Our 3-year old son is full-on talking.
Often, sounds come out of his mouth in an effort to transmit some form of communication. However, an adorable toddler speech impediment sometimes makes the “receive” part of the conversation difficult.
The other morning, I spent about 20 minutes at the steering wheel of my car trying to decipher a sentence while also trying to calm a frustrated fit because of my failure to infer the true meaning of my son’s expression.
Our son’s speech is currently speckled by an adorable toddler lisp, an Elmer Fudd-esque “R/W” transposition, and a tendency to mimic his father’s New England accent.
This means that the word:
comes out something more like:
Please keep this in mind as you read the following sentence.
As I drove to the gym, my son asked a very random question and it sounded exactly like this:
“Why tototh don hab chewohwsth? Whyyyyyy????”
Knowing that he gets upset if you repeat the way that he said something incorrectly (because he hears the proper pronunciation in his head when he says things like “Punty Teefth” instead of “Chuck E Cheese”), I was careful not to repeat the mispronunciation of whatever it was he was trying to say.
So, I dissected it.
I was pretty sure “tototh” referred to “turtles” but I was having trouble with the second part of the sentence.
“Chewohwsth” seemed to mostly correlate with the word “chairs”.
“Why do turtles not have chairs???!!!” I asked him.
And he wailed because he felt I was mocking him,
“NOOOOO! NOT WIKE DAT!!!!”
So, I guessed again.
“Why do turtles not have tears???”
And he wailed again.
He was getting UP-SET.
Then, I said,
“Ummmm? I’m sorry, honey. I’m not understanding what you are trying to say. Can you please say it again?”
I asked that to buy some more time and in hopes he might give a more phonetically-friendly answer.
“Why tototh don hab CHEW-OH-WSTH????”
Think. Think. Think.
I thought of a solution.
“Can you tell me what animal DOES have…..uh….one of those???”
“Awigatoh. Awigatohth hab dose.”
AHA!!! I thought- I’m getting somewhere. What do alligators have that sounds like “Chewohwsth”?
So, I shouted:
“SCALES??? SCALES!!!! SCALES!!!! ALLIGATORS HAVE SCALES!!!!”
And our son screamed:
NOT WIKE DAT!!!!! NOT WIKE DAT, MAMA!! NOT WIKE DAT!!!!!
CHEWOWSTH! CHEWOWSTH!! AWIGATOHTH HAB CHEWOWSTH!!!”
And then I got it.
It was as apparent as the exposed tag and internal seams of the inside-out dress I wore to work after a year of nursing-induced sleep deprivation and in-the-dark dressing one memorable day.
“TAILS???!!! TAILS!!!! TAILS!!!!”
You’d think I’d have won the Texas State Lottery.
His eyes lit up. The streaming tears seemed to stop spontaneously mid-stream. The whales in the Pacific could resume their mating calls after trying to respond to the distress signals my son had been sending through his high-decibel fit.
A crack of a smile lifted.
WHY TOTOTH DON HAB CHEWOWSTH????”
“But, son! They DO have tails!”
“No. No, dey don.
Awigatohth hab chewowsth.
Tototh don hab chewowsth.”
I considered whether or not pursuing this conversation with a 3-year old was really worth the pyrrhic victory of having him agree with me.
And, so I wrapped up the conversation with:
“I don’t know, son.
I don’t know why turtles don’t have tails.”
But, People. I KNOW they have tails.
What can I say?
The kid broke me down.
Right. Like you would have pursued that one, too.
ANY FUNNY KID SPEECH IMPEDIMENTS GIVING YOU A LAUGH LATELY?