Perpetually Peeved

What we have here, is a failure to communicate

My 4-year-old, Smalls, and I ride home from work/school together every day. This half hour is usually spent singing, making up stories, or asking, “why” until my head is about to explode.  The other day, we were discussing our plans for the weekend. 

Smalls:  Mommy, I want to go to the movies tonight. 

Peeved:  You do? 

Smalls:  Yes, I want to see ‘Ispicable Me.  It looks so funny, it has these cute little yellow guys.  They are not like bugs and they are not like aliens and they go, “beep beep wonk” and one of them only has one eye, but the rest have two and they are yellow.  And little.  And cute. 

Peeved:  Okay, we’ll ask Daddy if he wants to go the movies tonight. 

Smalls:  Yeah, I want to see those cute little yellow guys in ‘Ispicable Me. 

Peeved:  What was the name of that movie again? 

Smalls:  ‘Ispicable Me. 


Peeved:  Okay, it sounds like a great movie. 

Smalls:  I also want to see Oserersappren Sim.  It looks really good, there is this little baby dragon and he snuggles up to the boy.  I want a dragon.  Mommy are dragons real?  Can I get one. 

Peeved:  No honey, dragons are just make-believe.  So you can’t get one. 

Smalls:  Well, I need a pet, can I PLEEEAAASSSEEE have a dog? 

Peeved:  You have cats. Ask Daddy about the dog.  What was the name of that movie again? 

Smalls: Oserersappren Sim.  Can’t we get rid of the cats? 

Peeved: No. They’re our pets. Oserersappren Sim? 

Smalls:  No.  Oserersappren Sim. 

Peeved:  That’s what I said, Oserersappren Sim. 

Smalls:  No, say it with me: Os-er-er-app-ren-sim. 

Peeved:  Os-er-er-app-ren-sim. 


Peeved:  You don’t have to yell, I got it: Osererappren sim. 

Smalls:  No, mommy.  You’re not saying it right. 

Peeved:  Well, I don’t understand you. I don’t understand what you are trying to say. 

Smalls:  Okay, I’ll say it louder: OSSERERAPPREN SIM! 

Peeved:  I still don’t know what you’re saying.  What happens in the movie? 

Smalls: I already told you, there’s a dragon and a boy.  Forget it mommy, you aren’t understanding me.  I said it slow and I said it loud and you still aren’t saying it right.  Daddy will know.  And he’ll get me a puppy. 

In other words Mommy, you suck.


When we finally arrive home, I find help in my 12-year-old, Biggie.  She apparently is still on the cusp of kid and teenager and can translate well enough. 

Peeved:  Smalls, tell Biggie the name of that movie about the dragon and the boy. 

Smalls (to Biggie): Oserersappren Sim. 

Biggie:  Oh, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.  But, I don’t think she should see that movie.  It looks scary for her. 

Peeved:  SORCERER’s APPRENTICE?  That’s what you were saying? 

Smalls:  YES!  I told you.  Oserersappren Sim! 


There is probably no more frustrating thing than having a conversation with someone that you don’t understand.  Except, maybe having a conversation with someone that doesn’t understand you.  This exchange made me realize just how many of my peeves are centered around communication.  Yes, ladies and gents, time for another list of “rules.”  

How to have a conversation with Peeved: 

1.  Contrary to popular belief, I do not have a mental deficiency.  There is  no need to follow any statement with, “Does that make sense?” 

2.  If I am standing in front of a sink with running water or am in another room in the house separated by a solid wall, I can’t hear you. 

3.  Don’t ask me, “what?” if you heard what I said. 

4.  If we are disagreeing on something, repeating your point over and over and over is not going to make me change my mind.  It will only cause regression to childhood argument tactics and I am the master of the “Yes you are, No I’m not” game. 

5.  When I ask you a question or call your name, it is only polite to acknowledge that you heard me even if you are thinking about the answer. 

6.  Every question does not need to be prefaced with “Mommy” — I will change my name to Penelope Humperdink.  Can’t pronounce that?  Hmm… that’s the point. 

7.  If you don’t know me, don’t shorten my name.  It’s not that long and it is pronounced phonetically. 

8.  Don’t use my name repeatedly in conversation.  That’s just creepy.  I don’t care what your infomercial memory booster networking tool told you to do. 

9.  Look me in the eye when you are talking to me.  Unless you have one of those floating eyes – then, let’s both look somewhere else because, that’s just awkward. 

10.  I don’t want to tell what shampoo scent you have when you’re talking to me.  Ever seen that Seinfeld episode?  I’ve got a pocket of space reserved for me, my husband, and my immediate family – you don’t want to cross it. 

11.  Don’t say “forget it.”  Nothing in the world ticks me off more than not knowing how something ends and/or getting resolution.  You don’t understand.  I can’t forget it.  It will bug the crap out of me until you just tell me. 

