A Hal to Standard English Translation

As I have said before, Hal is a very amusing child to listen to. Here are some of his best or more common phrases, along with my translations for the uninitiated.

“I want to go to the popcorn place.” – I want to go to the movie theater.

“I want to go to the soup place.” – I want to go to the Chinese restaurant.

“I am going to hop like a broken kangaroo.” – I am going to hop on one leg.

“I am hungry for some apples.” – I would like an apple, preferably sliced.

“I want a bacon nugget cheese biscuit.” – I want a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit. Translation credit for this one goes to Daryl.

“I need a new whistle in my mouth because mine is broken. The one in my mouth is.” – I don’t know how to whistle.

“My tummy is thirsty for some sweet tea.” – I want some sweet tea but I think you will tell me no so I am hoping to convince you that it is what my body needs.

“My tummy is telling me that I really need a drink of water.” – I am bored in the worship service but you’ve rejected my claim of being thirsty as a valid reason to leave so I am hoping that you will listen to my tummy.

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I’m Bad and that’s Good

Today, I met the family at the movie theater when I got off work. Or, as Hal refers to it, “the popcorn place”. We watched Wreck It Ralph, which I highly recommend. I had the honor of transporting the kids with me afterwards and thoroughly enjoyed the conversation.

“Which bad guy would you choose to be, Mommy?” Daryl asked shortly after we got in the car.

“Oh, I think I’d have to be Wreck It Ralph. Because he wasn’t really a bad guy, was he? He was more of a good guy.”

“Yeah, that’s true.”

“Can you think of any other bad guys that have turned into good guys?”

Jane jumped in, “Darth Vader!”

We talked about Darth Vader’s transformation. Then we added Gru from Despicable Me and after some brain stretching, Megamind. We talked about what makes Bad Guys bad and Good Guys good.

We were having trouble coming up with more bad-turned-good guys. They tried the monsters in Monsters, Inc. but I insisted that they weren’t “bad”, just from a different culture.

I also rejected Draco Malfoy, when he was suggested. We discussed the difference between stopping being bad and actually becoming good. Did the Malfoys actually become agents of good or just step aside? Jane insisted Draco did good in the Room of Requirement during the final battle at Hogwarts.

“How?” I asked.

“Well. He saved his friends.”

“Bad guys save their friends. That doesn’t necessarily make them good guys.”

“He nodded at Harry at the train station later.”

“Nodding makes you a good guy?”

She thought some more. “Oh, I know! How about the guy in Tangled?”

That got us to talking about bad guys versus Bad Guys. Thieves versus villains. Did the love interest in Tangled count as a “bad guy” when he wasn’t the evil force in the movie? Or was he just a guy that was making some poor decisions?

“Ok, so maybe we shouldn’t talk about bad guys and good guys. Can you name any characters that went from being evil guys to being heroes?”

“That’s too hard, Mommy.”

“It’s usually the other way around,” Jane finally said. “I mean, usually it turns out that the good guy is actually bad.”

“That’s true, but it usually turns out that they were always bad and we just didn’t know, so they didn’t really change,” I claimed.

The conversation lasted for the drive to Sonic and while we waited for our hamburgers. And then the whole drive home.

Once I feared we had exhausted our knowledge of good bad guys, Daryl remembered Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender. We all agreed that he was perhaps the best example of someone going from truly bad to hero. Daryl was pleased with himself.

As we pulled into the driveway, Jane suggested Hades from Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. “But was he really bad turned good?” I asked.

“Sure. He wasn’t going to help the other gods and he was going to hurt Percy but then he ended up helping him.”

“But isn’t that just how those crazy Roman gods always acted? Pouted and did their own thing and picked on people and then sometimes decided to help them? I mean was he really “evil” before and then “good”?”

“Mom, Hades wasn’t a Roman god.”

“Ok, whatever. Isn’t that what the Greek gods were like? Amazingly enough, it seems they were an awful lot like the Roman gods.”

Hal hadn’t had much input in the discussion of cinematic portrayals of good and evil. His repeated interjection was regarding his favorite scene in the movie:

“My favorite part was when the bad guy smashed the little girl’s car all up and she cried.” Speaking of bad guys… I think I need to help one get unbuckled from his car seat.