Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ma Ha Kee, Ma-ee?

Zoodle has a good vocabulary, but at 22 1/2 months, his pronunciation is still lacking. This morning, he asked me,

"Ma Ha Kee, Ma-ee?"

Which of course means, "More Honey Nut Cheerios, Mommy?"

What, that wasn't obvious? Well, if you spent many hours every day with the kiddo, perfecting your Zoodle-ese skills, and you had the benefit of seeing his nearly-empty bowl of cereal, you might have understood him.

When you have two kids, it's pretty much impossible not to compare them. And Chickie was advanced verbally, both with her vocabulary and her pronunciation. So I'll admit I'm a little worried about Zoodle and, for instance, the number of consonants he doesn't include in his personal alphabet.

But as I analyzed his sentence this morning, I realized--maybe he's just trying to create a brilliant new language. A language of efficiency. "More Honey Nut Cheerios, Mommy?" is nine syllables. "Ma Ha Kee, Ma-ee?" is only 5. And since I knew what he meant, those four extra syllables were unnecessary. Same with the sound "d". We know when he says, "Hi, Ga-ee!" he means, "Hi, Daddy!" Who needs "d"?

Yep, my almost-two-year-old is a model of efficiency. Which means...and I don't know whether this should frighten me or thrill me...we may have another Ih-ee* in the making.

*"Ih-ee" is how I'm guessing "Engineer" is pronounced in Zoodle-ese.

16 comments:

Kristen said...

I know it's hard not to compare them...but with the exception of my youngest all of my kiddos have been "late talkers" as well as "late walkers". They have all been a little "behind the curve" in that area but the elder two excel in reading, comprehension, vocabulary, etc. now...and the third will be reading before he is 4. He always had issues with pronunciation...then it was like one day he woke up and spoke clearly. No joke. My mom said that b/c I sent the elder two off to public school he finally was able to get a word in edgewise! My youngest is now 10 months and she already has a few choice words and is trying to walk without assistance. She's the first one to do such things this early. Zoodle will be fine! I love your way of looking at it though! ;-)

Mandi said...

My two are the opposite... My son (now 4) was speaking very little at 2. He had a long vocabulary list, but he rarely used more than one or two words at a time. Now he speaks all day long and pronounces things pretty well. My daughter (just recently 2) speaks in full sentences, makes up songs all day and pronounces things as well as or better than her brother. Based on my experiences as a teacher, aunt, nanny and mom, I think gender plays a large role in language development. And... I love that you know exactly what he meant! As mommies, we spend so much time decoding our kids' words and actions. =0)

Call Me Cate said...

My nephew, 21 months, seems to have the ability but suffers from lazy parenting. If he screams, they give it to him instead of encouraging him to use his words. But he very clearly knows quite a few words if you take a moment with him.

My brother and sister, 2 yrs difference with my brother being the older, had their own language for sure. I think I've mentioned it before, about my brother's ear infections causing him to hear incorrectly and then teaching my sister to speak because they played together. I grew quite skilled at interpreting.

Zoodle will get it. Being efficient isn't a bad thing as long as the job is still competently accomplished!

Melinda said...

I worry about Ian's verbal skills sometimes too. He is using his own little language: Daw = dog, dee-dee = thank you, aw-duh = all done, saa = sock. But when I really think about it, he is just simplifying his words. Toddlers are nothing if not efficient.

addhumorandfaith said...

LOVE this! And how proud the Engineer must be that Zoodle might follow in his footsteps! Maybe someday we'll all speak Zoodle-ese as a verbal shorthand, and we'll be able to say "we knew him when". :)

Our Scoop said...

So cute! Love this post!! So cute! I love their little languages! I love that phase! :)

Eternal Lizdom said...

The nurses at the surgery center were massively impressed by Zach's language abilities- and kept saying "He's so verbal- especially for a BOY!" Boys just tend to bring it about more slowly. When my brothers were small, I know my younger brother was slower to talk- because he had an older brother who could and would talk for him all the time!

No worries, mama!!

Tiffany said...

My son is three weeks OLDER than my niece and watching them the last four years has shown me that boys and girls develop a lot differently. She's always been taller and put together sentences earlier than he did...but he was potty trained way earlier than she was.

bARE-eYED sUN said...

and here we were wondering what it meant.

:-)

funny.
thanks for the laff
hoo needs "ugh" when
what we really want
is "ff"?

..
.ero

Faith said...

I've heard not to worry until they're 2 & not saying hard consonants (k, g..), but he's clearly doing that. :):)

It is REALLY hard not to compare though, sometimes, isn't it?

Dina said...

Cute story! I think moms might make good spies, because we're constantly cracking the code of what our young ones are saying in what seems to be their own little language. And then, once they get older - like 3 or 4 - we learn to figure out if the story they're telling us really happened or came from their fantastic little imaginations.

Mellodee said...

Or maybe he's really Hawaiian?? :)

Steph said...

I'm a speech therapist and what you described is so typical! All of my boys were later to talk. My youngest is two and is definitely behind the curve. Doesn't help at all that he has three big brothers who adore him. He points, yells and a brother gets him whatever he wants. A close friend works with disabled infants and toddlers and I have her remind me that he's normal! Ah, one of these days I'll be buying ear plugs to muffle the sounds of four boys talking at the same time... ;)

Beki - TheRustedChain said...

That's so funny!

I love how sometimes only mom can figure out what they're saying.

Crazy Mo said...

I am going to forward this post to you when he turns 10 and you can't keep him quiet.

Zoodle has an older sister he'll want to mimic soon enough. He'll be talking in no time!

Deanna said...

Hee, I know what you mean! I spent an hour figuring out that "gak a ba boop" was basketball hoop! At least it's been amusing me ever since :)