Jesus Wants You To Get Out Of My Flipping Sunbeam
It's Another Blue's Clues Day. On the Couch. Winning Mother of the Year.

The Neenee of the Heart

When you have a speech-delayed kid, you will be constantly warned not to imitate their pronunciation, no matter how adorable it may be. When they butcher a word, you are supposed to model the correct pronunciation. You will be told this is very, very important. I have a very, very hard time remembering this.

"Buddy, do you want some muck?" I ask while pouring the milk.

"MMMMMMUCK!" he shrieks and nods his head.

"If you are a good boy, I bet you'll get a baboonay," I tell him at Trader Joe's.

"Yaaaay baboonaaaay!" he shrieks and eyes the balloons at the register.

When I tuck him at night, he asks for his neenee.

"Of course Mama will turn on your neenee," I say just before pulling the string on his favorite music box. That one is probably my favorite, since he calls ALL music -- instrumental, vocal, Snoop Dogg -- neenee.

Jason (who gets nagged with more child language development bullshiteese than anybody in the world -- "Stop! You're playing the Director Role! That's not the Tuned-In Parent! You're not it! Observe! Wait! Listen!") hears me do this and raises a silent, judging eyebrow.

"But it's so cuuuute!" I whine. "And his friend Max talks in paragraphs but still calls squirrels zaaaas because Julie thought it was funny and never told him that they aren't really called zaaaas and it's also so cuuuute!"

"One word," Jason says. "GUCKY."

Touché, dammit.

When I was a very little girl, probably a toddler, I called poop "gucky." Like...yucky. But...gooey. I don't know. My parents and siblings thought it was so cuuuuute and started using it all the time. Nobody went poop, we all went gucky.

The problem was, NOBODY TOLD ME I MADE THE DAMN WORD UP. Nobody, that is, until I used it in front of other kids. IN THE FIRST GRADE.

Not cute. Try mortifying.

Yesterday I was out shopping with Julie and Max (who cheerfully informed me that "Mas went Grandpa's house a couple days, um Amy? After baby brother come we go to California for good yaaay!" and it suddenly took all my strength to not collapse in a sobbing puddle in the men's department at Nordstrom because baby brother is due in two weeks and I have not yet been able to permanently affix myself to Julie's ankle while wailing DON'T LEAVE MEEEEE, but I'm working on it. I just got this new kind of glue off an infomercial.).

Noah heard the piano playing as we passed the escalator. "Uusic?" he asked.

I sucked in my breath and put my hand over my heart -- no! not uusic! neenee! call it neenee! -- before answering by the book.

"Yes Noah, music. Pretty music. Let's stop and listen to the music."

"Uusic," he said again, happily.

(He's also calling choo choos "trains" now all of a sudden. Will probably cost the island of Sodor millions in rebranding costs.)



You described it well - great post!

In my family, when someone sneezes, we still say "hibous", because when first (and much-adored-and-fawned-upon) nephew was born, instead of 'bless you', he said 'hibous' whenever anyone sneezed. We were smitten not only by the mispronunciation, but also by the fact that the empathetic little tot acknowledged the sneeze in the first place.

He's fourteen now, and rolls his eyes every time, but when no one is looking, smiles a bit. It will forever remind me of when he was two and thought I was the most wonderful thing in the world.

Carli Jaye

Well, my four year old has the greatest words too, and I can't help myself, like, IN PUBLIC and at WORK, using said words. The door is a WHAP, always will be to us..... my computer, I refer to it as a utter, no not U ter, UHT ter. Try that one on for confusing!

Oh, and Grandma is Ninnie. I get to call my mom a Ninnie, EVERYDAY! :)

You're doing great. Ida slapped the biznatch at the B-R-A-T comment tho, fo shoooooooow!


Congratulations! It sounds like the switch has been flipped and the "yightball" in his head is burning bright! My niece had lots of other fun words too mooksic for music, mazageen for magazine/junk mail, and wipekin for napkin (we still use that one - she is 6)


Sad as it is, they do learn the correct words. My grandson no longer calls a cat a "deedin". My daughter gave up referring to gravy as "gablegop" many years ago. But you're right. It is SOOOOOOOO cute.


My son says that the color green is actually "Greeem." And yes, I have now said it at work... um... too many times. It's not so adorable coming from me.


