Wednesday, June 06, 2012


It’s not unusual for children to make up words or to pronounce them slightly differently than the English language intends. My children are no different. At one time, when Ivy was younger, we were much more frequent travelers and had many occasions to rent a car. She wondered once, whether or not this “new” car was taking the place of our “old” car. No, we told her—it was just a rental. It then became known as the “wrinkly car”. Wrinkles she understood—rentals, not so much.

Another common word they mispronounce is lemonade. I don’t even say it right anymore—it’s lelomade. I have to really think about it when we go out for dinner and I have to tell the server what they want to drink.

Because of Nick’s travel schedule, he takes lots of portable food on the planes, including a wide variety of bars and shakes. One happens to be granola bars. The girls call them “vanilla bars”, which means I now call them vanilla bars.

For a very long time, Ivy’s favorite movie was The Incredibles. For some unknown reason, she called it “Bado”. Iris loves to watch Fern Gully but you wouldn’t know that because she calls it “the Ink”. Chocolate milk is “cold coffee”. Plain milk is “regully milk”. Our trampoline is the “Jump Jump”. Bedtime prayers are “questions”. Doritos are “orange chips”. After a while, I start to forget to translate for babysitters and grandparents until they give me some strange look.

I realized not long ago, what a problem this could become when Ivy asked me what “ordinary” meant. I thought for a minute and told her “it means regully”. She completely understood me and I knew exactly what would work as an explanation for her. I’m sure every mom speaks their child’s language. I wonder, however, when it will stop and I can once again speak regully English.