Sunday, February 9, 2014

Semi Fluent in Toddler

I can't say I'm fluent in toddler.  I do know that I understand what my son says better than anyone else.

We visited a new church last week, mainly because they offer childcare during the service (I go weeks without sitting through an entire church service thanks to the great energy and limited attention span of my son). When we arrived to retrieve him from his hour with other tiny humans, he stated, "Nook."

"Oh, you want your milk." I grabbed it from the bag and gave it to him.

"That's what he wanted!"  The childcare volunteer was astounded.

Yep, I speak Ari.

He is introducing new words daily, and it's hard to keep up with his flourish of language.  He introduced "neecy" a few days ago, and I still don't know what it means, and I'm his mother. I can only imagine what other people think when they hear my son speak.

Among a wealth of funny quirks, I have the awkward habit of picking up other people's speech patterns. You have a southern accent? All of a sudden, I do, too! As I am responsible for teaching my son to speak, I have to pay special attention to use the right word back when he speaks in toddler-ease.

When he asks for his "bitten." I ask if he wants his blanket.

If he begs for "balmoral," I confirm that it's granola he seeks.

This is all a very conscious effort on my part. Otherwise we would all start calling blankets "bittens" and stare in confusion at anyone who used the word "blanket."

With a few of Ari's favorite words, though, I can easily control my bad habit of repeating vocal patterns.

For example:
  • Fork = gook
  • Spoon = poon
  • Chip = pitch or bitch, depending on the moment
  • Stick = dick
  • Sticker = dick
  • Kick = dick
Ari greatly loves stickers and kicking. Even with the proliferation of these words in our house, it doesn't take much effort on my part to not ask if he'd like to dick some balls.

And it's especially important when out in public to state what he really means. I imagine my fellow Safeway shoppers were rather impressed by this exchange:

Trader Joe's gives out stickers (dick).  Ari proudly played with the stickers (dick) all through the ride to the next grocery store. And in the grocery store.  He thought he had used all of his stickers (dick).  Then he found one more (dick), as we were transitioning from the cart back to the car, and he proudly shouted, "Dick! Dick! Ari! Dick!" and placed it on his forehead.

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