Sunday, March 29, 2009

Uh-oh, mess!

When Rachel talks she metathesizes and elides and coins and deforms so many words. There are only a handful of words that she says correctly. Next week she'll probably say those wrong and start saying others the right way just to switch things up on us.

She used to say "snack" as "nack." That s-other letter combination is difficult for her, but she's realized that there is supposed to be an es in the word so she just tacked it onto the end, taking off the -ck to make it easier to say. So now "nack" is "nas." I wouldn't have had any idea what she was talking about if she didn't continue to sign at the same time as speaking.

She's recently started to say "nose" somewhat correctly again. She used to say nose, and then she cut off the es and just said "no." The syllable "no" then meant either nose, no, know, I don't know, where'd it go, and probably about 5 other things. She's since added the es back on so nose is nose again, although she doesn't voice the es so it comes out sounding very Russian.

And I learned that she knows the word "smell" the other day. We were out walking and saw some beautiful flowers. I picked one and handed it to her. She sniffed it and said, "Mes!"

"What mess?" I asked, "You're all clean!"

She sniffed dramatically and said slowly, "M-e-s!"

I quickly figured out that smell and snack are very similar. Put the es on the end and drop the final phoneme before that. Snack=nas and smell=mes.

"Mes" also means "mess," which Rachel says correctly, so the ambiguity in our house never ends.

Yesterday Rachel came running out of the kitchen at full speed, coughing, gagging, and yelling, "Uh-oh! Mommy! Mes! Mes!"

Usually this means something along the lines of, "Hi, Mommy! Do you remember that apple you gave me and I've been chewing on all day long and storing the peel in my cheeks? Well, instead of swollowing I decided I would spit it out all over the floor and now there's a huge mess. I have no idea how it got there so don't blame me, but you should come and see! It's huge!"

There was no way "Uh-oh, Mommy! Mes!" meant anything good so I moaned and shuffled Rachel back into the kitchen to find the big "mes."

When we got to the kitchen, however, there was no mess in sight, at least not any mess out of the ordinary. A few dishes in the sink, a few cans pulled out of the cupboard, some splatters on the stove. Looked pretty normal to me.

"What mess, Rachel? I don't see a mess. Will you show me the mess?"

"Yeah!" she said excitedly.

Whatever she had discovered, she was pretty proud of it. I thought for sure I was going to find that she had opened the fridge, got out some yogurt, opened it by herself, and did some fingerpainting on a wall I hadn't inspected yet. Or something like that.

To my surprise she marched over to the garbage can, put her face right above it, and inhaled deeply through her nose. She was smelling as deeply as a new mother smells her baby after a bath. Very deeply. After a couple of good wiffs, Rachel came up for fresh air, coughing and gagging.

"Uh-oh, Mommy! Mes!" she said, pointing to the garbage can.

I just about lost it, but I controled my laughter in front of her because she was so seriously thrilled, and disgusted, by her smelly find.

"Yes, Rachel, garbage cans usually don't smell very pretty," I informed her, "So usually we don't smell them on purpose. Because they're gross."

She looked at me like I had used too many words, so I simplifed, creating one of those motherhood gems that I will probably find myself repeating several times over the next few decades. A "rule to live by," if you will.

"If it smells yucky, don't smell it." I condensed.

"O-tay, Mama! No mes!" she said, walking away from the garbage can.

And then, I lost it.


  1. Oh my. I'm looking forward to actually figuring out all the things my niece is currently saying. She's still at a stage where no one but herself knows...

  2. I laughed out loud (at work).

  3. That is hilarious! I am still laughing...