Family Traditions

My daughter and son had a long conversation the other day.  They knew what they were talking about, within this twin-like patois built upon years of shared jokes.  It made sense to them, for all that anyone else would have found the banter of movie and TV quotes to be strings of non-sequitors.

“You know, the baby won’t learn how to talk if this is all it hears,” I jested, referring to my future grandchild. “The school will call and say, ‘We think your child is autistic; he just speaks in scripts’!”

I was mostly joking of course; conversing in “scripts” hasn’t prevented either of my kids from being able to speak.   Like in many families, sometimes the scripts imply whole paragraphs of dialog familiar to members.  They can serve as conversational shorthand or crutches to encode the meaningful transmission of information when someone is in a hurry, feeling ill, or just making a joke.

Like all the other forms of communication shorthand we use at home, it’s just one of those traditions that creates part of the family culture. (And what better way to hide things from mum than a secret kid argot?)


  1. Ettina said,

    28 January 2009 at 15:15

    My brother and I role-play as Pokemon a lot. And if I have trouble remembering the name of a Pokemon, I’ll say what call it does (usually the same as the name, but with a special intonation that I also copy).

  2. 28 January 2009 at 1:47

    I love scripts!!!! I used to lie in bed imagining involved scenarios where everyone in the world was MAGICALLY ENCHANTED to be able to speak only in SONG LYRICS, or MOVIE QUOTES, and how awesome I would then be at carrying on conversations, ’cause of all the lyrics or lines I had stored in my memory!!! Such a world would be an Aspie paradise!!!

  3. Bug Girl said,

    27 January 2009 at 17:06

    My sister and I totally do this. All I have to do is walk up to her and say “Turtle!!” and we’ll both bust out laughing, over something that happened 10 years ago.

    i like scripts. :D

  4. Fleecy said,

    27 January 2009 at 15:50

    There are certainly a lot of “scripts” in this family too. Scripts, personal in-jokes, things like that. One recently explained to me (as I had previously been unaware of it) was “Crummybutton.” Someone said, “Oh, it’s a crummybutton” and I asked what.

    And apparently it’s a reference to a show, and there were these tiny cookies called Crummybuttons that tasted terrible but people would keep periodically tasting again because they really wanted a cookie and forgot how nasty they were.

    So “crummybutton” has come to refer to an item of food that is technically in some category of food the person is craving, but it tastes nasty. So like somebody wants a cookie, and they find some cookies, but the cookies are nasty. “Oh it’s a cookie.. [bite] Bleh!” Crummybutton.

  5. 27 January 2009 at 3:45

    Hi Andrea,
    I just had a read of some of your very early posts (July 2006) because having read your latest post I was interested in seeing what got you started. I really enjoy your writing style. I know I will learn a lot from you, that will translate into better leearning programs for my students. I love it too that your perspective is about to cover 4 generations. Thank you.

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