Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Pronoun Trouble

It's not just Daffy Duck who has "pronoun trouble."

My three-year-olds sometimes say things so wrong, yet so adorable, that I hesitate to correct them.

My son refers to his sister as "he."
He says "Monica Book" instead of "Chanukah Book."
He mispronounces new words in such cute ways I can't stand to correct them.
My daughter confuses tenses constantly.
Both kids say, "I carry you" when they want ME to carry THEM.

It reminds me of that old Steve Martin routine, the one in which he admonishes the audience to say the wrong things in front of kids just for the fun of messing them up.

They're also incessantly curious. When I say "It's raining," they ask, "Why?"

They want to know where every new thing was purchased. Thing 1's constant refrain is, "Where you bought this?" Often followed by, "Who bought this?"

My daughter is already delighting in language play, especially adding the words "poopy" or "underwear" to her favorite songs, then dissolving into incontrollable giggles. "Do Re Mi" from the SOUND OF MUSIC is her latest victim, but pretty much any phrase can be made into a great joke by the addition or substitution of "poopy." "Pee pee" is also popular. Since my husband is the household connoisseur of bathroom humor, he's especially pleased.

I'm already missing the early days when they mangled words like "popsicle," when a banana was a "nana," and a strawberry was a "strawbear." I kick myself I haven't made more digital voice recordings because I know they'll be outgrowing their delightful inability to speak correctly.

Of course, they've already learned a few words I wish they hadn't, mostly from overhearing me when I get exasperated. I've been campaigning to replace the "Goddammit!" they heard me utter, and insisted on repeating, with the much more harmless-sounding "Goshdarnit." But it's a losing battle.

I'm no expert on early language acquisition, but I have learned this: toddler English is irresistibly cute.

Just try this with your toddler, like the Bunnies sing on the TV show, BUNNYTOWN:

TWINKLE, TWINKLE LITTLE STAR. HOW I WONDER WHAT YOU ...UNDERWEAR!!!!!

I wish I could laugh that easily. It's nice to be reminded that I probably once did.

1 comment:

jessica said...

Bam it, Holly, that reminds me of a couple of things Clare and Bryce used to say. Clare would say "Pick me down!" if we were holding her and she wanted to be on her own two feet. Makes sense, right? If it is "pick me up" then shouldn't it be "pick me down?"

And Bryce for years would ask if we were on the low-way because the highway frightened her. We'd take the low-way as often as practical.

Kids!! They're just so darned cute. And literal. And smart. Oh and cute again.