Singular vs. Plural

On Thursday, I saw one of Mitchell’s playmates with his dad. I hadn’t seen the playmate or his mom in quite a while, so after chatting with the dad a bit (who looked very confused as to why this stranger was talking to him and his child), I said, “Well, tell your wife Miranda and Mitchell says hi!” Spot the grammatical error? Because I noticed it the moment the sentence left my lips. But my years as a grammar nazi have taught me that correcting my grammatical errors does not raise my cool status in others’ eyes, so I kept mum and walked on.

Since this happened on Thursday and I’m still fretting about it on Saturday, I think it’ll come as no surprise to anyone when I say grammatical errors drive me bonkers. I’ve quit reading blogs that have too many errors. I shamed my own sister into using complete sentences while texting. For about a year there was a billboard here in Topeka that said “their” rather than “they’re”. I found alternative routes. Not one of my finer moments, I’ll admit. But it is what it is. We all have our quirks (or so I tell myself).

So, back to my story. Since I couldn’t exactly call up the dad and correct myself (I still have hopes of us becoming couple friends), I subconsciously began legitimizing my error. And rather than settling on “hey, we’re all human and make mistakes sometimes,” or “I’ve been running on less-than-optimal sleep for over a year now,” here’s what I came up with: I subconsciously made the error because I’ve come to think of Mitchell and myself as a singular rather than a plural: MirandaandMitchell rather than Miranda and Mitchell. It’s plausible. Hell, it’s even likely. Mitchell is 16 months old now. While I naively thought that I’d made it past the “carry me everywhere” stage unscathed, I recently discovered that, alas, the toddler stage is the true “carry me everywhere” stage. I’ve come to rank recipes by how many times I need to use two arms to complete them. I naturally have wide hips, but they appear even wider because I have now adjusted my gait to accommodate a toddler on the hip (left hip jutted out). I haven’t taken a shower by myself in so long I can’t even remember what it was like to have a full tub’s worth of range. Don’t even get me started on other bathroom routines that I long to do alone.

So, my question: is it MirandaandMitchell or Miranda and Mitchell? And, here’s my answer: aside from certain moments (hey, he is a toddler who rocks the tantrums), I really don’t care. I don’t know what I would do with myself with too much time by myself. It’s not like I excelled at alone time pre-baby anyway. Our friends used to tease us that they never saw me without Justin and wondered if I just ceased to exist when he wasn’t around. But I certainly enjoy myself more when he’s around (most of the time; he is a man who rocks the tantrums). So I guess Mitchell is just another excuse for me to never have to be alone and left with my thoughts. Because look what happens when left alone with my thoughts: I come up with big elaborate theories for why I made a simple grammatical error.

By themagnificentms

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