Watching the development of language skills in a young toddler is probably one of my favorite parts about having kids. You can have your chubby baby legs, your sweet baby snuggles, your first giggles – for me, nothing beats a kid trying to figure out how to say something and getting it completely wrong in the process.
Emily was actually pretty good at speaking articulately, but she had a few words that took forever for her to figure out how to say properly. My favorites were:
I can still clearly remember the day that she said octopus correctly. I’m not much of a sentimentalist – while most of my mommy friends cried when their littles starting crawling/walking/whatever-ing, I was dancing happily in the street because it meant that baby phase was finally almost over. But I’ll admit my heart broke a little that day. And again and again – every time she “masters” another word she’s been jumbling up for years.
Julia’s a few months away from 3 years old now, and of course has her own list of mispronounced words. A few of those favorites are:
- liberry (library)
- Mana (instead of Nana)
- Ponpob (Spongebob)
- Cocka-cocka-doo (what a “wooster” says)
Julia used to say “beebug” instead of ladybug. She has a pair of ladybug boots, and she would walk around the house talking about her “beebug boots” every time she put them on. Then one day Emily decided to teach her the right way to say it, and that was it. Beebug was gone forever. Admittedly, I think I got a little upset at Emily for it – I felt like she’d erased something that was mine. Of course I immediately told her the other words that she’s not allowed to correct. Who wants a well-articulated 3-year old?
Julia has major problems with her initial s-blends and her digraphs though. So school is “cool,” spider is “pider,” cholcolate is “socklate,” and chicken is “sicken.” You get the idea. It gets pretty funny sometimes, especially when you try to repeat what Julia says the way she said it – she gets really angry because she hears it correctly when she says the word, but incorrectly when we say it exactly the way she just did.
For example, she can’t say the word Squinkies (a toy she likes to play with), instead it comes out as Kinkies. A typical conversation goes like this:
Julia: Mommy, I want to play kinkies. (Squinkies)
Me: Oh, you want to play Kinkies?
Julia: No, I said KINKIES Mommy.
Me: Yes, Kinkies. We can play with those if you like.
Julia: NO! Not kinkies… KINKIES!
Me: Yes, Julia, I heard you. Kinkies.
Julia: Like this Mommy. Say kink, now say ees.
Me: Squink… ees
Julia: Good job, Mommy. You did it.
After we get it out of our system we always echo back the correct way so that she’ll hear it correctly. I don’t want her to be asking her friends to play Kinkies when she’s older. But for now, this stuff cracks us up.