Ginger turtles!

The sweet, endearing mispronunciations of childhood might be one of my favorite parts of parenting. The mistakes are so earnest, yet so fleeting. I can barely stand it when the proper pronunciation actually emerges, because it is such a clear reminder of how fast the time passes. As soon as the whole household has gotten used to saying eeebeeeance (ambulance) and hornich (sandwich, according to our now nine-year-old friend Lydia at one time), the word suddenly and sadly becomes clear, and they have taken another microstep away from childhood.

Last week Henry shed the second nickname he had bestowed upon his buddies Gabby and Olivia. They were once Baggy and La La, and out of the blue last week, Henry announced we’d be going to Olivia’s house. “La La’s house?” I asked, hopefully. “OLIVIA’S house,” he replied, firmly, with a clear attitude of “Can’t you say it right, lady? ” (Baggy is the same one who tagged Henry “Heiney” at the age of two, so it only seemed fair that he would come up with something good for her.) Marfa (Martha) and Camel (Campbell)? Sorry–he’s not going to be corrected by me!

But we still have some of the best ones ahead of us. Henry is steadfast in his belief that a zebra is a WEEBRA! And it is almost criminal to hear the word he shouts when he spots the fox that occasionally makes an early morning detour through our yard.

And while Will might never say eebeeance again, he has picked up a habit you won’t catch me correcting, of saying knifES and mouthES, pronouncing the plural just as it’s written. And I’m not sure what I love more: that my not yet four-year-old son knows what ginger is, or that he refers to the plastic “Ninja Turtle” that he has befriended in his child care setting as a Ginger Turtle.

So the first one out there that corrects him will have ME to reckon with. Me and a whole platoon of Ginger Turtles.

Come on, warm my heart–what are the kids in your life mispronouncing these days, or what are your favorite ones from their past?


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27 Responses to “Ginger turtles!”

  1. Hardin Says:

    Not quite a mispronunciation, but we’ve recently been told that he likes when the “Good morning doves” call out to us.
    – Hardin

  2. Molly Says:

    Both my sister and I had striped PJs from Hannah Anderson (is that still around?) that we both independently (we’re 7 years apart) called “stripe-eds.” My mom loved that.

  3. Stacy Says:

    My kids pluralize everthing, too. I wonder why?? Do you know what Kai calls Anya? Sister. He hardly ever calls her by her name, she’s always just Sister.

  4. applecyder Says:

    Mine sometimes calls my husband by his first name, Pete, except he yells out “Eeeet” instead.

  5. JenBun Says:

    Teenage Mutant Ginger Turtles… spicy on the half shell, turtle power! 🙂

    My niece sings “Baa baa black sheep, have you any WOOF” and then giggles wildly as if that’s the greatest joke ever. It’s adorable!

    (Oh, and she named an insect after me– it’s on the blog)

  6. Katy Says:

    “eye-chudder” for each other

    “un cum stuh bull” for uncumfortable

    “dunkinitis” for aspberger’s syndrome (“i knew it had the name of a junk food in it.”

    and to molly–yes! those hanna andersson long johns are still around and going strong.

  7. amy Flood Says:

    Fox was a big one here too. spiders were baby spider man, “my-a-sic” = motorcycle, “cop m’ ” = helicopter, “E-B” = empty, “AIr-B” = airplane, “dump m’ ” = dumptruck. it is sad that i can’t remember them all. my girl speaks very clearly so she doesn’t have as many and my youngest boy is just starting to talk and i can’t phonetically spell what he says!

  8. Lucia Says:

    My favorite ever was my oldest (who is 9 today) would always ask for year-e-al (cereal) for breakfast, lunch, dinner, whatever, he was a big time year-e-al fan. My six year old asked us one day when we were driving what the name of the restaraunt was with the picture of the star. Turned out to be Hardees which he still to this day calls “star party”. Love it! Fosa (sofa) and moven (oven) were good ones too. There are so many more but sadly I can’t think of any off the top of my head.

