Sunday, February 01, 2015

Unlikely synonyms

Benjamin's still mastering the art of speaking (who isn't?) and only recently has begun using the pronoun "I" to refer to himself. This morning he was full of "I go church, too!" and "I found my pants!" and "I see something!"

It made him suddenly sound grown up since yesterday was full of "Me go, too!" and "Me see something!"

He's getting quite easy to understand and I'm thrilled because there was a time when I wondered if he'd ever attempt speaking at all—let alone master it. Still, he has his own little code that you have to learn if you want to understand him well enough. I'm still learning this code.

A while ago the kids were obsessed with playing fairies. They each found a long, thin object they decided was a wand of sorts—a pencil, a stick, and an actual pink sparkly wand. I'll let you guess who had which wand.

Just kidding. I have to tell you that Benjamin had the pink sparkly wand. And he would not let the game die out.

The girls gave up the game after a few hours but Benjamin carried it on for days. He clung to that pink sparkly wand like it was his lifeline. And he'd run around the house tapping people with it and saying, "Poof! Me a shark! Daddy a shark! Mommy a shark!"

"Did you turn me into a shark?" Andrew asked.

Benjamin looked up at him, furrowed his eyebrows, and ran away. He came back a few minutes to try to explain himself.


"Big shark—big mouse—eat me!" he said.

"You're in a shark's mouth?" Andrew asked. "How are you ever going to get out again?"

"Me wait," Benjamin shrugged, not worried one bit. "Shark opey mouse, me go out!"

"You're just going to wait for the shark to open its mouth and then you'll go out? Good plan," Andrew said.

"Poof!" Benjamin said, smacking tapping Andrew in the stomach with his wand. "You a shark, Dad!"

We thought it was hilarious that our little boy was running around turning everybody into sharks until a few days later when he was hopping across the floor on all fours and he said, "Me a shark. 'Ibbit! 'Ibbit! 'Ibbit!"

"Wait..." I said. "You're a what?"

"Me shark! 'Ibbit! 'Ibbit!"

"You're a frog!" I said, finally getting it.

When he says shark it actually comes out something like "shock." And when he says frog it also comes out "shock." I can see that happening, phonetically, but it's a rather unlikely synonym! That whole time we thought he was turning us into sharks he was really turning us into frogs, which makes sense, but is a little less entertaining.

This evening we discovered another unlikely synonym.

Benjamin was super hyper while we were skyping with our parents. He was zooming around linke an airplane, spinning in endless circles, and jumping off the couch, which I don't think he's ever done before in his life. I know he's jumped on the couch plenty (note to company: never sit on our couch; I swear all the springs are broken) but I don't think he's ever actually jumped off it.

He's been proud of his jumping ability ever since the first day he got both feet off the ground at the same time (which frankly wasn't that long ago) and ever since then he's been trying to jump off higher and higher things: one book, two books, the curb, the bottom stair. Today during choir he tried jumping down the two stairs leading to the pulpit and landed flat on his face, but that's not even the story I want to tell, because after that disastrous jumping attempt he tried jumping off the couch and he didn't land flat on his face so he thought he'd do it over and over and over again.

He was flopping like a rag doll every time he landed (I'm pretty sure he's going to be our first child to break a bone) but just kept on going. Before every jump, he'd pause and shout, "PIZZA!" and then he'd leap into the air.

"PIZZA!" Leap. Crash.

"PIZZA!" Leap. Crash.

"PIZZA!" Leap. Crash.

Eventually my dad taught him how to say "CANNONBALL!" which I'm sure I'll come to appreciate tomorrow. He also tried out the phrases, "GERONIMO!" and KOWABUNGA!" though those came out much more of a garbled mess than cannonball.

We could not figure out why he was yelling pizza, though. So we asked him, "Benjamin, why are you saying pizza?"

"Me...I not say pizzee!" Benjamin said.

That's right. Because 'pizza' is actually 'pizzee.'

"Then what are you saying?" we asked.

"Me...I say, 'PIZZA!'" Benjamin hollered, jumping off the couch.

"But what does that mean?" we asked him.

"Me not do itty jump," he explained, quite breathless from all his jumping and climbing. "Me do PIZZA!"

He jumped off the couch again.

Pizza. Not itty jump. Big jump.

'Pizza' means 'big jump.'

Obviously. And now that he's explained that I can see what he's doing with his sounds but, honestly, sometimes it's quite difficult to figure out what in the world this boy is saying!

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