Wednesday, March 25, 2009

kid speak

My kids got a new game from my friend Claud this past weekend called "1,2,3, Octopus and Me." StinkyMan is especially excited because he loves games of all kinds. So all day long he has been asking me to play. And I have been putting him off.

Why, you ask? Because every time he asks to play it, he says "Mommy, can we play '1,2,3 Octocles and Me"? and I think it is the cutest thing I have ever heard and I want to make him say it again. Maybe it's a cross between octopus and tentacles. More likely he just hears it wrong.

Kids make the funniest things out of words. Octocles for octopus is my current favorite. Around here you will hear "meyote" instead of "remote" when we want to change the channel and running around without your shoes or socks is called "polar bear feet". That little gem was from Curly when she was 3 and I cannot let it go.

Scholars and educators alike would say that I should not encourage these mispronunciations or phrase misinterpretations. It's a disservice to the children. I had a friend who was in high school before she knew refrigerator magnets weren't really called "ree-rees".

Experts be damned. They are only young once. And if my world is full of Octocles and Polar Bear feet then that is a-ok with me. I asked Curly once if she knew where the REmote was, and she promptly handed it to me. So she does know. And my friend with the ree-rees? Yeah, she called them ree-rees even as an adult and her daughter called them ree-rees too when she was small. My friend has her Master's degree. She's no slouch.

It doesn't hurt to let them be little. They become so wise so fast, sometimes too fast. They will learn "the right words" soon enough. I don't need to correct them. I just use the right words and they'll catch on eventually. Selfishly I hope eventually comes later as opposed to sooner. I'm not ready to give up the octocles any time soon.


  1. I totally agree. I love my mohycles (motorcycles) and wa-was (water).

  2. My favorite was my son called a horse a Forsee. So Cute!