Saturday, January 22, 2011

Kate-English, English-Kate

"Kate, can you say 'snow'?"
"Can you not make the 'sn' sound, or are you just being obstinate?"
"Hmm. Kate, do you see the snow?"
"Look, Kate. There's more snow!"
"More no!"

Mystery solved. We've had lots of "no" here this winter (yes, toddler defiance too, but I'm mainly talking about the white stuff now). As we drove home the other night, I asked her if she could see all the snow flying by.

"Bye bye, no! Bye bye, no!" she called out. She could also tell me that snow was white (though she prefers to point out "wewwow"--yellow--wherever she spots it).

I love Kate's little toddlerisms as she learns more and more words. Some sounds are more difficult than others, of course. And some, she's just chosen an alternate route. Take the grandparents' names, for instance:

Popi = Popi (pronounced perfectly)
Nala = Naya or Yaya
Opa = Apa
Granna = Shashi. We don't know why she didn't start saying "Granna" when she learned all the other names. We think the "gr" sound might be the stickler, but in the last month or so, she's called Granna "Shashi" consistently. Wierd.

The other night, we woke to Kate's request that we come retrieve her paci, which had fallen out of the crib. "Bapi!" she cried over and over as I came into the room. In my half-asleep haze, the word didn't register. "Bapi" is a fairly new addition to her vocabulary, and it is added to a collection of similar words that are often hard to discern. (Popi, puppy, potty, and now bapi. Mommy, Mow-Mow, and Elmo used to sound the same too, as did Daddy and diaper, but all those are pretty clear now.)

Anyway, she was wailing "bapi! bapi!" in a hysterical tone typical to crying toddlers. As soon as I said "oh, you lost your paci," she instantly stopped crying and said "yeah," as calmly and dryly as any disaffected tween. You can always sense her relief when you've figured out what she's trying to say.

Good thing we've got the Kate-English dictionary figured out in many cases.
milk = mo
more = mo, coupled with the sign-language for more
thank you = shu shu
cracker = crackoo (which can sound like "taco" sometimes)

Sesame Street is a big topic of conversation in our house. Elmo, Abby, and Cookie are clear as day (wouldn't PBS be glad, given these characters are their cash cows). But we also like to talk about...
Big Bird = Bi-Bir
Oscar =  Occar
Ernie = NieNie
Zoe = Wee Wee (I think that's my favorite)

I admit I'm a bit self-conscious writing all this, since there are other kids Kate's age who seem to be speaking in full sentences already. That could be the subject of a whole post in itself, the temptation toward "mompetition," but generally, I fight that temptation by reminding myself of the things Kate excels in. (More physical than verbal.) And she is using some simple sentences like "I need milk" or "Elmo needs socks." (yes, she actually said that this morning. I'll post those pics tomorrow!) I have to laugh at the demanding nature of her first sentences, because according to my baby book, I was known for saying "I need that!" as a young child.

I bought a little book called My Quotable Kid: A Parents' Journal of Unforgettable Quotes in which to record these Kateisms (and probably those of subsequent children, as it's a decently thick little journal). Each page is designed with speech bubbles in which to write the funny quote, and lines for the who, when, age, and where. I look forward to recording all those things--and sharing them on the blog, of course!

What are some of the funniest "kid-isms" your kids have used?


EMU said...

Bop has been saying, "I want to eat my Baby!" over and over all week. She means, "I want to feed my baby doll!"

She also says, "I want to eat Bop!" meaning, "Bop want's to eat."


I would love to hear your thoughts on mompetition. I HATE it.

Katie Bug said...

"Elmo needs socks" cracked me up!

I can relate to the toddler hysteria/cool-calm switch, too. Katelyn throws that one up and down all day long.

I think one of my favorite things Katelyn is saying right now is "I forgot ______". On the way to church the other day she told me that she forgot her lipstick.

I didn't realize that I was a competitive person until Katelyn was born. Every day I have such awe and gratitude for the way she is growing and developing, and it's hard for me not to share that with everyone I see. I didn't realize that my blabbering came across as competitive until a close friend said something about it in passing. She was right, though, and I have tried to control myself since then.

It's hard for me to know when I've crossed the line from being proud of my child to being competitive, though.

SpeasHill said...

Becca used to say "bapi," too, but recently bumped it up to "faci" or "paci". Tate Dillon, by the way, said "bapi" for a long time. Becca's been calling herself "Beppa" for a while now, but she's starting to say "Becca" now. I'm not okay with that development. Beppa is awfully cute. When she wears her shirt with the pink SuperMan logo on it, she calls herself "Suppa Beppa!" That might be my current favorite. Along with "hode-chu" (hold you), which, of course actually means "hold me!"

Re: mompetition - rampant and hard to avoid - also, in the preemie world, we have our own version. "Oh, your preemie was 2.5 pounds? What a fatty!" or "Pshaw...30 weeks? Barely pre-term" (when we know better than anyone that's not true!). Interesting.

Kristen said...

My favorite kid-ism thus far is Addie's "ungrella" for "umbrella." I cannot bear to correct her. I just can't. :)

I agree with everyone else - mompetition is horrible, but always there. I even find myself comparing my own two children (yes, I said it!). Argh. I'll think, "Addie did this first..." or "Landon is doing this better than she did..." and then try to quickly quiet myself.

On the bright side, it has taught me (ahem, is teaching me...) that each baby has his/her own schedule/way of doing things and there is no way to compare!


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