Baby Talk

You’d think that an author, someone who uses words to work with, would take care that her children spoke perfectly. The truth is, I believe words are for communication, and that can take many forms. One thing that bothers me about the system of teaching kids a foreign language is the sheer lack of fun in it. It’s boring, exacting, and forgettable – whereas language should be fun, forgiving, and most of all – for communicating.

So, my kids learned to talk, but when they made mistakes – if they were cute and made me laugh – I didn’t correct them. They’d learn soon enough a grasshopper wasn’t really called a Hopper Grass.
Here are some of their best words:

Blankety. (Blanket. But blankety is more fun, has more syllables, and can go on like blankety-blankety-blank.)

Splastic. (Who can resist this word? It’s far better than plastic. So we had splastic bags for ages.)

Hopper Grass. (When they found out it was grasshopper, I tried to tell them no, it was really hopper grass. But real words will prevail.)

Tuc-Tuc-peller. (Propeller. The hovercraft we took to go to England and back every summer had huge propellers on the back. They started up with a loud ‘Tuc-tuc-tuc!’ The boys called propellers tuc-tuc-pellers for ages. Well, I never wanted to correct them! lol)

Oh lick lips – (Olympics, Alex & Sebi style).

Bahsketti – spaghetti, what else?

N’guh-guh – this African sounding word was my daughter’s word for ‘bread’, and she would only use it, completely ignoring any attempts to get her to say ‘bread’. Bread was ‘N’guh-guh.’

Ada and Ada – my daughter’s names for her twin brothers. She called them Ada and Ada. The neighbor boy, Arnaud, was ‘Arnaud’, painstakingly sounded out, and she would call Carol ‘Carol’, and Marielle was ‘Marielle’, so she knew people had names. But for a long time, the twins were Ada and Ada.