Wednesday, January 21, 2009


so, i have been wondering lately about the way my children speak; the words they choose to use, they way they pronounce their words and why i am the only adult that seems to know what they are saying. my latest quandry is when you should make a big deal about inappropriate words and when you should just let it slide. right now, both of my girls transpose the consonant sound in the word "coffee." it makes the word "fokee," which is not really something i want my two year old daughters saying to people..."fokee me, mommy? mommy, fokee me!" which would translate to "can i have a taste of your coffee, mommy?" but you can see where it would be a problem if shouted in say, a mall or a dunkin' donuts. do i make a big deal and tell them they can't say it? they don't know they are not saying it the same way i do. other words that fall into this mispronunciation category are: crocs, clock, stick and fork. all make for potentially embarrassing situations, such as the one that took place at my oldest son's christmas pageant. as joseph and mary made their way up the church aisle, joseph carrying his staff, my three year old yells out "where did joseph get that big stick?" however, he pronounces the "st" sound as "d." obviously a problem. so, do we shush him and tell him to stop saying that, or do we answer and act like he didn't just make the christmas pageant a porno? it is quite the dilemma for me.

a similar situation that has arisen for us is the misuse of terms. sometimes the kids come up with their own name for certain things, say...dennis' velcro sneakers...which jack has decided to call "strap ons." technically, he's right, they do strap on, but this can lead to problems in public places. a conversation last night clearly demonstrates this. "den, get your strap ons so we can go to the store." "i need help with my strap ons. can you help me, jack?" as jack helps him, "your strap ons are cool." "yeah, i love my strap ons!" you can see why this would cause my husband to wince everytime the phrase was said. but, how big a deal do we make? we told them it is called velcro, why don't they just call it that. no go. i know that the first time one of my brothers hears this, they will crack up. then the boys want to know what is so funny. so what do we so? do we let them go on speaking this way or do we correct them? if we try to correct it too much, we run the risk of them realizing it is a "bad" word and then using it anyway because they think it is cool and funny. i can't seem to decide how to deal with this.

when thinking of the challenges that some people face, i know this is way, way down on the list. but in the interest of protecting my own butt (and not getting in trouble by my mom, mother in law and grandmother for teaching my kids inappropriate things), i would like to put an end to this. chances are, that's not going to happen anytime soon. so, if you are out somewhere and hear a kid saying something totally crazy and the kid's mother just nodding and going along with it, realize it's probably me and if still haven't figured out how to deal with this!

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