Friday, May 20, 2011


I love the lisps and mispronunciations of toddlers and the preschoolers. I know I should correct them, but I just don’t want to. I think fondly of the time, not so long ago, when my son called his junk a “meenis,” and was constantly asking who among his social circle was lucky enough to also possess a meenis.

There are errors I correct, to be sure, and I try to make sure that they have all of the speech sounds they need, but there are just some mistakes that I don’t have the heart to correct, and some mistakes that I desperately miss when they go away.

Here are some kiddo-isms that are gone, but not forgotten:

Around 16 months, “uh oh” was pronounced “oh ah.”

At 18 months, a sock was called a “shoe-ock.”

For a long time, from 18-24 months or so, pretzels were called “keckels” by everyone in our house.

Just before their second birthday, my kids thought the happy birthday song went like this: “Happy birthday, ‘scuse you.” (‘Scuse you, of course, meaning “Excuse you,” roughly translated as, “Move, bitch. You’re in my seat.”)

And then of course, there’s that challenging TR at the beginning of truck. So difficult to say. So easy to just substitute an F. Hearing exclamations about trucks from the backseat led to hours of hilarity for any and all adults present. I admit, in those cases, it may be a bit generous to refer to us as adults. It never got old.

Even now, at nearly 4, we have some extremely adorable mistakes that I will not be correcting. I have even adopted some of them so we can keep the cuteness a little longer. Because my kids are capable of most (if not all) sounds now, and are excellent mimics. The days of kiddospeak are almost over, and I am milking these last months for all they’re worth. Here are some of my favorites.

A pickup truck is called a hiccup truck (and until several months ago, was still called a hiccup f*ck, which leads to all kinds of bizarre imagery if you think about it too long. Go ahead. I’ll wait.)

Snow peas somehow got turned around, and each one is called a pee snow. Anyone who corrects this one has to go through me first! And, oh, I just realized that now that my son can pee standing up, we can totally make us some yellow snow this year! The things we get excited about. Wow. Scary.

“Buzz” as a wonderfully lazy mispronunciation of “because.”

Flip-flops are called flippy-flops (yes, girls, like flippy-cup).

Somewhere along the line, pee-peeing and poo-pooing acquired an extra “n”, so they sound like peepinning, and poopinning. (Accent on first syllable). Somehow this makes those activities cute and adorable rather than disgusting. “Come back and finish eating.” “I can’t right now. I’m poopinning.”

Since the first time they tasted it, PBJ has been called “peeba.” Use of the word peeba appears to be somewhat viral and has infected several other families.

“Uppy-side” means upside-down.

In our house, a crescent moon is now (and hopefully always will be) called a pescent moon.

Vagina has gradually evolved to gina and then ginia. Ginia. It’s pretty. It sounds like a girl’s name. It sounds a heck of a lot nicer than vagina. My sexual politics demand that I correct this one, but honestly, I prefer ginia. Wait, I don’t mean I PREFER ginia. I still prefer meenis. I’m just saying… oh whatever, you know what I’m saying.

My kids are growing up so fast. Before I know it, kiddospeak will be no more. But I love it so. Please feel free to add your own family’s silly special language in the comments, here or on facebook! Give me my kiddospeak fix.


  1. I LOVE it as well. Thanks for the reminder. I love pretzels "pencils". Or K (age 2) singing Jesus Loves Me and she gets to the part "They are weak but he is strong" K says "they are WEEKS but he is strong" makes me smile each time.

    I also love gina. Rowan now says the va before it but k still says gina. I still call polka-dots "poke-a-nots" because i to do not want that one to go away.

  2. It is sad when kiddospeak goes, but now our almost 6-year-old tries on new phrases that tickle us. She came off the bus the first week of kindergarten asking if we wanted to play, "Rock, Paper, Scissor, Shoe"? And told me how kids miss the bus all the time at school because she hears how they announce "Bus #456 disMISSED." There's plenty fun kiddospeak still to come, but it's just about misunderstanding rather than mis-pronunciation.

  3. Here's another favorite misunderstanding that was the funniest joke she ever told:
    Knock knock. Who's there? Poopy. Poopy who?
    Knock knock. Who's there? Poopy. Poopy who?
    Knock knock. Who's there? Poopy. Poopy who?
    Knock knock. Who's there? Poopy. Poopy who?
    Knock knock. Who's there? Pee-pee. Pee-pee who?
    Pee-pee glad I didn't say Poopy?

  4. These are so great! It's got to be hard to know when to correct them. They need to know the proper terminology for things at some point, but there's something to be said for playing with language and knowing what words to use when. Sigh.

    My sister's kids (now 9, 11 and 12) still call me Lodi. They really only know me as that and my brother (34) will probably call me Kiki until the day I die.

  5. Poke-a-nots. Rock paper scissors shoe. Love these.

  6. pootfrints (footprints), hangaber (hamburger) - a couple of my recent favorites

  7. Me: Do you know what a female is?
    Elise: Ummm. Something that eats something else?