  9. laura Says:

    My friend’s newphew used to call him Knuckle Aaron instead of Uncle Aaron. And somehow my nephew Timothy came up with “gup” for bike.

  10. MelodyA. Says:

    Our 3 yo calls polkadots “poponuts”. I too insist that everyone else in the house call them that too.

  11. Jess Says:

    Oh, this is so cute. I think I need more kids in my life.

  12. Michelle Says:

    Not quite a mispronunciation, but whenever I give Gabe his sandwich at lunch, instead of saying “don’t make me eat the crust,” he pleads with me “Don’t LET me eat the crust, Mommy!”

  13. Christina Says:

    I love these! I do the same as you, and happily encouarage the mispronunciations…and cry when they leave.

    Some of my favorites:
    Alligator box = elevator
    Alligator stairs = escalator
    Tatapa = pasta

  14. Sarah Says:

    my boys counted like this at first: “fih, sis, sezen…” so now we have a dog named Sezen.

    A friend’s daughter called hiccups “teacups” and so for years now, we have said “oh I – hic! – have the – hic! – teacups!”

    Funniest is my cousin who insisted crutches were called crotches. hee.

  15. Sarah Says:

    and a friend of ours, Duane, stayed in our guest room for a few weeks until he closed on a house, so the boys to this day call the guest room “Duane’s room.”

    Except they say it “Dween.” So apparently now everyone he knows calls him Dween.

  16. The Casual Perfectionist Says:

    I love it! I’ve been writing off and on about Claire’s “Claire-isms” on the blog, and I have a category devoted to it. I should do the next installment here sometime soon. 🙂

  17. sdh Says:

    can we get a Food Friday recipe for Ginger Turtles?

  18. AML Says:

    Ummm…the “kid” in my house learned english as a third language and so fortunately, the following are mine for life.

    conky instead of cocky – this is my all time favorite…especially when he yells something along the lines of “That anna is so conky!”; lots of sweet reversals such as screwcork and dragonsnappers; mens,childrens,womens,deers; he says piece of pie instead of piece of cake; “I need to STRIPE my clothes off”; “Do you need some TC?” instead of TLC; isolated instead of insulated…so many more…

  19. ChiaLynn Says:

    My mother still spaghetti pasketti – I, of course, have no memory of calling it any such thing, but she insists she got the term from me.

  20. ChiaLynn Says:

    Ahem. Still “calls.” That’ll teach me to have wine with lunch…

  21. Anna at Hank and Willie Says:

    Chia Lynn, I called it that too, and do–even w/o the wine! 🙂

  22. itsallabouthallie Says:

    When raymond had his surgery, he said he had surgery on his “tentacles” instead testicles. it was funny we all had a great chuckle. Kids say the best things.

  23. Smiling Mom Says:

    2PS. That was BC’s way of saying UPS.

  24. libound Says:

    Budgeries = Strawberries. Delicious fruit or rare bird? This from baby Julia (now 21). I need to hang out with your kids more!

  25. Sheila Says:

    Ah. I am so with you on this one. I was just lamenting the other night about how I will miss these sweet phrases. You will not catch me correcting them either!
    Favorites: “to-grev-er” (together)
    “Ambweeance” (ambulance)
    Actuawee and pwobabwee (actually and probably)
    and of course, his own name E-wee-us. Sigh.
    Surely the 4th birthday will not erase these, right?

  26. Sankari Says:

    My son has made the cutest little slips that I refuse to correct because they are so sweet and melt my heart

    Galuga Whale instead of Beluga Whale
    Taco Park instead of Chataqua Park
    Pond of Civic instead of Honda Civic
    Docodile instead of Crocodile

  27. crista Says:

    crispies for frisbees
    ouch-ee-wawa for chihuahua
    cup-a-few minutes for couple of minutes

    and La-La still pronounced the plural every now and then

    …and Anna, to me they will always be Wo-Wo and Heiney

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