Very often, the only way to get a quality in reality is to start behaving as if you had it already. That is why children's games are so important. They are always pretending to be grown-ups - playing soldiers, playing shop. But all the time, they are hardening their muscles and sharpening their wits so that the pretence of being grown-up helps them to grow up in earnest.

~C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Oh Be Careful Little Mouth What You Say

In high school and college, I studied Spanish.  I loved learning a new language.  I was fascinated by the differences and similarities in how people expressed themselves.  But I didn't learn the language naturally.  It was an effort, and it took a lot of practice and memorization.  Now that I'm seldom using Spanish, I'm slowly starting to forget things I once knew.  But, hearing how Oliver learns to talk constantly has me thinking about language.  Not just what I should and shouldn't say around him, but also how I say it.  I've noticed, for example, that Oliver not only learns a work here and there, he also learns expressions and combinations of words.  (I think if I had realized the trick of learning combinations of words to use in different situations, I would have picked up more Spanish more quickly.)

he also picks up on our speech mannerisms.  A couple weeks ago, I noticed a new habit of his.  He would tell me a story, pause, and then say "So..."  or "So, yeah" while shrugging his shoulders.  Pretty cute.  Then I realized that Seth does this too.  There have been plenty of other examples of this - like Oliver picking up the words "actually" and "fascinating" and using them a lot - something I do too.

And then, of course are all of his own cute sayings and pronunciations.  We love some of them so much that even though we realize that he needs to learn to say things correctly, we are sad to see them go.  Here is a list of some of our favorites, roughly in order of appearance.  Some of them have become common household terms.
  • Happy, happy, happy - Something to say in your carseat or when you are playing and feeling in a good mood
  • Fickis - fix it
  • Mucksick - music
  • Pack-pack - backpack
  • Gee-bees - either green beans or excuse me
  • Hot sauce/ hot saucing- exercise/exercising
  • Almos tome - almost home
  • Yum-yum - M&M
  • Vite-yum-yum - vitamin
  • "Be fun!" - A shortened version of our often said phrase "Let's do ______, it'll be fun."  Said when he wanted us to come to do something with him.
  • Mail-cycling - recycling (aka, what we do with most of the mail as soon as it is delivered)
  • Deifier - dehumidifier (no, not a god-maker)
  • Picnic truck - pickup truck
  • Ta-gore-it - Tag, your it (also simply used to refer to the game tag)
  • Bow down - Bend over or lean over, as in "Mommy, bow down and give me a kiss."
  • Feel you better - Make/help you feel better, as in, "If you get hurt, I'll give you a hug to feel you better."
This is a pretty good list for the moment, but I'm sure we'll keep thinking of more cute stuff Oliver has said and he'll keep adding more to his repertoire.

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