My nephews both had special names for me when they were little, like "Dooie" and "Duels", but my favorite to this day is "Doody". They still say it sometimes, when only the family is around, and it never fails to crack us all up.
House of Jules


I guess I shouldn't talk about getting my son a drink of "wawer" or talking on the "bone" anymore. Darn it. He is just so cute! I still love it when he wants to sit on my "wap" though.

When my 19 year old sister was a toddler, she loved dipping food in sauces. My aunt and I still say "dip it!"


When my son was about fourteen months old, my mother-in-law insisted on calling his pacifier a "bocky." I was so irritated -- he will never learn the correct word! He will become confused if you call it a "bocky," because in MY self-righteous household we always call it a "pacifier!" SHAME ON YOU, WOMAN.

And then. My ever-so-adorable kid looked up at me with a winsome smile one day and said, "Yike bocky, Mommy! Yike it!" And I melted, and from that day forth I was on the bocky train, and you know what? Eventually he learned how to say "paci" just fine.

(Although, now we're working on getting him to give the damn thing up, and I am sort of regretting ever introducing him to it by any name. That is a separate issue, however.)

All of which is to say that, even with a speech delay, it is okay to sometimes give in to the cute. That's how those meaningful family in-jokes and specialized communication are born. And correct me if I'm wrong (because I probably am), but right now isn't the point just to get him to talk? To identify words with items/concepts consistently and be unafraid to vocalize? It sounds like he (and you) are doing just fine.

Renee in Seattle

Hello Amy, I've been lurking for some time and am finally taking the plunge into commentor. I have not one, but two kids with speech delays (Thanks, God!) and at 8 and 10, I'm aaaallll done thinking their unintelligeable ways of saying things are cute.

By the way, I'm hoping you can help me figure out why every time I go to my favorites and select your blog to read, I must scream AMALAH! in a weird voice with an exagerated face. Every. Time. Can you help?


I will never, ever call the Yellow blanket anything but Lellow Ba, beloved Lellow ba that kept Isaac safe for 6 years of his life. He left it in California, and DIDN'T CARE!! I have wept every night since we came home, I miss Lellow ba. He called it 'my yellow blanket' for about 18 months, but I always called it Lellow ba.
Seth had a nunny ( cotton cloth)
Dan had nunny and naps ( paci and cotton cloth)
I love it when they can't say things properly.


My husband fell in love with cranberry sauce at an early age. It's his favorite thing about Thanksgiving.
When he was little, he somehow got stuck calling cranberries, dingleberries. Everyone thought it was so funny that no one ever corrected him.
You see where this is going?

School, Thanksgiving lunch, he announces how much he LOVES Dingleberry sauce!


I feel you on the "gucky." Our (okay, my) word for poo was "Oh-dears" -- I guess as in "oh, dear! Look what you did!" or something. Cue similar mortifying realization somewhere around first grade that that was NOT the right word, nor was it, in fact, actually a word at all. Damn it, mom and dad!

Is it bad that I don't really want children of my own, but I would like to nibble on Noah? My stars, but he's a cutie.


I do the same thing...Oliver has always called pizza "Pot-zo" and last night he said pizza for the first time and I said NOOOO! It's Pot-zo! I guess I shouldn't do that...he also calls his pacifier a "go" and we think it's so cute we never corrected it


That is one of the crappy things about speech delays, instead of encouraging the cutesy-ness, you feel the need to redirect it. But I still love some of KayTar's quirky little non-words.


Tell Jason he's a party gucky.

I LOVE reading all the funny words. My daughter's only 6 and I already miss the cute words. We still call her favorite blanket a "blankalee" (we call the dog's favorite blanket that, too, now). My other favorite was "Oree" - she always got Eeyore backwards. OH, and one I just found while burning some old movies to DVD: "punk-a-lantern". We will definitely be making punk-a-lanterns for Halloween this year.

Obviously you want to avoid the embarrassment (yikes, those are some scary stories here!), but as long as he hears the right word once in a while, he'll pick up on it. In the meantime, pinch his cheeks for me and dance to some neenee.


My mother-in-law just about died when my son quit saying "senen" for "seven." Of course he continues with others, especially "'chine" (for his beloved machines).

The funniest thing is that the OT he was seeing for only the second time remarked to me that his strong verbal skills will work to his advantage in school. And I stopped in my tracks, because nobody would have said that about him even 4 or 5 months ago.


