Friday, January 27, 2006

A tape recorder for a brand new world

When I as a child, my parents said some of the oddest things. One thing my father said struck me as particularly strange. He said he was going to get a tape recorder, record himself saying certain things, and then just push the button and play it back to us.

Now why in the world would someone say such a peculiar thing? My childish mind pondered this but could come up with no answer.

I know now. It was for the same reason my mother said we woke up in a new world every day. A person who wakes up in a brand new world every day would need to be told the same thing as he was told yesterday, or maybe even earlier that same day. Enter the tape recorder.

When we go in the house, be calm and quiet and do not act like you are outside. Put your sweaters where they go and your bags where they go. Put your night clothes on, brush your teeth, pee, and go to bed. So it goes night after night. They must be told each step to take as if this night were completely unique and they have never heard of this before.

Thing is, they can remember the parts they want to. I didn't mention eating a snack in my little spiel. Are we not going to eat a snack? comes the query from the back seat. Goodness. Here are some more sayings I find myself uttering several times a day:

Just because I say something nice doesn't mean I don't really mean it. Answer me when I say something to you. Look at me when I'm talking to you. Worry about yourself, not everyone else. I won't even get into, pick this up, don't do that, you're supposed to ...

The list goes on an on. The wisdom of my father I truly appreciate now. I really do need a tape recorder so I can just push a button and the device will spout my directions to these poor children of mine who wake up in a brand spanking new world every single day.

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