I really have to quit using idioms around my oh-so-literal children. I don't think of myself as someone who goes around spouting out these types of comparisons on a regular basis, but a couple of times in the past few days I've been called out on phrases such as "happy as a clam" or "hungry as a horse" by my ever-questioning, can't-hardly-wait-for-school five year old.
Well, tonight I was settling the kids in bed when Jack decided (shocker!) he needed to run for one more drink of water. No fail, every night this kid has to jump back out of bed right after he's tucked in- which inevitably starts the whole process of tucking the blanket under the chin, tight bear hug, and a round of "love yous" all over.
Hurry, I told him. So he tears out f the room on a mission for that much-needed glass of water (and oh, how this kid reminds me of myself sometimes!) he runs right into the kiddy kitchen set in the hallway and crash! down come the plastic pots and colorful cups. Unfazed, he hops over them and continues the dash to the bathroom.
"He's like a bull in a china shop," I commented absently.
"Like a what?" asked Lydia curious at this verbal image I'd suddenly presented.
I set about trying to explain myself with very little success. I tried to explain what a bull was first of all- did my best impression of one stomping across her room. And then I tried to explain what a china shop might be- It's um... It's a place where fancy dishes are sold? Hello. That's what I would imagine it to be, but I guess I never really pictured one until that moment.
So there I am painting it all together for her- delicate dishes teetering on glass shelves and all- and imitating a bull crashing through that. And so that brings up the questions of why a bull would be in a china shop and what else does a china shop sell anyways? So I try to explain that statements such as this one are sometimes spoken to compare one thing to another which, uh (sorry, can't help myself) flies right over her head and out the window.
Well, by then Jack had returned, they were both tucked in, and as I was going out the door Lydia says, "Mom can we go to a china shop someday?"
Oh, sure why not.We'll have a field day. Seeing as china shops are a dime a dozen and all. Should we take Jack the Bull along? And the rest of the herd of elephants as well? Piece of cake, I'm sure.