Friday, June 1, 2007

preschool geography

Not long ago, Stupid Daddy started a new job that takes him away from home two days a week. The boys are still getting used to the schedule (whereas for me, it has hardly registered that my partner and co-parent is gone for an approximately 50-hour stretch beginning every Tuesday morning at exactly 7:00). One night recently as I was putting them to bed, Ezra asked where his father was.

“Don’t you remember, YOU FUCKING IDIOT?” I said.

No. I didn’t say that.

I said, “Remember? Daddy goes away for work two days a week. He works in Clayton, Georgia.”

“Why does Daddy work in two places?” Ezra asked.

“You mean from home and then away from home?”

“No, I mean Clayt and Georgia.” Or maybe it was Clayt 'n Georgia. Clayt-n-Georgia? No matter how you slice it, it was cute!

In a similar vein, on a recent trip to Atlanta, Levi kept asking whether we were at Lanta yet. And just the other day, he pointed out a Merican flag.

While I appreciate their need to learn the correct way to say things and do what I can to ensure that this happens (shaming, withholding of food, etc., until they get it), I also mourn the transformation of every misspoken word or phrase into standard, non-kid English.

I mean, part of me wanted Ezra to always pronounce tomato "taymo," or call La Brioche, the Montpelier café we used to frequent when he was a toddler, "La Bri-ocean."

Levi just figured out how to pronounce "th" correctly a couple of weeks ago. (I heard him one afternoon, alone on the staircase, saying, "TH...row, TH...row" over and over again.) And though he still has to pause and very deliberately arrange his mouth to get the sound out the right way, I feel like this one small change has aged him dramatically. I no longer see a chubby dumpling when he speaks; I see a little boy.


nancy said...

heh. I laughed out loud at work only 4 sentances in.

I know how you feel though - I sometimes don't want to teach the right pronunciation to my 3 yr old because toddler-speak is something that once it's gone, it's not coming back.

Deb Abramson said...

I had meant to document all of these adorable toddlerisms--but, oops!, I've been too busy raising the little buggers. Also, stupidly, I thought I would remember them. I didn't realize the toll that motherhood would take on my memory.

Was somebody saying something?