Language acquisition is a complex thing. And if the language being acquired is English (or worse, American), it’s altogether amazing that we develop the ability to communicate in complete sentences at all. Full of traps and complicated verb conjugation and huge, sucking tar pits of inconsistent grammar, English can send those who try to master it howling for mercy.
Why, the comma alone makes me weep. (Or is it “the comma, alone, makes me weep”?)
Anyway, it’s no surprise that most kids, when faced with the monumental task of learning to speak their native tongue, end up utilizing a few “original” constructions. And by and large (with the possible exception of a child who once said to me, when I was pregnant, “Hey, puffy lady!”), they are stinkin’ adorable.
We always think we’ll remember the funny things our kids used to say, but we don’t. So I thought I’d write some of Caleb’s cute verbal inventions down now, while he’s still using them.
The Caleb Lexicon:
*nose carrots–the long, full size carrots (as opposed to baby carrots, which we usually buy), so called because they are the proper carrots for snowman noses.
*cranky talk–the deep, croaky voice that comes out when you have a sore throat.
*the circle store–Target.
*I’m allergic of that!–I don’t like that broccoli/pot roast/cottage cheese and I’m absolutely not going to eat it; further negotiations are pointless. (Another variation: “That makes me cough!” *interject fake coughing here*)
*mommy show–any movie or television show that isn’t animated.
*I don’t wanna see that weird face!—(accompanied by hands over the eyes) I can see that you are angry at me, and I want to get out of this mess without a) a lecture, b) a spanking, or c) the creation of a new family rule. Please go away.
*Cookie Lady–the worker behind the bakery counter at Wal-mart who gives Caleb his free Cookie Club cookie. A required stop on the Wal-mart circuit, along with the fish tanks and the toy department.
*she or her–all-purpose pronouns that can refer to anyone from Katie to Santa Claus to Shaquille O’Neal.
*-ed–a suffix that, when added, makes any word past tense. When in doubt, add two for good measure. “Daddy, did you see what I maked-ed?” “But I already goed-ed potty!”
These are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head, but every day seems to produce new and different ways of expressing the wild thoughts and feelings that are swirling around inside this tiny observer of the world. Where else can you hear lines like this?:
“Um, I don’t speak girl, Mom.”
“Want to jump inside this book?” (I nod.) “Well, we can do that later, when some fairy godparents get in here.”
“When we get married together, I’ll be the boy and you can be the princess.” (Such a sweet offer!)
So what are some of the funny things your kids say?