Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Keputch, Mow Mows and Moise!

Anyone who's ever picked up a parenting magazine of any sort knows one thing for sure when it comes to language acquisition: do not continue to repeat the mispronounced words of a budding linguist. But who can resist, sometimes?

There are a few words that have worked themselves into the daily vocabulary of the Carter family that are wrong, but it seems wrong to correct them because they are so cute. In our house, pacifiers are called "facis," dubbed by Aidan at age 2. The lawn mower is called the "mow mow" by everyone - to the point where I have blanked on the real name and have instead asked Jeff to vacuum the lawn, as it was the closest my mind could come to "lawn mower." When Leo asks for soup, what he is really asking for is cereal with milk. (This invites some puzzled glances our way in the cereal aisle of the grocery store when I'm asking Leo what kind of soup he'd like for lunch). For years, Aidan has talked about a hot diggity, a tool that apparently yields all sorts of magical power. Recently he configured the vacuum attachments in such a way that he declared it his official Hot Diggity. (Funny, though, it's more of a pester-my-brother-and-annoy-my-mother tool than a magical power tool)...

Of course I want my kids to pronounce words perfectly. But it was a sad day to realize that Leo had stopped saying "moise?" and instead enunciated "noise?" to inquire about every odd thing he heard. And I'll admit I reinforced Aidan's pronunciation of the sunny, bright, lellow sun. But there's nothing cuter right now than Leo's pronunciation of ketchup - keputch - except maybe Aidan's attempt at his favorite word, conspicuity. As in the conspicuity lights on the sides of big hauling trucks, designed to make them... conspicuous. And so, like any parent who's been a parent for more than 10 minutes, I've decided to take every bit of expert advice with a large grain of salt, because few college graduates still ask about the strange moise the mow mow is making - or is it the hot diggity? perhaps a faci will quiet it? Or some soup from the lellow box? And would you like some keputch to go with it?

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