A Laptop Naptime Mama

Monday, March 26, 2007

Ola, Adios, Chakka Lakka Ketchup

Since our two week trip to Spain last month, Benny has decided he’s fluent in Spanish. Between the occasional recognizable words like “Ola,” “Adios,” “Si,” and “Non,” his “Spanish” goes something like “chakka lakka, biokka, schniakka, hebakka, triakka.” Benny is very proud of his new language and even has a little “Spanish” song which he likes to sing while jumping, his blonde locks flying and his arms flailing, on our bed. The song, I think, is entitled, “Chakka Lakka ketchup, chikka lakka ketchup.” (The insertion of the word ketchup into the song, I can only think, is due to high quantity of fries and ketchup he ate while in Spain – indeed, fries and ketchup were the only thing he would eat while in Spain)

Of course, for a doting parent, Benny’s new linguistic abilities are most endearing. I find nothing more amusing, in fact, than conducting a conversation with Benny in his newly acquired language.

Me: “Chikka splaka?”

Benny: “Smakka criakka.”

Me. “Biukka, mischnukka, triakka.”

Benny: “Priakka, hyuuka.”

Me: “Non?”

Benny: fit of giggles

Me: fit of giggles

All such conversations are coupled with animated hand gestures and excited nods of the head or rolling of the eyes. It is very amusing.

It is not so amusing, however, when Benny’s new language leaves the safety of our apartment and strays out into the world. I discovered this yesterday while walking with Benny through Chinatown (just a couple of blocks from us). Benny was in the middle of climbing into his stroller – walking 3 small blocks had really taken it out of him?! – and an old Chinese-American lady stopped to watch him. She smiled and clucked and waved toward Benny saying something neither of us could understand. Benny looked up at the kind old lady and was silent for a few beats. Then with a grin, he said, “Chakka lakka schniakka.” I immediately blushed. Did the woman think that Benny was doing some mocking rendition of her mother-tongue?

Thankfully, the woman just smiled and nodded and then carried on her way. Meanwhile, I whisked off in the other direction wondering how I will explain to Benny that his “Spanish” might be something we only speak at home from now on.

For more of Joanne Rendell's mommy blogs - including "Fishing for Poo," "Should Mommy's Wear Thongs?" and "What's that dangly thing between his legs?" then Click Here to visit her at the popular website, Get Crafty or to visit her brand new author blog (since she just got a book deal!) Click Here. To return to the Role Mommy home page, Click Here.

Monday, March 12, 2007

I Don't Want to Have To by Joanne Rendell

“I don’t want to ‘have to.’” This is Benny’s new comeback when I explain that he “has” to have a bath (because he’ll stink) or he “has” to come to the store (otherwise he’ll flip out later on because there is none of his favorite Dannon yogurt in the refrigerator) or he “has” to get ready to go for dinner (or I might eat him alive because I’m so hungry) or he “has” to change his top (because snot is encrusted all the way along one sleeve and oatmeal on the other). After I plead that he “has” to do one of these things, he cocks his head to the side and says, with his big eyes all glassy and innocent, “But I don’t want to ‘have to.’” And, of course, although I am on the verge of loosing it because of the stubborn resistance he’s putting up to whatever it is I think he “has” to do, I always end up laughing. After all, what a great sentence!

I’m a sucker for those kind of sentences; those sentences kids make up entirely by themselves and which, if you’re picky, are not grammatically correct and yet make total sense.

Benny came out with another great one yesterday. After I insisted we leave the house and told him it was a lovely warm day (and, thus, enduring another “I don’t want to have to” battle), we got outside and quickly discovered that in spite of the blue skies there was a nasty biting wind. Because I’d done the work of getting him out the house, however, I persisted with my errand. Ten minutes later, after being battered continually by the icy wind, we found ourselves behind a tall building and thus sheltered from the fierce breeze. Benny looked up from his stroller (where he’d no doubt taken the brunt of the headwind). His little nose was red and his eyes were streaming and he said, “It’s stopped winding, mama.”

Poor kid. If he only knew that a block later it would be “winding” viciously once again.

For more of Joanne Rendell's mommy blogs - including "Fishing for Poo," "Should Mommy's Wear Thongs?" and "What's that dangly thing between his legs?" then Click Here to visit her at the popular website, Get Crafty or to visit her brand new author blog (since she just got a book deal!) Click Here. To return to the Role Mommy home page, Click Here

Saturday, March 03, 2007

A Book Deal, J.K. Rowling and Me by Joanne Rendell

The daily naptime writing grind has paid off. All those afternoons bribing and cajoling Benny into bed and then quietly tapping away on my laptop, has come up trumps.

I have landed my first book deal! Yup, my novel The Professor’s Wives Club has sold to New American Library and I am still recovering from the post-celebration hangover. How exciting is that?

Anyway, I’m sure like most authors who’ve recently sold a book and are living somewhere high in the clouds, my thoughts keep turning to J.K. Rowling. I’m no big Harry P fan, you understand. In fact, I’m probably the only person left in the Northern Hemisphere who hasn’t read one of her books or watched a Potter film. However, I recently learnt that she’s the first person to ever become a billionaire through writing (pretty amazing for someone who got a meager 1500 pound advance for her first book).

I’m not expecting to be the second. Although, you know what? Perhaps I could be…

After all, J.K. and I have a lot in common. For one thing, Ms. Rowling wrote her first book while her small child took naps. J.K., in other words, is a kindred naptime writer mama (I don’t believe she had a laptop though…poor lady). But the similarities do not stop there. J.K. is actually called Joanne Rowling and I am called Joanne Rendell. She goes by Jo. I go by Jo. She lived in Wales when she was a kid. I was born in Wales. She's a blondie and so am I. She was rejected from Oxford University. Me too!I know, I know, it’s just too much of a coincidence. Billionaire-dom surely awaits me.

P.S. To celebrate the recent book deal, I’ve set up a new blog, “Naptime Writer” at
http://joannerendell.blogspot.com. I’ll still be blogging my Mama/Benny adventures here, but please come see me over there for my Rowling and other writing ramblings!