Encouraging Adorable Mispronounciations

So you know how when your toddler says something incorrectly, you’re not supposed to outright correct, but rather to repeat what he or she said, demonstrating the proper pronunciation? That’s the advice I remember, anyway. It makes sense. It’s positive and kind and responsibly educational. Perfect. Except that some words are just too cute to correct.

So cute that I find it’s not good enough to simply leave them uncorrected. I irresponsibly promote their use, keeping the proper pronunciation from Roy like a secret. For example, I desperately wanted him to make it to preschool, at least, calling pizza peetzi. It was the way the word first slipped out of his mouth once it’d had a chance to knock around in his developing brain, and it killed me. Especially when spoken in his squeaky toddler dialect, which pounds every word into a compact question. And so pizza was banned under this roof. Peet-zi? was the new house pronunciation.

Only, somehow, Roy adopted the true version. Dammit, daycare and its promotion of proper diction and whatnot. I held out for a week or so, hoping he’d switch back, which succeeded only in my sounding like an overinvolved kindergarten teacher on Valium. Peet-zi? is now simply part of on an ongoing list, including cuckoo? (cookie) and didi? (Nico, our dog), that we’ll lovingly trot out when he’s teenager, despite any eye-rolling. Or perhaps because of it.

Currently, I’m safeguarding roni-pepper? (aka pepperoni—I swear we have a diverse diet over here) and payter? (caterpillar) while Clint’s doing his part to prolong doh-doze? (bulldozer). We can dream, anyway.

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  1. by Meghan

    On October 19, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    We have a dog named Phoebe. Everytime my 20 month old sings her abc’s it always starts out “Phoebe c d” lol the rest are just random letters.

  2. by Berit Thorkelson

    On October 19, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    *love* and I actually kind of get it…

  3. by Liz

    On October 19, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    I’m missing “dep”, Vivian-speak for “yes” which ended right at 2 years old. But now I’m loving “pocka-hosies” which means, “Can we play ring-around-the-rosie?”.

  4. by Berit Thorkelson

    On October 20, 2011 at 8:34 am

    That’s impressive. Liz, the phrase translated into an entire sentence. Adorable, too.

  5. by Mom

    On October 20, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Berit, you had the adorable & ever-popular word pisghetti (spaghetti). Another of my favorites, when you were about 4 years old, was asking if something had been made from scraps (from scratch).

  6. by @joy_mommylane

    On October 21, 2011 at 5:35 am

    I love it. I don’t blame you for wanting to hold onto the cuteness. My son used to say slipball for football all the time. And he now says macaroni for pepperoni. Too cute to correct!

  7. by Berit Thorkelson

    On October 21, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Mom! Well, how cute was I? So *that’s* where Roy gets it.

  8. by Stef

    On October 25, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    It is no surprise to me that you were super cute as a child, you still are! Clint must have been cute too because Roy is unbelievably cute:) My family still says sammich because of my Grandpa. We started out saying it right and switched when we realized he did that. Maybe there is hope yet for peetzi:)