Sunday, March 04, 2007

Just Can't Get Enough

Note the "daddy" tooth that has grown up behind the babytooth and so far failed to dislodge it. Though it is wobbly.

I have a real fondness for kid-talk. So much so that I tend not to correct my kids when they make their inspired guesses at English, or when their little mouths don't quite master all the right sounds. I love that my 6-year-old says betend for pretend, aspose for suppose and news for use. ("I need to news the scissors.") I love that there is still a bit of w in his r sound. When he stopped saying noo-noos for noodles I was really quite upset, and overjoyed when the Cherub eventually made the same mispronunciation. They're both of an age where they could say noodles now, but in our house we call them noo-noos and will until the boys beg me in embarrassment to say it the right way. We've all got our foibles as parents, and this is (one of) mine.

I'm not all that keen on anyone else correcting them either. My theory - totally untested and non-scientific - is that if they hear the words newsed used corrrectly, eventually they'll work it out - as happened with the noo-noos in Climber's case. And just in case you are worried, they do not sound like Elmer Fudd or the Teletubbies. Well, not all the time, anyway..

It's just that their versions are often very sweet or very funny, and why would you want to annihilate that before you had to? The Cherub, who at swee 3, wants his dwinkbottle and points out the lellow taxis and tells you he wants nootwigwain for bwekwist. Do I want to rush him out of that sort of baby-liciousness? Of course I don't. And why would I spoil the fun of misheard song lyrics? You know that smash Depeche Mode song? Since Climber started singing along all I can picture is a great big jam jar with a really tight lid : I just can't get it off, I just can't get it off.

Other recent linguistic silliness from this week;

Climber, wandering into Fixit's shed, notices the dumb-bells on the ground and nods appreciatively. "Cool. Weightlifts," he says, before wandering out again.

In the car this morning, Climber played one of those intense imaginative games that kids do. I'm so glad he's still at the age where he can do this in our presence! This morning's theme was Star Wars (you know, the movie where Dark Thater is the bad guy and they all fight duels with Life Savers) and during the action I distinctly heard him referring to the William Falcon. It took me a moment to work it out (The Millenium Falcon) and I only just stopped myself from correcting him. If his Star Wars loving cronies at school give him a hard time about it, then I guess it's just the price he has to pay for giving his parents the gift of laughter.


  1. Once when my neice was little she slept over. She refused to eat her weet-bix because I 'pogot the chooker'. I had no idea.
    "Pirst you put the chooker, then pirst you put the milk" ,she told me. It took quite some detective skills to come up with SUGAR.

    Once at school a child wrote me a letter which said in part 'fack you'. I had to ask her to read it to me...**

    Thanks for the song. It took me to a time of night-clubbing with a gravity defying fringe. LOVED it!

    **it was thank you...see a good reason to correct some speech

  2. My 7 year old (who had the same impatient adult tooth dilemma!) corrects my 5 year old all the time, and it breaks my heart. I love my wee ones' word mash-ups!!

  3. I love little kid speech too. When my daughter was 2, she was in the "wallabies" room at preschool and she called it the "wobblies" room. We all still call it that!

  4. Tracey : my pleasure, I NEVER get sick of that song. I had a permed fringe in those nightclubbing years, you probably had natural curl....

    Joyflea: thanks for visiting! Sounds like we may well run into each other at the orthodontist in 10 years' time ...sigh

    Em: Well they would be quite wobbly at age 2, woudn't they?

  5. Hey, they owe us laughter at the very LEAST!!

    We get "lellow" for yellow, Princess Faona for Princess Fiona and loads of other assorted goodies. My favourite for a while was "Lord F***wad" for Lord Farquad from Shrek.

  6. I can dig it, Stomper.

    We have sayings at our house from when Mym was little, that we still use, to this day.

    Sometimes I say them in public, which is very, very embarassing.

  7. Agree.

    Although, some of his words have become our *adult-should-know-better-words*, and i'm sure other adults must think we're idiots when we say something childish in adult ocnversations.

    Can't think of an example except that the boy enjoys the "Simsims". Neither of us can say "Simpsons" now.

    But it's more funner this way ;)

  8. You should be overjoyed to hear then, that because I loved the way your boys always said "Noo-Noos", I used it myself, and little Buttons now says "Noooo- Noooooos"! I love it! Whelan used to say "Moke-a-dike" instead of motorbike, boy, was I said when that one finished, particularly when he would correct me when I would sing out, "look, a moke-a-dike", he'd say, "no mummy, it's a motorbike", sad....

