1. "Callapitter" instead of caterpillar.
It now takes me forever to figure out in my head how to say it right. Some days, under extreme sleep deprivation, "callapitter" sounds like a good choice.
2. For a long time we called a serving of chicken "bock bock" after the sound that a chicken makes. Helen started it as a toddler, and after a while I was doing it, too. Giving this some serious thought lately, I don't know if Helen has actually put together that the chickens that walk around clucking are the same ones that end up in her Happy Meal. But calling it "bock bock" might be the best way to reinforce that very image. So I stopped doing it. Call me chicken (pun intended), but I'm not ready for that conversation yet.
3. For words that start with "Y" she uses the "L" sound. Especially "yellow" which is now "lellow." Typical conversation:
Jennie: What color is the sun?
Jennie: No, it's yellow, Helen. Ye-llow. Say it.
Jennie: No. Try this. Ye ...
Helen: Ye ...
Jennie: Ye .. llow.
Helen: Le ... llow.
And for some unknown reason, L words got the Y treatment last year, like "Yama" instead of "Llama" or "Yove" instead of "Love." We worked *forever* on sticking that tongue between the teeth to make the L sound, and she finally got the hang of it. Now we're working on the reverse with the Y words. It never ends, people. But I realize, mine is not to reason why, mine is but to teach that kid how to speak correctly, or die penniless because she never graduated from med school with that speech impediment. "What we'll do is make a yateral incision along the yeft ventricle ..." "Uh, there's the exit. Use it."
4. Last weekend, we went to the "Libarry." It is my firm belief that at least four out of every ten adults INSIDE THE LIBRARY still say "libarry." So this may not be easily fixed.
5. Lately, Helen doesn't want us to leave the room without sharing something vital. If I get up to check on the baby or head to the kitchen, Helen asks me to wait, she has to tell me something. And then I pause while she struggles to make something up to tell me. It's a delaying tactic, I get it. And my sole purpose is to get out of the conversation quickly, so I can get on with what I was going to do, before I forget what it was. So I don't really engage her, and yet she comes up with these gems off the top of her head that are so sweet.
The one where I get the punchline:
Helen: Mommy, I have to tell you something.
Jennie: What is it?
Helen: You're the bestest mommy, ever.
Jennie: I know!
The one where Brian gets the punchline:
Helen: Daddy, I have to tell you something.
Helen: You're my daddy.
Brian: That's what they tell me.