Thursday, 7 April 2011

Birthdays, teapots and the lurgy


"Mummy," said Littleboy1 about a week ago. "Are you so excited that it's your birthday next week?"

"Er, well, I suppose so," I replied.

He was also shocked to hear that I was not having a party. Not renting out a room at Pump It Up for all my friends to jump on bouncy castles, nor hiring a magician, nor even giving out party bags. (Birthdays are a big feature at the moment, with all of his friends seemingly about to turn six in the course of a few months, and we are constantly buying presents, searching for strange party venues in the mall-ridden hinterland of Central Long Island, and trying in vain to prevent them necking entire goody bags full of candy in the car).

Still, he thought it was exciting, so on the day, he and his brother thoughtfully woke me up at 6am to give me their card. I tried sending them back to bed, but then felt so guilty that I invited them to come back in, and we had a present opening session in the half-light of dawn. Luckily one of my presents from the Doctor was this beautiful new teapot (perhaps in recognition of my love of tea) , so at least there was a chance for some caffeine.

In other news, I managed to flummox a mother at one of these parties by asking her if her son had escaped the 'lurgy' that was going round the school. Even as I said it, I thought "I bet that's a British expression that she won't understand", but it came out anyway for want of a better word. "Lurgy?" she asked me, wide-eyed in horror. "What IS that?"

I had to look it up later and it turns out 'lurgy' was invented by Spike Milligan on the Goon Show. Who knew?

20 comments:

marla said...

So, "What IS that?"

Elsie Button said...

No way!

Hope you had a lovely birthday with lots of tea, and no bouncy castles....

Iota said...

Lovely tea pot.

I always think Pump It Up should be called Pump Them Up.

My daughter came home from school today all pumped up on pizza, strawberry cake and chocolate goodies, because it is her teacher's birthday. She made me guess how old her teacher is (we have this conversation quite often), and I went with 35. Very solemnly, she told me No! She's 21! She really thought she was (it's kind of young for a teacher with a son in 2nd grade).

Lynn said...

The thing is, lurgy sounds uncomfortably close to a very gross (in US anyway) expression for . . . well, I'll just say spit, even though that doesn't really cover the grossness of it.

Sorry to be too excruciatingly correct to just come out and say it, but it's grossing me out just to think about it. Normally I try not to! It's probably what the lady you were talking to thought you were saying. But just ask any prepubescent boys to tell you. They'll know!

Expat mum said...

I said "lurgy" a few weeks ago to no avail, and Lynn's right, it sounds like what they call a Loogey (no idea how to spell it), but it'a a big phlegm spit ball. And very gross indeed!

Home Office Mum said...

happy belated birthday. Fab teapot!! Are you coming over to the UK at all this summer?

PantsWithNames said...

Lurgy is such a fabulous word though - exactly describes what it is!

Happy Birthday.The Dr did well with the tea pot, I'm very impressed. It is my birthday next week and I don't think it has even crossed the husbands radar yet.

diney said...

Lurgy is just such a brilliant word - but the US translation is fairly gross so I'n not surprised that that Mum looked with horror! I'll bet she made a story about that conversation with her friends and family at your 'cute English' expense! Happy b-day ! Isn't it funny that the kids can't understand how we aren't having a party with games and a magician etc! (except 'special' ones, maybe!)

Julie said...

I've been reading some horrible stories about Long Island in the news recently....hope that's not near you!

nappy valley girl said...

Marla - it's just an expression that I think everyone in the UK knows, meaning an unknown illness (usually flu-like) that will be going around at any given time. Also known as 'the dreaded lurgy'.

Elsie - no bouncy castles, but did have a lovely meal out and yes, lots of tea.

Iota - that is funny. My son thinks his teacher knows everything - much more than me.

Lynn - really, I had no idea! Thanks for filling me in...

Expat Mum - really gross, yes. I hope the boys don't pick that one up - sure they will....

HOM - sadly not - we're planning to stay here & holiday in the US. Maybe next spring though....

PantswithNames - Ahh, I'm sure he will remember in time. Yes, I thought the teapot was a very good choice.

Diney - I think she just thought I was weird! But I am used to that....

Julie - yes, indeed, has been some grisly stuff. Not too near us, about 30 miles away but near some beaches we go to in the summer.

Mickle in NZ said...

While I have grown up with Spike Milligan's writing I can understand the confusion "lurgy" can cause.

Another term for colds and mild flu that I grew up with here in NZ is "the dreaded plague" - I expect this term would terrify your Long Island friends and neighbours!

Now, happy family memory from the late 1970s - Dad, Mum, Sister and self all in bed by 9.00pm on a Sunday ready to hear "The Goon Show". Mum would promptly go to sleep while Dad, sister and self happily listened and laughed. Our stroppy, stubborn and utterly bloody-minded cat, Bits, would snuggle down between Mum's feet!!!

Mud in the City said...

Happy lurgey-less birthday! Maybe you can start a rumour about a new 'British disease' doing the rounds?

Tanya (Bump2Basics) said...

Lol on the lurgy! And happy belated birthday! Hope you are enjoying your teapot :)

About Last Weekend said...

Love it. But doesn't all the good stuff and best culture come from Spike whether the goon show or Monty Python? Hope you feel better and I know what you mean my kids think I'm crazy not to want to go to Chuck'd'cheese (yet...again..)

Nota Bene said...

How did I miss this? I must have been down with the lurgy! Happy, happy birthday to you, squashed tomatoes and stew, bread and butter in the gutter, happy birthday to you...

nappy valley girl said...

Mickle - what a great memory!

Mud - I don't think I need to do anything else to stand out.....

Tanya - so having lived in the UK did you know what it meant?

About last weekend - you're right. All the best stuff....

NB - thank you - and keep clear of that lurgy!

Nederland said...

Great job here. I really enjoyed what you had to say. Keep going because you definitely bring a new voice to this subject. Not many people would say what youve said and still make it interesting. Well, at least Im interested. Cant wait to see more of this from you.

Muddling Along said...

Ah yes the lurgy, its sort of like a cross between chicken pox and bubonic plague?

You have missed it right?

Oh....

*giggles at own warped sense of humour and potters off*

Calif Lorna said...

Lurgy sounds so wonderful - just like you had the plague. Did she take a few steps back?!

Happy belated Birthday. That's a very lovely teapot!

Calif Lorna said...

Lurgy sounds so wonderful - just like you had the plague. Did she take a few steps back?!

Happy belated Birthday. That's a very lovely teapot!