Sigh... I say, pick one word that you keep as a baby word. The rest, yes. You do need to repeat it back properly. Maybe nighttime music only could be neenee?

I actually rarely find myself repeating their words back incorrectly. One son called yogurt "logrit" and my daughter calls granola bars "noga bars." I mean, COME ON!! That's so cuuuute!!! :)


I always repeat things that my kids say 'wrong'. It's cute.


Oh, Amy. How sweet! Right now everything our youngest want to convey has to be done with grunts and inflection and grabby-hands, but I'm looking forward to the words, mangled-or-otherwise.


Oh, the cuteness! It's great that Noah is making such speedy progress but it's also hard to watch them grow up. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the link to the book. Our totally nonverbal 2 1/2 year old has many great therapists but we are now on our 3rd speech therapist who leaves much to be desired. I read The Late Talker only after you discussed the book. None of our therapists had recommended it or ANYTHING contained in the book. We are learning as we go and you are really truly helping!


I grieved a little when my son, who is obsessed with trains, stopped referring to signal crossings as "ding-dings."


Long time no comment, but still lurking. My daughter's most memorable toddler word was "gunk" for milk. We corrected and corrected, and she persisted. Finally one day she started saying milk, and years later I got around to asking her the burning question, "Why GUNK?" Her explanation: that was the noise it made when pouring out of the plastic jug. Ahhh, it does make sense! My favorite kid word very common with toddlers in these parts is "Your-Ammy" for Miami. A parent going to that city in South Florida is visiting a special place that is all theirs, called Ammy.


My daughter is speech-delayed and while I LOVE that she is actually speaking almost normally at this point (she's 6), I do miss the things she used to say. Her brother is named Kyle and she called him "Da" for the LONGEST time. And milk was "meeyuk."


My Kid called trash "shoo-ey" and he'd wave his hand in front of his face. It smelled bad. "Shooo-EEEE!"

But my favorite was the "Fosa." That's what he called the couch. (We had speech issues of our own back then.) His dad & I called it that for ev er until everyone convinced us that it really wouldn't be funny for him to go over to a schoolmate's house and sit on the fosa and be laughed into permanent humiliation.


at this point, many of my friends have children...but i will always remember the first one, and how we would all mimic her speech. particularlty the names she came up with for all of us, her adult friends. she called me 'tift,' i will adore her father forever because whenever i come to visit he yells "TIFT" really loud as soon as he sees me, even though she's been saying my name properly for three years. and i still call their namber 'jeez,' her baby version of 'jason.' and i sound ridiculous when i'm all 'paigie. do you want to walk over to jeezus's house with me?'

still, it makes me happy. i totally feel your hand-over-the-heart moment.


We struggle to not use Little Man's words. There is one that I will defend to anyone who tries to get him to stop. He has a blue bunny that he calls beebee. It is his most loved cuddly and has been our savior through teething and colds.

We try to get him to watch us annunciate a word when he gets it wrong. It is so frustrating for him and heart breaking for us because we know how much he understands and he is the only one in daycare who doesn't have a big vocabulary.

I'm loving your blog.


Empty Papertowel Rolls are "doot de doot"s. Because that's what you say through them.



neighbor. their neighbor.

sorry, i was typing far too fast for my meager abilities.


I was a young single mother with a huge chip on my shoulder, assuming everyone was judging me so my child never said wawa for water. Once she corrected another kid that it wasn't a choo choo train, it was a diesel locomotive. I may have taken it a bit too far.


catherine -- didn't realize the miami thing was a common mistake. years ago, i met a toddler who lived in miami, and i asked her if she lived in miami only to be informed that no, she lived in "my mommy's ammy." too cute!

also, my cousin (now 14) called my mom "auntie rain" for years, and only informed us recently that DUH she knew it was "aunt lorraine," but kept saying "auntie rain" because everyone thought it was cute.


When I was a kid I called the little fried noodles you put on Chinese food "yopyops." It was YEARS before I realized that this was not, in fact, the correct term for them; because it never came up outside of our family's take-out night. The fam still calls them this. It's kind of sad, yet awesome.


my oldest called her elbow an obee. my hubby would make me crazy saying that to her. he loved it too much not to say it. :)


Evan says "vamilla" instead of "vanilla", 'puter, bamana (& others I can't remember). I love his mispronouncing of words. I think if he is still mispronouncing words, then he is still a baby (at 5 years old!!)...okay, MY baby.

