She Wanted Something Called “Honnook?”

By Megan

My big kid’s growin’ up way faster than it ever occured to me she would, y’all. I think what brings it all home for me lately is watching my littler kid come into himself, as it were. He’s all laughter and mirth, my funny boy, full of mischief and chatty as the day is long. I love, love, love this age. I say that every day, sometimes out loud to nobody in particular, when he chuckles his sweet little boy chuckle at me, or growls his “I’m tough!” growl, those elfin brown curls sticking out so perfectly over his tiny ears and framing his big old melty blue eyes.

And the babbling! OHMYGRANNY! He’ll just look right into my face and spit out a string of nonsense with such purpose, such emphasis, that I KNOW he knows he’s SAYIN’ SUMPM!

Him: Deh deh chek deh hai mai nobeez!?

Me: Yes SIR I do! I see them! Can you believe doze crazy hai mai nobeez! What are they THINKIN’?

Him: (Pleased smile.) (Oh yeah, my Mom gets me.)

And you see, our two children favor one another so much that when I look into Peabody’s face, I can’t help but see my baby Bean hiding in his wrinkled up nose, or in the grin that makes his eyes turn up at their outer corners. I’m instantly back to this time with Bean and remembering that all the babbling she was doing at Peabody’s exact age began morphing into actual intelligible words within just a few short weeks. By 11 months (Peabody’s 10 months 2 weeks this week), Bean spoke her first word — ditty (kitty) — and since then that child has never looked back, having built a vocabulary and a command of the nuances of speech and inflection and body language that even other people, not just her completely objective, definitely-not-doting parents, recognize as befitting a much older kid.

And I love conversing with her, too. Not a day goes by that she doesn’t say something that makes me shake my head in wonderment as to how she’s formulated such huge thoughts in still such a small little self. Also, I laugh. A LOT. Because often it’s a little bit like living with Simon the Chipmunk. Yet, thankfully, some common words still trip her up, and perhaps more than the big girl thoughts she expresses with confidence and ease, like I’m trying to concentrate! and This is too complicated!and Mama I’m seeeeeeerious!, these words she’s still making uniquely her own bring me a smile and oh, how I wish she might never hear and correct her little girl “mistakes.” Don’t y’all love kid pronunciations? I really am so sad to see them go — and they do go, one by one, replaced by the “right” words — and I’m already forgetting them, unfortunately.

See what I mean? Growing up way too fast, she is.

Anyway here are a few of my favorites.

(And any of you with kids or nieces or nephews or grandkids or young students will surely have some good ones to share as well. I’d love to hear your favorite kidisms in the comments!)

ChicaJoe – Chicago
corteeya – tortilla
pockorn – popcorn (this one was orginally “crockporn” eek!)
mooseum – gazebo (I have no idea how these two words got confused!)
Chrissaster – Christopher (a neighbor)
nook – milk (this one is gone, sniffle)
honnook – hot milk (We came home from a date one night and the baby sitter met us at the door saying, “Bean’s asleep now but she was upset for a long time. She kept saying she wanted something called honnook?” “HOTMILK,” we both laughed. “She wanted HOTMILK.”)
free – three (my favorite is when she says, “Mo-om, you’ve already told me that firty-free times!”)
birfday – birthday
bajamas – pajamas
clof-clof – washcloth

So tell me your favorite kidspeak stories. I know you’ve got ’em!

23 Responses to She Wanted Something Called “Honnook?”
  1. Jackie
    June 22, 2009 | 7:16 am

    Much to the consternation and alarm(!) of his older siblings, John says, “Fruck” instead of “truck”. Daniel always called his backpack “packpack”. And those two are examples just off the top of my pre-caffeinated head.

  2. Jennifer, Snapshot
    June 22, 2009 | 7:32 am

    It is precious. My firstborn (now 10 1/2!) said “Hairput” instead of “Haircut,” and my husband and I still use that term.

    My son just turned five, and his little ears are trained to every new word he hears, but he can’t always repeat the word, so what he’s coming out with now when he asks, “What does x-long-word mean?” is pretty funny.

    He got in trouble in trouble at Sunday School yesterday, and said he had to sit out with his teacher for a “decision,” which we found out was a “discussion.”

