language barrier, I see.
One evening my granddaughter, Daisy, and her family were visiting our home. Daisy was in high school at the time and had Nina Mata, my friend and former classmate as her teacher.
I had seen Nina earlier in the day and she commented that Daisy was such a gem!
I told Daisy that I had seen Mrs. Mata and she said she thought Daisy was a gem.
Daisy huffed up, crossed her arms, scrunched up her face, and pouted. Everyone was looking at her and I asked her what was wrong.
Daisy replied, “It’s about What Mrs. Mata said about me!”
I asked Daisy, “what did Mrs. Mata say that made you so angry?”
Daisy pointed toward my husband, Jimmy, and said, “She thinks I look like JIM…he is a man, he is old, he has hair all over his face (a full beard).”
I could not help but laugh and laugh as did the other adults in the room.
Daisy got even madder and more red-faced because we were laughing at her.
Finally, I composed myself and said, “Daisy, Mrs. Mata said you were a G-E-M, not a J-I-M.” I then explained a GEM was like a ruby or diamond, a jewel, something precious. She finally understood and calmed down. This was another language barrier misunderstanding.
The dryer alarm just sounded meaning the dryer has stopped tumbling. My mind to returned to the present time….as I wuz jus thinking.