English 中文网 漫画网 爱新闻iNews 翻译论坛
当前位置: Language Tips > 英语学习专栏

How to Buy Control

[ 2011-05-24 14:34]     字号 [] [] []  
免费订阅30天China Daily双语新闻手机报:移动用户编辑短信CD至106580009009


By Yemisrach Kifle

My 4-year-old son is trying to fly his self-constructed paper airplane by repeatedly heaving[1] it up into the air. I am half paying attention to his frustration as I try to get ready for work. Our mornings have been chaotic[2] this past month. I never get up early enough to face the day at a leisurely pace. He never wants to go to school.

“Mama,” he calls me with exasperation[3]. “I need some control!”

My son’s plane keeps crashing on the living-room floor as soon as he throws it up in the air.

“Really?” I ask, feigning interest as I fish out his school clothes from under a pile of blankets.[4] I want to keep him in a good mood. Whine-free minutes are most precious in these rushed mornings.[5]

“Yes, Mama. Can you buy me some control?” he asks.

I stop and look at him. He has dried oatmeal around his mouth, lint in his brown curly hair,[6] and a frown on his forehead. I don’t know what he is talking about.

“I need it to control things – like my airplane,” he explains, seeing that he has finally won my attention.

I smile. He wants a remote control for his paper airplane. I don’t correct his vocabulary. Frankly, I like the idea of being able to purchase control. I could actually use some right now to rein in my frustration over his daily refusal to go to school.

“How do you think I can buy you control?” I ask, as I pull a red-and-blue striped[7] long-sleeve T-shirt over his head. I hope he won’t notice I am preparing him for his yet-to-be-mentioned destination.

“With money,” he responds in his recently acquired I-know-everything voice. “But first,” he explains, “Babba has to buy money at his job. Then Babba gives you the money. Then, you buy control for me.”

For a brief second I am taken aback[8]. My son thinks his father is the only one who earns money in our household. I scramble to locate my soapbox[9], ready to deliver a gentle lecture but I hold off and ask more questions instead.

“So, what about Mama? Can Mama ‘buy’ money by herself?”

“No!” he exclaims[10], with a hint of exasperation back in his voice. “You go to school. Just like me.”

I laugh. Silly me! Indeed, I, too, have recently started going to school. I am teaching part time. The fact is, when it comes down to the day to day, so little in life is about some overarching ideology.[11] I am grateful mothering continues to teach me to take myself less seriously and I try not to struggle too much along the way. Perhaps someday in the future there would be a need for my son and I to discuss gender, partnerships, money, and the complicated role of mothers in society. For now, I am letting this potentially teachable moment pass and I am allowing his assumption to stand.

This morning, my son and I are both going to school, together—hand in hand. He is teaching me how to buy control. I am learning how not to lose it.


1. heave: 扔,抛。

2. chaotic: 混乱的,一团糟的。

3. exasperation: 恼怒,激怒。

4. feign: 假装;fish out: 捕鱼似的搜寻出。

5. 在这些忙乱的早晨,没有哀号声的寥寥几分钟尤显珍贵。

6. oatmeal: 燕麦片; lint: 棉绒。

7. red-and-blue striped: 红蓝条纹相间的。

8. take aback: 使吃惊,使吓一跳。

9. scramble: 仓促行动;soapbox: 肥皂盒。

10. exclaim: 惊叫,大声说。

11. day to day: 一天天地;overarching: 支配一切的。