Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mommy, I Got Uh Ideah!

"Mommy, I got uh ideah!" he tells me at least six times a day. Sometimes it's actually, "Mommy, I got uh good ideah." These ideas usually involve what treat I should bring at afterschool pickup, what TV show we "haven't watched in a long time," some place "I never been," or "where we should go for out dinner."

When Thing 1 mispronounces words, they're so adorably mangled I don't want to correct them (e.g., Wahoo's, a chain of Baja-style Mexican food joints, is invariably pronounced "Woo-Ha's"). And even when he pronounces a new word correctly, it somehow sounds way cuter than it should.
Tonight he pointed to a dog in the comics and asked "Who is dat doggie?" I told him, "Marmaduke." The name "Marmaduke" rolled off his tongue something like this: "Mahermaduuuke?" Later, when he announced what pajamas he was donning for the evening, he selected "Alien," the PJs with the three-eyed alien in the flying saucer, but then declared, "Tohmaarah I will wear tooo-ulls." "Too-ulls" means the pajamas with the tools on them.

Thing 2 doesn't mispronounce or mangle words, but takes great delight in substituting one word for another in familiar songs. Thus "Twinkle Twinklie Little Star" was rewritten featuring her 11-year-old cousin's first name. She sings a lot of songs in Hebrew, learned at school, but she learns these all phonetically, so sometimes, for a non-Hebrew speaker such as Late Blooming Mom, it's very difficult to ascertain where one word begins and another ends. For a year I thought she was saying, "Davvy, mellow Israel" in one song. The "Davvy" was actually "Davide," for the star of David. And once again, on today's ride home, she insisted on substituting the word "penis" for something far more innocuous, then giggling herself silly.

Sometimes their language use leads to confusion, i.e., when Thing 1 mistakenly told me one of his preschool friends had "passed away" -- an expression he'd heard me use -- when he meant the kid had left the school to go to kindergarten. Luckily I cleared that up quickly. Other misunderstandings are just sweet, as when he asked me, "Is it fall yet?" and then "why I haven't seen leaves fall off trees?"

The truth is hard to explain to a four and a half-year-old. The truth is, we live in Southern California, and there are only a few spots around town with trees that lose their leaves this time of year. But one harbinger of time passing I can certainly mark is the way the kids are acquiring and using language. Fits and misbehavior aside, when it comes to how they talk, this is an adorable age indeed.


Alex said...

There's a great little area just south of I-10 (around Pearl, between Bundy and Centinella) where there are lots of trees with leaves that let you know it's fall. Might be worth a short detour sometime in the next few weeks! :)

Anonymous said...

Frankly, I'd rather eat at Woo-Ha's anyway. The name is much more appetizing.

Uncle Bill