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Understandably Cute

I was telling a story about my kids to a couple of coworkers the other day. They are both young, unmarried, childless men who put up with stories of my kids while not looking bored (this may be because I'm their boss). At the end of my story, one of them said, "You may not realize this, but when you say what your son said, you say it with a lisp."

"Oh, no. I totally do that on purpose. That is actually how he talks!" I responded.

He commented, "That must be really cute."

It is. It is REALLY cute. But... he can be hard to understand. It was very difficult when he was a toddler (1 and 2 years old), and it's getting easier now both because he is pronouncing better and he is explaining better.

For example, when he said the other day, "There are no wings," I have no idea at first that he is responding to my question 10 minutes earlier about swinging on the playground. Luckily, he added, "There are tyeh (tire) wings, but no regoolah (regular) wings (swings)." From the extra details, I was able to connect his response to my earlier question.

When he was younger and he'd say something we couldn't understand, we would say "what?" and he would sigh and say "nevehmine (nevermind)." Which was also adorable! But... I would often respond, "But I DO want to mind. I WANT to know what you are saying. Can you explain it?" Usually, he just couldn't. Or we'd guess and maybe we'd get it. Or he was already moving on to something else.

I was concerned for a while. Afterall, the Pumpkin spoke so clearly so early that my previous n of 1 really skewed the data from my sample population. There were a few mispronunciations (like yea-yo for yellow or wobberwhy for butterfly), but she was just so verbally ahead of the curve that even the mispronunciations didn't last.

Londo and I both worried that the Pookie was not progressing in his speech as he should be. We brought it up at his two year well visit, and of course he was fine. Completely normal. We breathed a sigh of relief, but did try to work with him a bit on dictation and pronouncing his words.

But seriously? It's just so freaking cute! I just can't bring myself to correct him when he says things in his adorable little lisp. And because it's so cute we let it go, even the Pumpkin has some words wrong that she learned from him. My favorite examples are from Star Wars. They call Boba Fett "Bubble Fett" and Darth Vader "Dark Vader."

Who can blame me for not correcting it? I know they will learn eventually, that he will lose the lisp. But it's precious, and I'm going to enjoy it. Even while I'm trying to teach him so he can be understood, I'm still going to enjoy his cute ways of saying things.


hush said…
Mispronunciations are so cute - they grow out of them so quickly. When I was growing up my parents would always tell me about the ones I said when I was small - I got suck a kick out of those stories. "Muh-kah-guh-zeen" for magazine, etc.
Cloud said…
I'm still mourning the loss of "bobbin" (bottom) and "less-trickity" (electricity) from Pumpkin's vocabulary. Petunia has a whole host of mispronunciations, but they tend to just render words ununderstandable, so I can't think of a particularly cute one right now!

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