    We have a similar thing with the "r"s, which I also adore, and makes me laugh and say "I will wavish you in the wwoddedendwums". Button's precious Hippo became "Ho", which is what his name now is. "Shrek" is actually "Shruk". When Button's wants something to leave her alone, she says "shoo fly", including to me. I'm not sure that this is a compliment! Yellow is also "lellow" in our house, as spaghetti is also 'bisgetti'. And they are NOT called 'strawberries'. Actually they are called "stwawbellies". And all things that are round and edible are all "aaaples". "Whoops a daisy" - also learned off the Climber, is now "oop a daeasy".

    sigh, love it!

  9. My kids were really quite big before they learnt that seagirls were actually seagulls.

    I never corrected them because I loved it so much. Then one day we were walking along the beach and Son #2 stopped dead and said "Where are all the seaBOYS then?" And I had to tell them.

    PS. Our boys' teeth did that double row thing too. Freaky but apparently common.

  10. MF: Your Lord Farquard thing reminds me of Cherub's friend Hemi who refers to the boss of the Thomas Tank Railway as the Fuckin' Troller. That's the only way I can hear it now.
    Shula and H&B : I reckon, wear them with pride, those sayings. It would be a sharp-eared adult who actually picked up on them.
    Sis: Remind me where the wavishing in the wododendwums line is from?
    Suse: Seagirls is gorgeous. (As was the moment of revelation). Suspect I'll be thinking seagirls from now on...

  11. oooohhh why would anyone want to change kiddies cute language - Im with you - I love it. As for that shark tooth - that was weird! Does it hurt him? I used to want one of those super skinny microphones sooooooo badly.

  12. We still have 'ambooance' (ambulance) and 'mercurtial' (commercial) but so many good ones have been dropped....

    R has just started, though, saying 'Besscue!' when we sneeze.

    Thank goodness for little baby voices.

  13. That's what I'm talking 'bout! Yes - let kids be kids for as long as they want to. Like you said they do work out the "correct" way - probably all too soon for mummies ears :-) I'm employed regularly as the darling's interpreter and I love it - I also tend to give a look of ' can't understand her; what's up with you!' to those who tend to want me to "fix her speech up".

  14. I so agree with you! I love it that she says "hostibul" (hospital), "diagogogal" (diagonal) and "slag" (swag). In fact, as often as we can, we encourage her to use these words (and others I can't put my finger on just now!) just so we can hear the cuteness and have a laugh!

  15. All of these kid pronunciations are so cute!

  16. oh, and I really love "dodgy".

    Otherwise known as "dogs", or even "doggies".

    I prefer "dodgies" though ..

  17. Remembered a couple more "sukermarket", "owives", "garwic"

  18. Spoken like a true mama. Those baby words are priceless. I'm with you there. Thank you for the DM flashback. Too funny.

  19. Baby words can save embarrassment. When V8s rev up the street I complain about the 'bogans' (bevans for those in the northern states). My two year old daughter expresses this as 'boyos', which is pretty handy when she points to a woman getting in her car and loudly says 'lady boyo'. The woman picked the 'lady' and thought it was cute; she mightn't have been so impressed if she had translated the 'boyo' part.

  20. I forgot to say I simply love 'wavishing you in the wododendroms'.

    And reading daysgoby's "besscue" reminds me that we still say "gobblers" when putting the children to bed (god bless).

  21. Baby words are the best and should NEVER be corrected. My 3 yr old rode in an "ambliance". We also had one who loved "amnools". Those words become a precious part of your family language.

  22. Geeze, how old is the singer? He only looks about 13 himself!

    I hear the voices in my head (no, not that kind) of the kids you are all writing about. I hear the cuteness, the pronunciation they use for the words, and how bloody cute it all is.

    I don't blame you for wanting it to last as long as possible. Once they start school, they start to learn the proper ways to say things, enjoy it while you can.

  23. Funny stuff.

    My daughter says "appalah" instead of applesauce and "monk knees" instead of monkeys. It cracks be up. My mother is always trying to correct her, which drives me insane. I think it's adorable, and she'll stop soon enough and then I'll be sad.

    My twelve year-old used to call flamingos "fling wingos." I still call them that. And she flummoxed me when she said that she hates Oprah. Um, ok, honey, but why? "It's all that singing, mum. It gets on my nerves." OH!! Opera. Gotcha.


Don't let the cat get your tongue.