We've left the hammocks of Maine and are back in DC, at least for a few days -- until we see you at yet another amazing cousin wedding on Friday.
While the four of us were together, we realized how many times we use little phrases among ourselves that come from books we read years ago. I think many families have these mutual reminders of things that resonate in books. Here are some of ours:
"You will be Rocket Mouse," said Arnold. "And I will be Chief. Now let's get ready to blast off."They eventually reconcile and keep playing, of course. And we keep using wick-ee wick-ee when we hear something that sounds a little off, or during a countdown, or when Ka-pow on its own just isn't quite enough.
"Okay, said Webster. What does Rocket Mouse do?"
" Rocket Mouse helps the Chief," said Arnold. "Sh-h! Here's the countdown."
"But what do I do?" yelled Webster.
"Nothing!" yelled Arnold. "That's what you do! 10...9..."
"Listen," said Webster. "What is that funny noise?"
"Sh-h!" said Arnold. "There is no funny noise. 8...7..."
"The rocket is going wick-ee, wick-ee," said Webster.
"The rocket is not going wick-ee wick-ee, said Arnold. "6...5..."
"I think the rocket is going to explode," said Webster.
"No," said Arnold. "It is not going to explode. 4...3... "
Webster listened closely. "Yes," he said. "I feel sure it is going to explode. The wick-ee is getting louder."
"It is not!" yelled Arnold. "The wick-ee is not getting louder! 2...1... blast --"
"WICK-EE! WICK-EE! KA-POW!" yelled Webster. "The rocket is exploding!"
"That does it!" shouted Arnold. "I'll never play with you again! Never! Never! Never!" And he stamped out of the box.
"Carry me, carry me!" (in whiny tone)
From one of our favorite Christmas books (also out of print, alas): Angel Mae, by the excellent Shirley Hughes. Mae is a pre-schooler who lives in a walk-up flat with her very pregnant and frequently tired mum:
Even when your children are taller than you are, they can get great satisfaction in expressing fatigue with Mae's eloquent moan.
'Carry me, carry me,' she moaned, drooping on the banisters at the bottom step. But Mum couldn't carry Mae and the shopping. Mae was much too old to be carried anyway."
"Don't call me darling -- I'm a driving instructor."
A great line from Saffy's Angel, and one which we've used more in the post 16 year-old years. It's said with a British accent.
"Sorr-eee, Harr-eee" (British, accent on second syllable)
This is from the great Jim Dale recordings of the Harry Potter books -- a phrase Hermione uses in sing-song inflection throughout all seven books. Used when apologies come up. This one escapes my lips most frequently when I'm in public, leading to the occasional funny look.
Another of the joys of reading a lot with one's children.