  3. edj
    June 22, 2009 | 7:50 am

    Bean sounds a lot like my oldest (now nearly 14 and hairy). His first word, at 10 months, was cat (‘at! said while pointing at the cat)and once started, he didn’t stop talking till he was about 13. It’s fun that your kids look alike too. My two boys don’t even look like brothers–one dark with curls and the other with straight, silky strawberry-blonde hair. (One like his dad, one like me) At least we never get the baby pics mixed up.

    My husband used to work at Pro Photo Supply and E called it Fro Dodo and we still call it that. And he pronounced Jones as Bones, so we still have Grandma and Grandpa Bones. One of my favs, though, comes from my friend’s daughter–damn-bades, for band-aids.

  4. Jenn
    June 22, 2009 | 8:44 am

    I am always so sad when my kids start saying things correctly. Monkey’s first word was kitty too and he pronounced it that same way.

  5. mom.huebert
    June 22, 2009 | 9:10 am

    My kids are grown up now, but I still remember some of their words. For example, when my oldest was little he called his dad’s pickup a “pa-peekup”– I’m not sure why– and then, picking up on the rhyme, he called a hiccup a “pa-peekup cough.” Ketchup was “ke-pop.”

    When my daughter was little, she called any kind of berry a “booey,” and we still sometimes use that word.

    Once when my second son was in the high chair, his grandpa gave him some whipped topping on a dessert and asked him “is that good stuff?” and he thought that was the word for it. We still call whipped topping “stuff” and that boy is now 20!

    And here’s one my husband brought from his own childhood: bankbanks and slurp (pancakes and syrup).

  6. Sarah at themommylogues
    June 22, 2009 | 10:21 am

    I was just thinking of this yesterday! When my girls were little they called toothpaste “boobay.” Which I thought was too cute to correct. Just this weekend we were checking out the town we’re going to be moving to in Wisconsin. It’s on the river surrounded by bluffs. My 4 yr old said, “Whoa, Mama, look at that big puff!” The 6 yr old still says “pocksicle”, and the 4 yr old thinks the water in the tub goes down the “dream.”

  7. Carrie
    June 22, 2009 | 11:30 am

    My little guy is just 18 months, so he doesn’t pronounce anything correctly yet! But some words sound pretty close – except kitty. He loves kitties so much, he doesn’t even try to pronounce it – it comes out as an excited squeak that sounds like, “AK! AK!” 🙂 So cute! 🙂

  8. Lora Lynn
    June 22, 2009 | 11:53 am

    pak-paks – back packs
    snesmee street- obvious
    new-nited states of america
    peet = feet
    The rest of the corner of the New-nited States – this is a song that actually goes “The Western Corner of the United States…”
    Fernana – banana

    and my personal favorite that has made it into the family lexicon forever: PAYBEE – which is a cross between probably and maybe and works well when used in a sentence.

    Are we going to the store? “Paybee so.”

  9. Melissa
    June 22, 2009 | 12:15 pm

    Well, Mookie (13 mo) isn’t saying much, but she does say “att” for cat, and “ba” for bird (while signing the both). My favorite, though, is how she indicates that she knows she’s not supposed to do something. Like touch the cat food. Or touch an electrical outlet. :o) She waves her hand in front of the contraband item and says “eh, eh.”
    Yesterday we were petting the cat in the hallway, and the cat decided to walk a little too close to the power plug for Mookie’s comfort, so she quickly stood and waved her arm, saying “eh, eh” so the cat would know not to stick her paw in the power outlet! :o) SO helpful! God help her if she decides to tell the cat not to touch the cat food…

  10. char
    June 22, 2009 | 3:06 pm

    Those moments are the best! Why is it that we did not write everyone of them down when they happened as not to forget?!? Oh yea, maybe it was because of the cleaning feeding playing dressing changing etc we were doing as well…anyway here are a few I remember

    bobo-pillow(my 11 year old still has his very special bobo but it is held together by just a few threads now)
    Dordi-my 7 year old is Keslee but her baby sister called her Dordi for the longest time.
    Mole-you know, the big teeth in the back
    pancakes are still pan-a-cakes around here

  11. nicole
    June 22, 2009 | 4:52 pm

    Hawkahopter: helicopter
    I no know: I don’t know
    Hiddle: not mispronounced, but a word made up by my kids that means the space to the left or right of the middle

