Monday, March 7, 2011

Toddlers talking

When Marie was around a year and a half old, she pronounced quite a lot of words like an eighteen-month-old. One of my favorites was "bubbon" for button. One morning she was touching each of the buttons on my shirt one after the other and saying "bubbon", and I, well-informed and pedagogically correct and all that, didn't directly correct her, simply repeated the word correctly in conversation. So when she said, "Bubbon!" I replied, "Yes, that's a button." Then she pointed to the next one and said, "Bubbon!" and I said, "Yes, that's another button." And so on. But it was SO cute, that I finally couldn't help myself and said, "Yes, that's Mommy's bubbon!" Marie wrinkled up her forehead, looked at me severely, and said, "BuTTon!" She never did say "bubbon" again after that.

Jacob had so many strange words that I can't even begin to remember them all. I do have quite a lot (from both Marie and Jacob, and a few from Lukas) written down in a little book...but that book is in a box in an attic in Germany. One I remember is "lah-dah-gub" for "ladybug", and he called cars "shoes" for the longest time, I have no idea why. All footwear, on the other hand, was referred to as "newshoes", one word, after he got a pair of new shoes when he as a little over two. (Helen is wearing those shoes now!)

Unfortunately, I haven't been so good at writing down the funny words the children have said since Lukas started talking, or at least, not writing them down to keep. Part of that can probably be blamed on busyness, and part of it on e-mail, as I DO write about funny things the children have said, but I don't have a record of them. But I don't find them less fascinating or funny with my fifth toddler than I did with my first! One of Helen's today was what reminded me that I wanted to write about their funny words.

Elisabeth sits in a rear-facing seat in the front passenger seat of the car, and Helen sits in the middle seat of the first bench, so can see Elisabeth perfectly and often plays peekaboo, which Elisabeth finds hysterically funny. So all the way home from the airport today (goodbye to Andrea, another story, which I'll write when I get a chance to upload photos, which is not tonight), Helen covered her eyes, said, "Where baby?" (but "baby" pronounced "bay-BEE" for some reason), uncovered her eyes, and said, "Keeb-ba-boo!" A little while after we got home I wanted to video Helen doing that, but she would only say "peekaboo", absolutely perfectly. No fair!

One of my favorites of her words is "jimanas," as in clothing to wear to bed. I also love how she says "Elibbabeth," although she's occasionally saying "Elisabess". (She can't seem to get the "s" in the middle AND the "th" at the end in the the same word.) And if you'd asked me, I would have said that she says "frog" just fine, but this morning she was pointing out all the frogs in a book with a lot of frogs, and I realized that she was saying "fwog" every time.

Katie at five and a half doesn't give me a lot of funny language material anymore, but did have one today. I wrote it down right away, too, to make sure I'd remember it: she was using a my-i-fagning glass to make things look bigger.

Elisabeth, by the way, at not quite nine months, is already saying FOUR words consistently, which is a little scary! We're not sure if her first word was "hi" or "Jacob" (Jacob of course thinks it was "Jacob", but I didn't hear it spontaneously until after "hi", only repeated), but she says both of those often, as well as "Mama" and "Andrea" (not that clearly, but a consistently repeated group of sounds that referred to Andrea), and yesterday or the day before she looked at Jörn and said, "Ba-ba-ba-PAPA!" and then grinned, so I can almost count a fifth word, I think. She also waves whenever she hears "bye" or "tschüss", but I'm pretty sure all of the others were doing that by around nine months, too.

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