Thursday, 6 March 2014

Pig Latin

Everyone knows what Pig Latin is right?  Where you take the first letter of a word and stick it at the end of the word and add the sound "ay" to it.  And then proceed to do that with every word in the sentence?  The lengths teenage girls will take to say things cryptically.  I was never much good at it.  Actually Pig Latin would be handy for parents too.  Sometimes I wish my partner and I had a second language we could revert to when we don't want our children to understand what we're saying.  If I try to talk cryptically to him I am met with blank stares that leave us both annoyed - me because he didn't understand me and him because how could I expect him to understand?  As I said, I was never much good at it.

Anyway my little guy just turned three*.  He also recently toilet trained.  So now we no longer have nappies in the house.  (Well we do because while he doesn't technically need them at night, I'm not willing to take that risk during winter).  We've graduated from Mega Bloks to Duplo and even regular Lego.  Most of the baby paraphernalia has been passed on with the exception of his bottle (I know shame on me) and a couple of prams (got rid of two, have two left - again, I know, shame on me!).  I no longer have babies in the house.  For 6 years I had a baby or a toddler and now even my five year old is beginning to lose her teeth and my boy goes to preschool.  I suppose I should be a little wistful.  I am, at times.  But I can't imagine going back to babies now.  After my third I had a moment where I thought perhaps I would want a fourth.  Except I didn't want to be pregnant again.  Giving birth I didn't mind so much.  I also didn't mind those first few months so much.  I enjoyed breastfeeding (when else can you sit for a few minutes while the world keeps rotating around you and not feel any guilt?).  And baby cuddles.  But the thought of meeting the demands of my three plus the demands of a baby kinda does my head in.  I actually get a physical reaction just thinking about it.  That's how I knew I was done.

I realise I have teetered dangerously close to "verbal diarrhea" if I haven't already crossed that line.  The purpose of this post was really to talk about his language skills.  He talks.  A lot.  I think he was late starting but I don't know.  My oldest was really early in talking so anything else seemed late.  And for awhile his vocabulary seemed really limited.  There were a lot of grunts and screams.  I think.  My memory has become a little fuzzy.  I suppose maybe I should have started this blog earlier.  Or perhaps even a diary.  Then maybe I might remember who did what when.  I have never been good with those things.

Right - language.  So he still can't say certain letters.  And he still replaces those letters with other letters so for example he switches the hard "c" sound at the beginning of words with "t" and "sh" sounds like "f", "g" sounds like "d" and "r" sounds like "w".  So cat sounds like "tat" and sugar like "fugar".  He drops the "s" sound at the beginning of words if they are followed by a consonant (School, is "Tool").  And then there are words that don't follow any "rules" really - "jymanas" are "pyjamas"  It really is quite complicated.  It took us (his parents) awhile to figure out what he was saying.  His sisters on the other hand picked it up quickly.  When he was younger they would translate for us.  He'd be asking for something (and getting frustrated), we would offer random things trying desperately to figure out what he was saying and then a little voice would pipe up and say something like "He wants to play blocks."  Oh.

Now though - we understand him.  Mostly.  Sometimes we translate for each other.  Sometimes, he translates for us.  But what really makes me smile is listening to his sister have a conversation with him.  His sister, who can  pronounce everything the way it's supposed to be pronounced (in Canada anyway), will switch to saying things like "Did you have a dood day at tool?" or "You tan't pay with my teddy beaw, otay?".  She doesn't even have to think about it.  I imagine she'd be good at Pig Latin.

*Well he had just turned three when I first wrote this.  It's been sitting in a draft folder for awhile.