  12. Tami
    June 22, 2009 | 10:40 pm

    Oh Megan,
    Loved this post…there are sooo many from my four kids. Some favorites follow:
    shoe la=cereal
    man shoe la=Life Cereal (after 10 minutes in the cereal aisle for girl #1 to find it and show me what she wanted…the Quaker man is in the corner!)
    ohlbow = elbow
    I luz you mom=obvious but youngest boy couldn’t pronounce v’s or f’s..they came out z’s or s’s.
    All time favorite is a preschool song he learned that came out:
    Tyranadon Tyranadon
    You eat sish You eat sish
    Slying srew the air
    Dyzing in the water
    Catch that sish
    Your sazorite dish

    Oh and amblampse for ambulance

  13. Aunt Joy
    June 23, 2009 | 10:49 am

    Gay’s early vocabulary included “bock”–the singular of “box”. I read that the ability to generalize rules of grammar at a very young age was a sign of great intelligence. I think that is right! She also called spaghetti “gebo”. Unfortunately Cary’s vocabulary development remains unremembered. But having such a brilliant older sister, she did not talk “baby talk”!

  14. Aunt Joy
    June 23, 2009 | 10:51 am

    I forgot “booker t, booker t” means boogity boogity. Hurry up!

  15. Katie
    June 23, 2009 | 10:57 am

    My little gal is only just really starting to say ACTUAL words mixed in with all the jabber… but here are some of my faves:

    eye-bah – eyebrow
    mih – milk
    no – both nose and no
    seh – yes
    vah – shoe. not sure about this one…
    gucka – cracker

  16. Erin
    June 23, 2009 | 9:43 pm

    My daughter who is almost 9 used to call the kitty litter “kitty glitter.” 🙂

  17. Mary
    June 23, 2009 | 10:50 pm

    Heh – we love these words. Thirty years later my husband’s family still looks for “ge-ah” (keys) and we have “shauws” (showers).

    Our family does have a cautionary tale that means that we try very hard not to repeat these in front of the young ones (and we do correct them, even though it is SOOO cute and hard to make ourselves do so).

    You see, my husband’s brother had quite a number of kid-isms that his doting parents made part of their vocabulary. He got well into school before they realized they hadn’t done him any favours as the words didn’t naturally drop away and he didn’t start pronouncing his syllables correctly. They ended up requiring the services of a speech therapist…

  18. Leigh
    June 24, 2009 | 3:45 am

    One of my favourite words Emily used to mispronounce was Raspberry. It took us ages to realise that when she said ‘mah-sen-bez-wey’ she meant raspberry! And she still says ‘climb-rocking’ instead of ‘rock-climbing’ and ‘headford’ instead of ‘forehead’. I just can’t bring myself to correct her, as I know she will correct herself all too soon!

  19. pat
    June 24, 2009 | 7:45 pm

    My daughter (now 39) and her friend:

    M-I-C – K – KEY – Y

    MOU and C

  20. Brenda
    June 25, 2009 | 5:48 pm

    I have older kids now but when they were rather young, they had some hilarious versions of words that I still love to remember and tease them about when given a chance. Here are some of my favorites, in no particular order:
    Hoodums: shoes
    Hockums: socks
    Bockum: Brooke
    Dadum: Dad
    Momum: Mom
    Twee: Tree
    Bwuut: Brooke
    Heady: Heather
    Too-tainum: Train (as in screaming in the middle of the night and clinging to me for dear life because a train went by miles away, “Mommy, Mommy, too-tainum get me!”
    Daidy: David
    Peggity Beggity: Spaghetti (that one always makes me chuckle)
    Barkedy: Barkley from Sesame Street
    Brockedy: Broccoli
    Woah Woh: Laurel

  21. Brenda
    June 25, 2009 | 6:04 pm

    I forgot Bow-dy: Birdy, as in “I’m a bow-dy in a twee!” while being held up high and flown around by the dad who manages this feat while lying on his back on the couch, to save himself from being jumped on! *laffs*

    Daidy/Daydee was one version of many on David’s name when he attempted perfecting it’s pronunciations. Wish I could remember the other ones to add here…
    I call it M.O.M. (Memory Overloaded Maid)

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