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"Incomprehensible"?!?!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
If you've read any of my wordy posts, you might remember that my 11-year-old step-son lives with us and our family has weathered a lot of relatively extreme parental-alienation issues, with his mom (my husband's ex-wife).

Background tidbit #1: DSS has a curious history of leaking things about his family situation, in spelling assignments where he has to create sentences based on the words. Like:
"My Mom resides in California...My step-brothers are my favorite companions..."
Or, before the custody change:
"I am thankful for my Mom...I am not friendly to my Dad..."

Background tidbit #2: "Incomprehensible" is a favorite, oft-used word of DSS's Mom. As in:
"It's incomprehensible that you blocked my phone contact with (DSS) last night! (10:30 on a school night) I know he's just devastated when he can't talk to me!"
Or, after DH picked up DSS from school for a court-ordered visit, which Mom had hoped to block with a note telling the principal not to let DH enter the building...:
"You intercepted (DSS) without my knowledge or consent! I had no idea where he was! It's incomprehensible that you would terrify me like that!"

So, I felt pretty queasy when DSS asked me to proof-read his spelling sentences the other night and he had written, "Sometimes my step-mom is incomprehensible." I told him everything was spelled right, but that I had to admit that sentence hurt my feelings a bit. He turned wide eyes on me and said, "Why would that hurt your feelings!? I always tell my English teacher (who he loves, BTW) that you're just like her! You use a lot of big words and you're a real perfectionist about spelling and grammar. So...sometimes that makes you incomprehensible!"
post #2 of 5
Hmm, he doesn't understand you.

At least he didn't say he finds you reprehensible.

All you can do is keep trying to talk to him so you both understand each other. I know when I was 11 I was surprised at the amount of things I felt no one ever noticed, but maybe it was just an unwillingness to address what I was saying or doing?
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by madskye View Post
Hmm, he doesn't understand you...All you can do is keep trying to talk to him so you both understand each other. I know when I was 11 I was surprised at the amount of things I felt no one ever noticed, but maybe it was just an unwillingness to address what I was saying or doing?
Perhaps I wasn't clear enough. It turned into a very lightheated, laughing conversation. He meant it as a compliment! His Dad usually checks his math homework, but he always comes to me for the language stuff and there's a lot of joking in the family, about him being like his Dad and needing to work on his spelling, but at least they have me to proof-read everything...and I have them to do all the measuring and calculating... I was worried that he meant something negative, with the "incomprehensible", but it was just the opposite.
post #4 of 5
Cute story.
post #5 of 5
Funny how words or phrases that we might not have even noticed can take a life of their own when they've become associated with a person or situation. We've definitely got some words and phrases that have a lot of baggage. For the most part we usually can turn it into a joke to take away it's power. Now that you have a humorous association with the word, maybe you'll get a chuckle every time you hear it... Like when your husband's ex says something is "incomprehensible" and you have decided that it is now a compliment
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