One of his favorite toys is a stuffed Nemo that he has called Bee since he was about 2 years old. The other day he said that he wanted to call Bee Nemo. I nearly cried.


I actually caught myself getting upset at my husband for telling my son it was "ketchup" on his fries when clearly its "check-up" which lives in the "chic-ken" (kitchen) and baloons in our house are "babaloons". I just love it, my heart will break the day he says it all correctly.


My son pronounced the word "pillow" as "beepo" up until he was about three years old. He is now 4 and a half and while I've done my best to keep the pronounciation around, I am the only one who still rests my head on a beepo at night.

It's bittersweet, regardless of circumstance, huh?


Wow, lots of comments already!

I came in just to post that the post title made me all sentimental, because my best friend's little girl (who is now almost NINE OH MY GOD I'M OLD) couldn't say "Jenny" when she was tiny, and called me "Neenee." I have friends that still call me that.

ANYway, I personally have no problem with the cutely misprounounced words...they will one day pronounce everything just fine, and...well, it's SO CUTE!


Oh I hope you are writing these all down for him to read one day.

Our favorites were "grape-ez" (grapes) and "knives-ez" (knives). Oh, and "curfiss" for cursive.

Okay that last one was hard not to correct.


Bossy writes with an impediment, she thinks.


Oh the words my little sister made up are still famous in our family - escalators are egglebators, doorknobs are handknobbles (this one is so fixed in me even now as an adult that sometimes I forget the real word), and underwear is onnies, as in onnies and offies, depending on your current state of dress


All kids mis-pronounce - it is really cute! My brother used to call me "Ewwie" rather than Julie - and it was so cute, my whole family adopted this new name.
My brother talks real good now!
I love that when my son talk on the phone he says, "Hewwo?" rather then "Hello?". Were are confident that not correcting him isn't going to turn him into Pete Doherty or Ted Bundy. So relax a little - enjoy the cuteness! You will totally laugh your ass off about it when he graduates Suma Cum Laude from Yale!


Boy, could I relate to this. This is why I can't correct my six year old when he sits on his daddy's shurdles.


in my family you sit "next by" someone not "next to" them.
my brother used to count FrUCKS on road trips.
also i was in maybe highschool by the time someone told me that arm-sleeve was not the right word...thanks mom:)


It's so bittersweet! My babies are 5 and 8 and I still use their "baby words"
or these we all still use
buhgers on the gowilla--burgers on the grill
Caya--Uncle Eric
Nuno--Uncle Junior
And I am still using "f's" instead of "th's", when I talk to them!


FANTASTIC post, Amy!


Yeah for Noah!
It's hard not to mimic the kids, I know. I still do it with my son, and he's four! And autistic, so I really shouldn't all at. And I don't much. But sometimes it's just too cute!
And my two year-old just started calling trains "train" instead of "hmm hmm." Next he'll start talking about locomotives and switch tracks and monorails, and it'll just be boring.


I don't remember any words that I made up, but we had a bunch that the entire family used. For example trivets were underputers (I still use that), hors d'oeuvres were horse doovers, and my favourite, our dog's kibble was called matzo balls (because of the way they looked.

We were out visiting Jewish friends for dinner one night when I was sevenish. I asked what was for dinner and our hostess replied matzo ball soup.

Of course I was very upset that she was serving us dog food until it was explained to me. Turned out that I love matzo ball soup but I'm sure it took a while to believe anything my mother told me.


Okay, have to tell a story. When my friend got married, her husband asked if she could fix them some french toast for breakfast.
She thought he was crazy for wanting her to do some fancy french cooking.
Turns out, he just wanted some "hot toasties." Oh, well, that she could do.
She was in college and didn't know what french toast was!


Yeah! I'm still for leaving a few special words though. My 5 year old loves mavilla ice cream and my 7 year old likes to read Mazagines, and things can be Guyjantic!


I hope I don't come off all preachy here, because I get melted into a puddle daily by my 2-year-old's mispronunciations. But. . .there's something I've never understood about people picking up the wrong words and using them with their toddlers. See, when the kid starts saying muck or whatever, he really believes he's saying milk, right? He hears "milk," it comes out of his mouth "muck," but in his mind they're the same word. So then you start calling it muck, and what does he think? I'd be interested to read something more official about this than just my own assumptions, but I'm pretty much stuck with thinking that the whole thing is counterproductive. Do we think we're making it easier for the little one to understand us by saying the words their way? Because I'm convinced that it must make it more confusing to them, this having two different words for these things. Just curious if anyone else thinks that.


heh heh, gucky. Well I made up the word "felaggin'" for relaxing and I was never told I made it up until I used it in high school and everyone looked at me like I was speaking another language-and well, that was because I was, it was my own.

