The boys are tri-lingual, I speak to them in English, S in Catalan and at school the majority of their classmates are Spanish speaking. Sometimes they get muddled and come out with literal translations like I’m really hungry to see my friend or I have no poo, when asked if they need the loo. This gave me a flashback to a boy I sat opposite on a train once, who had obviously just learnt the word literally. It was brilliant. His conversations went pretty much like this “ Literally, here’s a cheese crisp” “Today is literally Friday.”
I am pretty sure all children take idioms literally but I’m not sure that all children react in quite the overly dramatic way mine do ….
SIX THINGS MY CHILDREN TAKE LITERALLY / JUST DON`T GET
1. “We need to get our skates on, we´re late for school”
Response: “NOOOOO! My teacher said no skating at school, No skates, she`ll take them off me and I’ll get cold feet.”
2. Rhyming sentences such as “Let’s go Jo!” or “Don’t worry Murray!”
Response: A whole day of saying ” I’m not Jo or Murray, Why are you calling me that? Who’s Jo? Why don’t you know my name?”
3. “It’s raining cats and dogs”
Response: “ What?! Quick hide, they will squash our house!” “I don’t like dogs, where are they?” (said a bit tearfully)
4. “Stop pulling your willy, it will fall off!”
Response: Cunnning smile spreads across face as he saunters off to convince little brother to pull his willy.
5. “Have you got ants in your pants?”
Response: Half naked children in supermarket queue.
6. “I`m your Mum and you´re my son”
Response: Silence as bottom lip starts to quiver, “I want to be the moon, not the suuuuun.”