Thursday, March 12, 2009

Word Play

Henry has always used language in a really unique way. He has a hard time remembering words, and so he does the best he can. Luke talks a lot and has a large vocabulary, so I think Henry might just be trying to keep up, and perhaps he doesn’t have the same natural aptitude for complex speech that Luke does. Or maybe Henry is just a poet at heart.

The other day Henry opened his Lunchable—Luke and Henry always get to choose one thing from the grocery store and this, to my great horror, is always what they choose—and he saw two Oreos. “Cheerio cookies!” he exclaimed excitedly. All day he talked about his “delicious Cheerio cookies,” even though I corrected him over and over. He also cannot remember the word paintbrush, preferring “painting stick.” And to my dismay, he can’t remember the word mole, and so he refers to my little brown bumps as nipples. This is particularly disturbing because Luke has a mole fondling habit that Henry is picking up on, and so Henry calls out to me, “My turn to rub your nipple!”

While Henry cannot remember a lot of words, he also has a strange sense of humor. The other day Aunt Mara said, “Okey Dokey Shmoky,” when she was agreeing with Henry.

He looked thoughtful for a moment and said, “No! You mean Okay Dokey Fireplace.”

“Did ‘shmoky’ make you think of smoky, which made you think of fireplace?” Mara asked.

“No, I just made it up!” said Henry. And then he proceeded to use his newfound phrase throughout the day.

Luke doesn’t have the memory problem with words. In fact, Luke has a startlingly accurate memory. However, he has been experimenting with the word ain’t lately, but doesn’t quite understand how to use it.

When I asked him if he would like a snack a few days ago, he said, “I ain’t want one.” He has been using ain’t in this context for several weeks. When I asked him where he heard the word, he told me that some kids at school say it.

Finally, a few days ago when I asked him about the snack, I started laughing at him. “Luke, you are misusing your incorrect grammar!” I said.

And then I found myself giving a lesson on the common usage of the word ain’t. I wouldn’t want Luke to sound extra ignorant, after all. I wouldn’t want the ain’t-usin’ crowd to mock him.


Stephanie said...

I followed a link on Molly Sabourin's blog to your blog here... and your post made me laugh until there were tears in my eyes. What a funny story... thanks for the laughter!

Molly Sabourin said...

Once again, Ser, you have made my morning! :)

Tracy McPherson said...

I don't know whatcha talking about! I ain't reading this blog no mores.
Kidding of course, jeepers! Thanks for the giggles.

eva said...

Hey Ser, I love this post not only because it is so funny, but it also is something I have noticed in Julian which is also very different from Miette. When she was young, she didnt make those typical errors of tense/grammar (I do-ed it, I runned, the mostest, etc) but he does it all the time as well as having a very hard time remembering certain words JUST LIKE HENRY!!! He calls radiators 'reheaterators' (As in "Did you know that last Easter, I found an Easter egg on the reheaterator??") I have had some small level of worry, like I didn't talk to him as much when he was younger as I did to Miette or something, but then I also realize that it probably can't last forever an sometimes it's so darn cute!

so yung wilson said...

Maybe it's that I'm-the-second-child-and-I-will-not-work-as-hard-for-your-approval-'cause-I-just-don't-care-as-much-as-my-elder-sibling syndrome?

Anyway, I find Henry's word choices charming.