12.  Don’t say “I’ll tell you later.”  Nobody likes a tease. 

13.  Don’t answer the question before I’m done asking it.  If you could read minds, you would have your own show on the Psychic Friends Network and Dionne Warwick would be your BFF. 

14.  Please do not pretend like you heard what I said when you didn’t and laugh inappropriately.  It’s okay if you didn’t hear me.  I like to talk, I’ll say it again. 

15.  Don’t ask me the same question or bring up the same topic every time I see you.  You can’t keep asking me how the “baby” is until she’s 15.  Please, let’s just talk about the weather. 

Artist = David Buckingham. Pretty neat stuff:


22 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I feel the need to end a lot of sentences with “Do you understand” when talking to my 2 year old. Of course he doesn’t understand my sarcasm filled rant of why he can’t have candy for breakfast…

Comment by thelifeofjamie

Oh, that’s another one. I hate when people use that on me. Unless your my momma, don’t. 😉

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

“11. Don’t say “forget it.” Nothing in the world ticks me off more than not knowing how something ends and/or getting resolution. You don’t understand. I can’t forget it. It will bug the crap out of me until you just tell me.”

This should be a law. It is always the source of a fight in our house… saying “what” means I didn’t hear or understand you. It doesn’t mean I’m not listening. Stop being a baby and tell me what you said!

Comment by Conflicted Mean Girl

This is fightin’ words in our house too. It drives me completely bonkers. Sometimes I think he does it on purpose.

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

A movie about Twinkies? I don’t get it. Have your daughter write a review, will ya? 🙂

Comment by shoutabyss

P.S. You can always pinpoint the exact moment when someone goes off the A-list. It’s when they cash their first Disney paycheck. Later Nick Cage.

Comment by shoutabyss

I think Nicky-boy jumped the shark back in National Tresure. He is always the same character – I don’t get it.

Kiddie review of the movie – you’re on! She could probably start her own blog = Smalls on the Big Screen

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

Love the conversation rules! I’ve threatened to change my name from Mommy, but alas, I’m still Mommy (my 16 yr old still calls me mommy).

BTW, Despicable Me is a great little movie – my 16 yr old and 13 yr old both enjoyed it.

Comment by Jenni Engledow

I can always tell what my kids want by whether they call me “ma,” “mom,” or “mommy.” Ma = food; Mom = toy; Mommy = dog

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

Son: call from Greensboro – Dad, sure hope the Dolphins have a good season and go to the playoffs. Translation: I’m short for the rent. Send $500 quick. Daughter:call from here in Miami – Have not spoken to you for a while. Are you feeling OK? Translation: Didn’t put oil in car again. Let me pick up $500. Quick.

Comment by carldagostino

So this is what I have to look forward to. Real encouraging D’Ag!

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

There is a woman at the local store whose got two floating eyes. Two, damn it! I end up focusing on her nose because I was going crossed eyed trying to follow them. Why, oh why do they put her on the friggin checkout?

Comment by frigginloon

Ha ha. You know what I hate? When you think you have the right eye and then all of a sudden they change it up on you. Tricky bastards.

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

Those are some good rules.
I should print them and put them up at home.
Nice work.

Comment by writerdood

Thanks dood. Maybe I’ll do the same.

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

Penelope Humperdink. Now that has style!

“Penny? Penny? I want to spend a penny…” (Sorry).


Comment by gallowaygrave

That’s Ms. Humperdink to you! 😉

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

“9. Look me in the eye when you are talking to me. Unless you have one of those floating eyes – then, let’s both look somewhere else because, that’s just awkward.”
Ha! Hilarious!

“13. Don’t answer the question before I’m done asking it. If you could read minds, you would have your own show on the Psychic Friends Network and Dionne Warwick would be your BFF.”
I do this all the time and I KNOW it’s annoying, but I still do it. Like most things, I blame it on my husband. We’ve been together so long that we finish each other’s sentences and that habit carries over to encounters with “real” people.

Comment by Amy

My daughter does this to me constantly. Even if she guessed the question right, it still ticks me off. With husbands, it’s different. I would get mad if he couldn’t complete my sentences. Fickle woman, I am.

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

I don’t know what I love most about this post:
smalls’ language.
your list.
or the fact that i’m stealing your list and using it for myself.
and seriously- how rude is it when someone says your name in conversation…while talking to you? i know my name thank you very much. there’s no need to say it.

Comment by katie o.

Brilliant all the way around, Ms. Humperdink. “Do you understand?” is insulting.”Forget it” = Fight! Using name repeatedly in conversation is creepy and passive-aggressive. “I’ll tell you later” is flat out rude.The eyes … if you can’t look me in the eyes when we are talking, I will assume you are lying about/hiding something.There’s this crazy clock in the Signals catalogue that is a white box with two eyes. The eyes roll around and the left one represents hour, the right, minutes. Your head would explode. Mine already has, obviously. Again, GREAT post.

Comment by izziedarling

You said “Humperdink.” It’s been awhile since I’ve seen that movie.

Smalls is awesome.

Comment by thoughtsappear

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