Wednesday, October 19th, 2011
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.