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Jul 29, 2009

Beginners.

This summer, my brother has come to visit from New Zealand. We are having such a fantastic time together. He is wonderful person, and also a complete goofball! That is an american expression for a person who jokes and fools about. He has a very dry sense of humor, but he can also make children laugh very easily. When we went to Lake Roosevelt recently, he travelled in the car with us. We chatted away, observed the countryside, talked about old times, and stopped a few times on the way to stretch our legs and have a drink. My children are not really used to travelling in the car for three hours at a time, and the car was really packed with luggage and beach equipment, so they got 'squirmy' as they say here. You know how a worm wiggles when it is uncovered, well that is squirming. They started to bicker and argue until it became unbearable. Well, my brother sprang into creative action. He taught the kids in a few seconds about pulling a 'museum face'. They each had to act like a statue, but a very wierd, ugly one. It instantly made them laugh and stop bickering. Fantastic! I just had to write a podcast about the museum face to help my podlisteners who have children. That's my excuse. Check out my brother's museum face; it is utterly goofy. Hey, this is my podcast after all. I can't be professional all the time. Enjoy the photo!

Grammar notes.

Related vocabulary: to pull a face, goofy, old times, to bicker, to squirm.

Exs:

My children were pulling the most awful faces infront of the mirror.

That man is so goofy! He does the strangest things and makes us all laugh.

It was great to see my friend from college, and to talk about old times.

I wish that couple would stop bickering. They argue senselessly!

The worm squirmed until I put it back under the earth.

Advanced.

Sometimes driving in the car with the kids is quite difficult. Any of you who have children will probably understand. At times my kids will drive me completely crazy. They fight in the car, or rather bicker. Bickering, in my opinion, is far worse than an all out fight. "Mum, he's looking out of my window!", "Mum, his leg is touching mine!", "Mum, he said that I'm ugly!", "No I didn't!", "Yes you did!" And it goes on and on. If I was a robot, and always responded the same way to their bickering, perhaps it would stop. If I would consistently talk reason to them and convince them that it is better to stay quiet, or work things out together, then bickering might become a thing of the past. The trouble is, I'm not a robot. I'm an emotional human being who sometimes acts differently from one day to the next. Sometimes my response is an easy, " If you are all quiet, I will buy you a candy." Or, I get the guns out, "I'll tell Dad about you being naughty in the car," or "Don't even think about having a play date with your friend if you're acting like that!" I have a catalogue of responses which vary in effectiveness. One thing I've found, though, that truly helps, is having help from another adult, especially if that adult is imaginative. My brother's museum face is a wonderful solution to the kids' bickering. It distracts them, it cheers them up, and it brings out their goofiness. If you see my brother's photo on my blogpage, you will understand that goofiness is definitely an inherited thing.

Grammar notes.

Related vocabulary: to convince, to inherit, naughty.

Exs:

I am convinced that we should go on vacation for at least a month.

When my grandmother passed away, I inherited a silver tea set.

That boy is so naughty! He broke a chair, and then smashed a window!