Mighty Red Pen

March 8, 2008


Filed under: At home with MRP,Kidspeak — mighty red pen @ 12:55 pm
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D., who you may remember as the toddler who didn’t say much but then wouldn’t stop talking,  is rounding the corner to age 2. And apparently, there’s another word explosion to look forward to in the coming year.

For now, he has plenty of words and occasionally even surprises us with a sentence like “I want it” or “Daddy go.” Most of what he says is only intelligible to people who spend a lot of time with him, which is one of my favorite things about toddler-speak. How many times have you been with a toddler who completely babbled something and the mom says, “Oh, Pancho wants a graham cracker/his blue giraffe/a bubble bath.” Oh yeah, I totally got that.

For example, if you came to our house and Matman came running around the corner demanding tickle tickle, woggie, and a meema, would you know what to do?

S., age 4 1/2, has made some permanent contributions to the MRP household lexicon, among them pijeebays for pajamas and robot for bathrobe. I’d love to hear about any words that have been permanently changed (by kids or for any other reason) in the lexicon of your household, current or of origin.

And, oh yeah, if Superman came running around the corner at our house, you’d sing him “Twinkle Twinkle,” and give him a glass of water and a banana. Stat.


  1. MRP – the first grandchild to my maternal grandparents (that is, my oldest cousin) called my grandmother “Gammy.” This is understandable. But grandfather came out “Boom-Boom.” All of the following eleven of us called him the same thing. I was 10 before I realized no one else I knew had a “Boom-Boom.”

    Comment by Margarita — March 8, 2008 @ 3:51 pm | Reply

  2. Hilarious! D. just started calling his grandparents by their names, and for some reason one grandfather who was previously known as Granddad is suddenly G-dad. It’s almost … hip.

    Comment by mightyredpen — March 8, 2008 @ 5:24 pm | Reply

  3. Jamamas, for pajamas (I almost smacked Mr. Toots when he corrected G2! (I have a G and G).

    And G1 invented the word “fenifidy”–lots of stuff to do. As in, “You and daddy have of lot of fenifidy, so can I watch a movie while you’re busy?”

    We STILL say “underbrella,” and my sister coined that one, oh, about 35 years ago.

    I found, when G1 moved into the 2-year-old phase, that part of why I could understand what she was going to say was that I knew her vocabulary, and her frame of reference. I dropped her off at daycare and spent a minute or two, so I knew the phrases her caregivers used; I saw the movie she was quoting. It wasn’t just spending time around her, it was spending time IN HER WORLD, see the same stuff she saw, hearing the same words she heard.

    Comment by TootsNYC — March 10, 2008 @ 4:46 pm | Reply

  4. My daughter always called the phone a “hello” and at the age of 5, still does as it has merged into our family language. Also a butterfly was a “fluffy”, and a tractor a “tac tac”. Her grandfather, who decided he wanted to be known as “Gramps” to his grandchildren, became “Damps” and wouldn’t want to be anything else now.

    Comment by R2 — March 10, 2008 @ 5:28 pm | Reply

  5. Hmm, lots around names of grandparents, interesting. Me, I’m still giggling about “Mister Toots,” though.

    Comment by mightyredpen — March 11, 2008 @ 6:29 pm | Reply

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