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?