Brilliant Belching Baby Brothers

, , , , , | Related | March 18, 2020

Last century, my grandad was one of the first people to have a tracheotomy for throat cancer and survive. With it came speech therapy and an alternative way to speak, based on a technique of burping. He was ashamed to do his exercise but quickly found a way around it.

He was taking long walks with his then youngest grandchild, my brother, all the while practicing his speech. Nobody thought it strange as people make all sorts of sounds to babies. As my brother was between six months and a year old, he was at his most receptive for language development and was quick to pick up what my granddad was doing.

One night, in his crib, he was imitating the sounds my granddad made, sounding as if he was choking, scaring my mum and making her rush to him. It took a while before she made the connection and understood what the baby was doing.

And that is the story of how my brother learned to speak at an early age and how, to this day, he can belch upon request.

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Mind-Bottling, Isn’t It?

, , , , , | Romantic | March 17, 2020

(My husband and I are scrolling Netflix trying to find a movie to watch. He finally finds what he’s looking for. I like thrillers and hate most adult comedies. I’m thinking, “‘Blade Runner’? Um, weird, it feels familiar… but negatively…”)

Me: “Well, I have some vague associations with this movie… Are there robots?”

Husband: “Yes.”

Me: “Is it silly?”

Husband: “No.”

Me: *makes a face*

Husband: “What?”

Me: “I just feel weird about the movie, like the words mean something to me but I don’t know what.”

Husband: “Look, the title Blade Runner has nothing to do with what actually happens in the movie.”

Me: *still hesitant, makes faces* “I’ll watch it. I just have an odd feeling that I don’t like it, but I don’t remember Harrison Ford at all.”


Me: “Is it stupid?”

Husband: “It’s silly.”

Me: “Is there… ice skating?”

Husband: “In Blades of Glory, yes.”

Me: “I guess that’s what I was thinking of. Thanks to your logical brain, making sense of my cognitive dissonances.”

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The Agony Of De-Feet

, , , , , , | Related | March 16, 2020

Growing up, I managed to name most of the cats my family owned, for one reason or another. My favorite by far, though, had to be my brother’s cat.

When we were going through the process of naming her, we managed to narrow our options down to two choices: Socks, my brother’s suggestion, and Feet, mine. Both were in reference to her white paws, as compared to her grey body.

To keep my brother and me from arguing about it, my dad had us agree to sleep on it. That night, the household awoke to my brother screaming and cursing in his room. The reason? His cat had apparently peed on his feet while he was sleeping.

I, being the five-year-old I was, told him that she decided her name for us. I wasn’t exactly wrong.

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Learning The Dangers Of Video Conferencing Early

, , , , , | Learning | March 16, 2020

(I work as an online English teacher for children in China. When I only have a single student for a low-level class, I play a game where they say “apple” and I jump, and then we switch roles. This class, I have a six-year-old girl as my only student.)

Me: “Apple!”

Girl: *jumps*

(Something about her doesn’t look right, but I don’t realize what it is at first.)

Me: “Apple!”

Girl: *jumps*

(That’s when I realize what the problem is: she is naked from the waist down! The mother shouts something in Chinese and the girl sits back down and stays seated as the mother rushes over with a pair of panties and helps her put them on.)

Mother: “Sorry! Sorry! She, uh… pee-pee! She pee-pee!”

Me: “It’s all right.”

(Once the girl had her underwear on, class resumed as normal for the rest of the session. My guess as to what happened is that the girl had wet herself right before class and, not having enough time to clean her up properly, the mother simply stripped off the soiled clothes and didn’t think I’d notice during the 25-minute class.)

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Cats Are Evil Geniuses, Exhibit A

, , , , , , | Related | March 15, 2020

In the time of Windows 3.0, my family’s computer has a word processing program that we use regularly.

One day, my mom is working on the program when one of our more assertive cats jumps up onto the desk, landing square on the keyboard. My mom quickly shuffles the cat out of the way and discovers that the word processing program has closed on her.

Soon enough, we find that the program has actually uninstalled itself. The cat apparently landed just right so its paws hit the sequence of keys needed to start and confirm the uninstall process. That cat really wanted some pets from my mom!

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