September 14 11

Last night at 8pm, instead of tucking my baby girl into bed for the night, I was knee-deep in a very intense family-game-night round of SORRY. I’m not even sure how it happened. One minute I was clearing up from dinner and getting ready to head out to school curriculum meet-the-teacher night and then the next minute I was sitting on the hardwood in my flannel pants hoping to flip over a 1 or a 2 and explaining to my son that in Canada the game is pronounced wrong.

The pronunciation of SORE-ey feels so unnatural on my tongue that it’s quite frankly an impossibility. I did an interview on Sunday (I promise I will stop talking about it soon) and while listening to the playback I thought, “huh, maybe I do sound a little Canadian. Also, I do sound a little bit like Alvin, Simon and Theodore too. Why did no one tell me that my voice was so high??” There’s something about the intonation of my sentences and about the way I say the word Toronto with absolutely no hint that there’s a second “t” in the word, but I am most definitely Canadian. Sure, I still slip some Midwestern into my speech patterns. The way in which I say the word mom usually gets a rise out of my Canadian friends, since there’s no mum anywhere in sight. Mum? Mum’s the word, maybe, but it’s not my title. But I still fancy myself some weird Canadian/Southern/Midwestern hybrid. I call every female person on earth ma’am, I even drop a bless her heart every once in a while, and I use y’all—unironically—on a regular basis. But, no SORE-eys in my speech patterns. No PASS-ta or MAZZ-da or a-BOAT as far as the ear can hear, but she will tell you that I have been known to use bal-SAM-ic vinaigrette.

So, there you have it. I’m a mutt.

A mutt who didn’t go to curriculum night at school.

Because Emily wanted me to meet her teachers. And Josh wanted me to meet his teachers. And Isabella wanted me to meet her teachers. And there’s exactly ONE of me, and six teachers’ curriculums to listen to. But when I looked at the three of them, really looked at them, I realized that trying to be in six places at once was not at all what they needed.

I needed to be in one place last night. There. Home.

(Home is wherever I’m with you….)

The curriculums could wait. They could be emailed. They could be discussed over the phone. They could be talked about over a cup of coffee. But last night? That was one I wanted to spend with three kids who needed a night with Mommy. (Not Mummy, mind you.) They needed to be silly and looney and competitive and funny and smart and crazy and wild and snuggly and up-too-late and giggly.

We discussed really important things like how long Josh can wear a pair of boxer briefs before washing them and Emily running for student council and the 6th-grade girls who take cameraphone photos of my son on the bus and the cool recess games amongst the first-graders this year and TOMs shoes and Halloween costumes.

We discussed everything but curriculums. But you know what? I think they are going to do just fine in school.

Even if they say SORE-y.

And they beat the pants off of me in the game.

(Family game night, circa 2008)

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  1. Ok, what? how do you say sorry? Sari? Is that really a Canadian thing? I had no idea.

    [Reply]

    ali replied on

    Yes! It’s 100% Canadian. And yes, I say it more like Sari. or, like, S-AHHHH-RRY.
    :)

    [Reply]

    Comment by karengreeners on September 14, 2011
  2. I didn’t go to our curriculum night either.
    Mostly because I didn’t want to put on pants.
    Your reason is much nobler than mine.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Bridget on September 14, 2011
  3. I love, love, love game nights with the Martells!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Kristabella on September 14, 2011
  4. cute post. So you didn’t get to watch Ringer? I kind of liked it.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Tammi Marie on September 14, 2011
  5. You definitely made the right choice.

    I go back and for between SORE-e and SAR-e, guess it was growing so near to Canada in Minneapolis.

    [Reply]

    Comment by monstergirlee on September 14, 2011
  6. I’m trying to hear that in my head and I just can’t. I need to know more Canadians.

    Game night at home is better. Always.

    [Reply]

    ali replied on

    it’s pronounced exactly how I wrote it. sore-y.

    [Reply]

    ali replied on

    like STORY, without the t.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Issa on September 14, 2011
  7. I am Canadian, of the western variety, I am so confused, I don’t have any idea how I say it!

    I’m sure your children greatly benefited from a night of playing with you! If you do go chat with their teachers to see what you missed, bring a nice coffee :)

    [Reply]

    ali replied on

    Does the “o” sound the same as your “o” in story?

    [Reply]

    Heather replied on

    I think so…. Not the case in Toronto?

    I know that I cannot say Shari the way my Torontonian friends say it – I feel bad mispronouncing someone’s name!

    [Reply]

    ali replied on

    That IS the case in Toronto.

    I do not say it that way.

    Comment by Heather on September 14, 2011
  8. So, do you find that we Canadians say Mum, or Mom? Because I find that I spell it ‘Mom’, pronounce it ‘Mom’ strangers, but when I’m talking to her, or about her to family I always pronounce it Mum.

    So odd. And confusing.

    [Reply]

    Comment by April on September 14, 2011
  9. Looks like you made the right decision =)

    [Reply]

    Comment by Rebecca @ The Reluctant Housewife on September 14, 2011
  10. I think (know) Ontario Canadian pronunciations are different than BC. I do say SORE-y (It IS spelled with an O), but I have never said a-BOAT. I think it’s an Eastern thing?

    And Mom – I spell it Mom, but we all pronounce it Mum. :)

    [Reply]

    Comment by Angella on September 15, 2011
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