Disclosure: Please do not continue reading if you have an aversion to ranting lunatics.
For those who’ll allow me a few moments to let off steam, here’s my story.
Since Ryder first started talking, he – like practically every child – somehow came up with quirky approximations that loosely resembled the word he was trying to say. For example, “Eleven” was “E-leggy” and the “remote” was the “o-mote”.
It’s cute! Trying to decode Ryder, and now Reid, is one of my favourite pass times. I take pleasure in knowing that I am one of the few people who understands their secret toddler language, and realize that all too soon, they’ll be speaking like little English professors. Well, maybe not quite as eloquently, but certainly you see my point.
In fact, Ryder has pretty much grasped the correct pronunciation for almost every word now, save a few he still has trouble with. But you know what? Don’t care. Every time he pronounces a word incorrectly, I do my best to repeat the word back to him slowly – with emphasis on the correct way to say it. So, if he says: “Mommy, can I have some See-yal?” I’ll respond with, “Yes, you can have some CE-RE-AL.”
And I leave it at that. No linguistic exercises, no penalties for poor language, no bug fuss.
I admit I’m being a little nostalgic, because both boys have lost so many of the funny words they once said, and I know that they’re minutes away from growing up too fast. So, if Reid wants to say “Frawberries” for a few more weeks, or a few more months, it’s all good.
After picking up Ryder from school yesterday afternoon, I decided that we needed to pop into the grocery store for some more snacking goods. Ryder, who’s always pleased to have a little alone time with Mommy, was bouncing up and down, talking a mile a minute. I filled up my little hand buggy with fruit and cookies, and made my way over to the check out, where Ryder proceeded to ask me if we could go see the MINI Coopers at their home.
“Not today,” I said. “I have to work a little tonight.”
“Okay, Mommy, if we can’t go today, maybe we’ll go to Mordor.”
“Uh huh,” I replied, heaving a large bunch of bananas on the belt.
Alright, so you’ve probably guessed that “to Mordor” means “tomorrow”, and we are not actually visiting the evil Sauron at his fiery lair in Middle Earth.
“Will Reid come with us to Mordor?”
“Hmm…” I replied as I scanned the fat content of a carton of yogurt.
“We can go to Mordor, right Mommy?”
“I want to go to Mordor! Can we go visit to Mordor?”
“Mommy! I want to go see the MINIs! And we’re going to Mordor! Say it!”
Must admit: had my mommy filter on. As in, if I don’t hear Ouch! Help! or Oops! – I will pretty much ignore everything my child says. Plus, I’ve done my best on multiple occasions to respond with “TO-MOR-ROW”, and hey, he’ll get it eventually.
Didn’t realize, however, that there was an 6-year-old-ish boy and his mother standing behind us in line. Since Ryder was speaking quickly and with much animation, the boy was becoming increasingly interested in our conversation.
“Mom!” he said. “Can we go to Mordor too?” he asked with wide eyes.
“They’re not really going to Mordor,” she scoffed. “The little boy is trying to say tomorrow but his Mom isn’t bothered to correct him”. She lowered her voice, barely audible. “When she really should be telling him that he’s not pronouncing something the right way.”
YES, those are fighting words.
I *could* have told her to mind her own business, and that she has no idea if my son has a speech impediment, or if he has been practicing the correct pronunciation of that word for weeks, or if I simply don’t bother to constantly correct something I know will come around anyways. He’s not going to say “To-Mordor” when he’s 18, asshat!
Instead, I sweetly smiled at her as I collected my credit card from the cashier.
“I’ll think about it…,” I replied. “….. to Mordor.”
What are some of the quirky words that your child once said?