Tuesday, July 12, 2011


My dear friend Christina and I haven't spoken a full sentence to one another in ages.
In fact, now that I think about it, I'm not sure we've ever rendered a full conversation during the entire course of our wonderful three-year-long friendship.
It isn't that we don't have anything to discuss. We've got six children ages seven and under between us, so there's a lot of mention. Yet, the kids are the crux of the communication problem: Someone always needs something so we're constantly interrupted.
Lucky for us, our language skills have evolved as our kids have grown.
Just as those who text or tweet have developed emoticons and shorthand, Christina and I--like millions of Hot Mommas across the world--dispense with traditional language and lapse into MommaSpeak when we're together.
For example, instead of verbally greeting one another, one of us hands the other a Diet Coke.(Light ice, preferably 32 cold ounces but a warm can discovered rolling around the wheel well of the car will do.)
There is no need to inquire as to how the other's afternoon has gone. I can eyeball the number of bags in Christina's hand and tell if the day has been calm or zany. (One baby bag and clasped purse means that everyone slept well the previous night; multiple Target disposables brimming over with stuff, an errant beach towel wrapped around the neck, two pairs of sunglasses perched on her head means otherwise; an unescorted preschooler holding a Mastercard and car keys assures things are dire.)
With small talk taken care of, we jump right in to important issues.
We speak at the exact same time and in fragments for brevity.
Christina: "...mother-in-law dyed her hair pink which she says accentuate her new tattoo..."
Me: "...decided to build a beach in the baby's bedroom complete with sand..."
Christina: "..ended up roller skating through all that puke..."
Me: "...left for a job in Vietman for six weeks and has no internet access..."
Christina: "...stood on top of the ladder balancing four cans of mushroom soup..."
Me: "...found two albino hamsters running through the pipes in the kitchen..."
Christina: "...hot-wired the toaster in an attempt to curl Barbie's hair..."
Me: "...fed the neighbor's retriever the whole box of enemas..."
The diaglogue is dispensed with such speed that no U.S. military decoder could decipher it.
Christina: "...gottheearplugsstuckinsidethetoilet!"
Me: "...putthecarinreverseinsteadofdrive..."
Furthermore, our discussions are often yelled to one another. That's because we're often not in the same room at the same time and/or we need to be heard over the din.
In addition, our dialogues are interspearsed with the disciplining of a brood member.
Christina: "...locked himself in the cupboard...Mattie, please put the scissors down...before the physician could get into the room..."
Me: "...said she didn't want to do the math problem...William do not put underwear on the baby's head...before she ate the paste."
Our conversations, like most MommaSpeak, usually has an abrupt ending.
Sometimes we say goodbye. Other times, we just chase a child to the potty/car/dangerous precipice.
With the rules of MommaSpeak in play, it's all understood.