I had just read a paragraph in which Mr. Verhagen and Hildebrand are having a conversation, and as the two men are agreeing on a point, we learn that
At first he (Father) had thought that such a bookish person could not learn anything so practical (as helping with the windmill), but Hildebrand proved to be quite dexterous and Father was beginning to rely on him."Oh," I said, "he's bookish and handy. I wonder if he cooks, too?"
"Hildebrand might be the perfect man!" Betsy said, but I wasn't really listening. I had already moved on to read the next line:
"I know," Father sighed.The girls burst out laughing at my/Father's response and when I realized how it sounded I laughed, too.
"And thus," I said, "the grown-up girls' version of Bumpoofle-Dee-Dee is born!"
What's Bumpoofle-Dee-Dee? One of our most enduring family jokes.
It came up when I read The Winged Watchman to Anne and Betsy eight years ago. Here's the post from October, 2006:
While reading The Winged Watchman aloud the other day, Ramona suddenly stopped me and said, "What's a bumpoofle-dee-dee?"
I said, "A what? Where did you hear that, honey?"
"You! You just read it a minute ago."
"Yes. You said Bumpoofle-dee-dee."
Thoroughly confused, I skimmed back over what I'd just read and found this phrase: Some people think electricity is foolproof and easy.
"Oh! Honey, no -- " I corrected, "I said, foolproof and easy. Not bumpoofle-dee-dee."
Anne and Betsy were besides themselves with giggles.
But, oh, it got worse at dinner time. The girls were recounting the misunderstanding to Atticus. Anne said, "Daddy, can I tell you about Bumpoofle-dee-dee?"
"Huh?" said Atticus, understandably foggy after a day of teaching high schoolers. "One poopy baby?"
If I thought the girls had a good giggle at breakfast, it was nothing compared to this laughfest. Anne spit applesauce across the table onto Betsy, and Ramona latched onto the phrase, which she could repeat endlessly, sending her sisters into fits and guffaws.
When everyone finally quieted down, I told the origin of the story to Atticus, but it seemed to have lost its punch. We do, however, have a new family word.
Perhaps we need to add elocution to our curriculum?
And this is Reason #4,987,236 that I love read-alouds!