Hello, this is Simon.
About six weeks ago our baby boy figured out how to sit up all by himself. Once he realized he could do this, he looked so pleased with himself like he was sitting on top of the world.
His appetite seems to be increasing as well. He can eat an entire bowl of food in one sitting. He loves eating so much. He starts laughing and smiling as we give him spoonful after spoonful. It is a joy to see that he gets so much pleasure out of such a simple thing. However on the flipside, he gets quite upset when his bowl is finished. We tell him to sit tight while we prepare something else, but he won’t take it sitting down. He begins to throw a real temper tantrum and starts screaming blue murder. This happens pretty much every time. It’s like we are sitting on a powder keg as we approach the end of each meal.
He has finally learned to crawl as well. With his new found ability, any chance he gets now, he is off exploring the house. Anything he can get his hands on he either chews or throws behind him. Occasionally he’ll get lucky and manage to access the chest of drawers. When that happens out come all the clothes. He has gotten very fast at it too. He’ll wait till I leave the room and then he makes a beeline for the target. I only need to be gone for about 30 seconds to come back and find him sitting pretty on a mountain of clothes, like he’s sitting on a goldmine.
Since our son has now learned to sit, I thought it would be a good opportunity to introduce some idioms related to the verb “sit”. Hopefully there are a few that you haven’t heard before.
“sitting on top of the world”
The expression to be “sitting on top of the world” means to have a feeling that everything in your life is going great. It is a feeling of happiness and elation (e.g. Since getting the promotion she was after, she has been sitting on top of the world.)
“in one sitting”
To do something “in one sitting” means to do it in a fixed period of time, without stopping, and often completing that particular thing (e.g. He did a 1000 piece puzzle in one sitting./The book was so good that I couldn’t put it down. I read the whole thing in one sitting.)
To “sit tight” means to stay where you are and not take any action, usually to wait for the outcome of something (e.g. Sit tight; I’ll have dinner ready for you very soon./We were told to sit tight while the airline staff tried to arrange an alternative flight for us.)
“take it sitting down”
The expression to “take it sitting down” means to accept something that is unpleasant, wrong or unfortunate and take not action to fight against it. It is often used in the negative form (e.g. After losing the lawsuit, he swore that he wouldn’t take the court’s ruling sitting down.)
“screaming blue murder”
To “scream blue murder” means to show anger about something in a way that is very loud (e.g. When the mother saw the terrible mess that her kids had made of the house, she began screaming blue murder.)
“sitting on a powder keg”
A “powder keg” is a barrel filled with gunpowder, so is something that is capable of causing an enormous explosion. To “be sitting on a powder keg” means to be in a situation that could easily explode or go wrong very quickly (e.g. After the second police shooting of an innocent man, tensions were very high in the city. The mayor knew that they were sitting on a powder keg, and that violent protests could erupt at any time.)
“sitting pretty” “sitting on a goldmine”
To be “sitting pretty” means to be in a good or advantageous position, often financially. To be “sitting on a goldmine” to have access to something that is very valuable or desirable, especially something that you have yet to access or profit from (e.g. They bought their house just at the right time. Shortly after house prices began to dramatically rise. Now, ten years later, they not only sitting pretty. They are sitting on a goldmine, as the house has doubled in value.) From the perspective of our son, the pile of clothes he had pulled out and was sitting on, was a goldmine.
Stay cool during this hot rainy season.
See you next month!
Hello! My name is Simon.
I am from New Zealand, and have been living and teaching English in Japan since 1999.
My hobbies include movies, playing the guitar, gardening and hiking.