The word « si » can mean two things in French. It can mean « yes » if you’re insisting after a negative. It can, for instance, be used in the following circumstance:
You didn’t really want that last chocolate almond croissant did you?
« Mais, si! »
It can also be used to mean “if.” Petit Prince has really been into the if clause lately. A spree of deductive reasoning, usually interspersed with “eh bah,” which serves as a sort of “um” or a “well” until you can think of the rest of what you want to say.
Si le guépard il mange le nous, eh bah le nous on est mort.
If the cheetah eats the us, well, the us is dead.
Et si les dragon il mange l’éléphant, le dragon est mort.
And if the dragon eats the elephant, the dragon is dead.
Si le tigre il griffe les poissons, les poissons ont peur.
If the tiger claws at the fish, the fish are afraid.
Sometimes he leaves off the esoteric and comes down to the practical.
Si on mange les crottes de nez, bah, c’est dégouttant. Et si on ne mange pas les crottes de nez, ce n’est pas dégouttant.
If we eat our boogers, well um, it’s disgusting. And if we don’t eat our boogers, it’s not disgusting.
And sometimes he just can’t figure out quite what to say, so his chain of deductive reasoning falls flat.
Si les fleurs ils sont jaune, eh bah les fleurs sont jaune.
This is our philosophical bruiser, who ran face first into a door and didn’t stop running long enough to cry. We’re thinking of putting him in rugby instead of soccer when he’s six.
And this is our philosophical bruiser saying, “Et si …” He likes to reserve those moments of reflection for when he’s eating. Or sitting on the toilet.
Yesterday morning Petit Prince complained of having a stomach ache, but since it was his second-to-last day of school we didn’t heed the complaint too much, and sent him on his way. After school, I brought the kids to the mall to get haircuts and have some ice-cream.
Strangely, Petit Prince didn’t want to finish his ice cream so the three of us greedily gobbled up the rest of his. Shortly after that he started to feel warm and act lethargic, and by evening he had developed a full blown fever.
And at six am we heard the sounds of violent throwing up on the bathroom floor, which was mainly water since he had skipped dinner the evening before. Our baby has a rampant stomach flu, which makes us hesitate to leave for our trip as planned where we risk to pass it on to the seven other nieces and nephews.
We are also wondering when we’re going to fall sick.
Et si tu manges la glace de quelqu’un qui a le gastro, eh bah, tu auras le gastro; et si tu ne manges pas la glace de quelqu’un qui a le gastro, tu n’auras pas le gastro.
If you greedily gobble up the ice cream of someone who has the stomach flu, well, you’ll get the stomach flu; and if you don’t greedily gobble up the ice cream of someone who has the stomach flu, you won’t get the stomach flu.
We’ll be in and out all summer, with intermittent access to Internet, I think. Have a great summer everyone – and don’t eat the ice-cream of someone who has the stomach flu.
That’s our lesson in deductive reasoning for the day.