Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Translation, please

I am bilingual. I know English, and I know "Ben". One of my favorite things about raising kids is being privy to their little world and understanding things that "outsiders" don't. When Ben was learning to talk, he had tons of words, most of which were indistinguishable to anyone who didn't spend every day with him. If he said "bye" in a high pitched voice, he meant "bye". If he said it in a low, growling tone, he meant "bite". "Dugga-dugga-dugga" translated to the word "stuck", and "NNNNN-na" was what he called his best friend Tanner.

Over time, Ben's words have gotten much clearer, and from what his teachers at school and church tell me, he is incredibly verbal. The need for translation doesn't have as much to do with unrecognizable words as it does his phrasing. Here are some examples:

Simon Peter (Peter Pan)
Missa Belle (Beauty and the Beast)
Mountain Goat Store (Bass Pro Shop)
Cereal with the mushrooms in it (Lucky Charms)
Vitamin Gummy (Flintstone vitamin)
Prize Gummy (He means surprise gummy, which is what he calls starburst, skittles, etc - instrumental in potty training!)
Yum Yum (M&M - another potty training neccessity)
Juicy water (Juice cut with water)
Water water (Water without the juice in it)
Body (his bottom)
I'm gonna go in my foots (I'm going barefoot)
I'msorryIdidn'tmeanto (Oops, I got caught, and hopefully apologizing right away will keep me from getting a Time Out)

You get the idea - can you imagine him asking a baby-sitter for "the cereal with the mushrooms in it". I wonder what he would end up with.

Ben also can't say his "L's". He acts "siwwy", he "woves" me, he likes "Sea Whoad", "Bible Cwass" and "Baby Wyla". I don't know why, but I think this is the cutest thing (for now... I guess it won't be so cute when he's 16 and goes to apply for his "dwivers wicense"). I'm sure he'll get those "L's" under control by then! In the meantime, the funny things he says all day are made even funnier by his creative phrases and pronunciation.

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