The other day, in the car and as she happily brandished a new Halloween straw that she’d gotten at school, Sylvia very intently and very seriously said to me:
“Daddy, we go weh-want and I get dink, I no have get sfaw for my dink because I have sfaw for my dink because I got one at my fool, okay? They people at weh-want bing me dink I say no sfaw because I got one from my fool here in hand, okay dad?”
I about choked on restrained laughter as she went on and on and on, reiterating this point for about another full minute. I was nearly crying I was laughing so hard (or, more precisely, trying so hard to NOT laugh). Particularly without being able to see her body language or know the context, I had NO idea what she was talking about (luckily Sally translated).
As a second child, Sylvia’s speech just didn’t evolve quite as quickly as Lillian’s. Experts say that older kids, being only children for a while, get more direct attention and thus their speech develops more quickly – plus often the older child speaks for the younger one, so a second kiddo just takes a little longer to develop her speech. Thus, Sylv’s has still got some pretty key words that just don’t sound quite right, especially if you don’t know the context around them and more so if you can’t actually see her mouth moving or read her body language (like when she’s talking on the phone to you).
Thus, I felt it was time for a little Sylvia glossary. Here are some key words:
Fam-mah – Grandma (A favorite expression is, “My fam-mah coming to visit, MY fam-mah!?!?”)
Yillian – Lillian
Hoe-tay – Okay (No Buckwheat jokes please…)
Mlik – Milk
Sfaw – Straw
Weh-want – Restaurant (So she might say, “I want a sfaw for my mlilk at the weh-want.”)
See-rall – cereal
Nana – Banana (‘Natch)
Wok Out – Rock Out (Yes, we – or more likely Sally – taught her to say ‘rock out!’)
Fool – School
Sirt – Shirt
Slirt – Skirt (Often makes it challenging when she asks to wear “a sirt and slirt to fool”.)
Bobbi – Barbie
Dwoll – Doll
Fistmas – Christmas (“Dada, can I add Bobbi dwoll to my Fistmas list?”)
Famee – Family
Ma bootie – My bootie (As in, “Shakin’ ma bootie, shakin’ ma bootie!”)
Crack butt – crack butt (With her penchant for going pant less, this one comes up often, like, “Mama, you see my crack butt? My crack butt, my crack butt!”)
Feep – Sleep
Zamas – Pajamas
Nap – Snap (As in, “Dada, before we go feep, can you nap my Zamas?”)
Bing – Bring
Hee-haws – High heels (Yeah. Really. No kidding: ‘Hee-haws’. Okay, #1 – We have absolutely NO idea where she got this one – well maybe some idea, but this phrase is SO far removed from it's original source that it's just hard to wrap your brain around it. #2 – You can only imagine just HOW LONG it took us to figure this one out.)
Please do study these and commit them to memory. There will be a test the next time you see Sylv’s.
Then again, by then many of these words could have changed. Such is the development of a 3-and-a-half year old: You can almost see and hear it from day to day, and especially if you haven’t seen her for a week or more – then the change in her development is absolutely palpable.
And just think, someday I’ll get to write a new Sylvia glossary, although the next one will be filled with stuff like, “OMG, my dad is SUCH a total tweak!!! WAJ!!!” So, for now, I’ll be content with a little occasional exasperation caused only the occasional ‘sfaw’, ‘crack butt’, and ‘hee-haw’.