Mrs. Flinger

I knew I liked that kid! I used to call Milk Muck, too. (That's word in the house of Oma, anyway)

Growing pains. Good. Bad. Lovely. Sigh


Aww bless his lil heart. I have a late talker too, he has Apraxia, and you are right, sometimes it is just so danged cute.


I hear you on the "gucky"! It took me years before anyone clued me in that "giddy-giddy" was not a known euphemism for "penis"!


When my son said his much-awaited-for "bo bo" with just the tiniest hand-open-hand-closed motion, there was no way I could have responded "That right, bye bye!" I wanted to celebrate, I wanted to praise him, I didn't want to correct him. And the next time and the next time. If it means he's made fun of in fifth grade, at lease we had this moment, this wonderful first step. I want to save and and keep it forever "Bo Bo." I just hope I do what you did - that when he's ready to move on I won't actually force him to continue mispronouncing it.


Is it totally sad that my 11 year old still says "sibbial" instead of cereal and "chibbios" instead of Cheerios and that we both know that he only does it to please me? (I have been known to "correct" him back to the wrong words!)


Alison calls all cats and kitties "Neowmee" because she mispronounces Meow. I can't make myself correct her.

Indonesian WAHM

The 'gucky' thing made me laugh out loud. Remember my brother's surprise when he found out that the way he called his little friend down there was totally different from how his friends called it. Well, it surprised me, too.


Nice weekend!


The mommy police bitch at you not to talk to your kids in baby voice even when not speech delayed. But its soooooo sweet...they will not be permanently damaged and like you've discovered, will turn to the right word eventually. My oldest loved yogurt and called it NumNum, because when I first introduced it to him I would go "Look Drew! Try this! Num Num Num!" as I shoved it into his mouth. So he would ask for numnum all the time and you had to know what he meant. So cute. He also called his blankie his baby, which got really intesting when baby brother came along.


It looks like you've read the book "it takes two"- with the talk about "director", "OWL", etc. :) So familiar to me and our almost 3 year old speech delayed kid. We also fall into the cute talk, too, though. It's too hard to resist! Way to go Noah, on the progress! :)


Hey, gucky is so a word! We use it as an adjective in my family for a variety of things, usually things of the disgusting variety. We have tons of phrases we still use, just because my mom likes to perpetuate them (my brother and I are 25 and 20, btw). Ceiling fans and staircases are still sometimes "goggins" and "bobbums." If someone proves your point, "Zappily" (exactly). And I will never ever call it Cream of Wheat. It's "nuh-nuhs."

It's called being creative, people.


No speech delay here but D has always called music of any sort "naga". Who knows where that came from. Bad Daddy-o taught him how to say "music" and now my mommy's heart is broken. There are other vocabulary amusements, of course, like "crap" for "clap" (my current favorite). "Did you hear me crap?", he asks. How cute is that???? But my all-time favorite mispronunciation (my friend's kid): "rolly-polly" (you know, the pill bugs) as "robaholy". Still say it to this day.

imagine community

"They" don't want you to imitate the speech of non-delayed kids, either. I did it once, not really thinking. It went something like this:

The Boy: I'm a wabbit.
Mom: You're such a cute wabbit.
The Boy: No mummy, not wabbit, WWWABBIT.

The Dad, on the other hand, doesn't correct him. For example:

Do you know how octopuses eat? They catch it in their testicles and then eat it.

Damage control, anyone?

imagine community

Oh... and we have a "stoolstep" in the kitchen, and The Boy bumped himself on the "headfore" the other day.


My daughter always said "zes" instead of "yes" and just a few weeks ago she started saying Yeah instead. I cried. I still bribe her with her..."Oh, you want a cookie? Say zes." It was just soooo cute.


Omigosh, I know how you feel. My son use to say deedu for cookie. I loved it. Then, suddenly, about a month ago he said doogee. I was very sad. It took will power not to try and get him to say it the other way again.


oh my goodness, get over it! You're kid is speech delayed, so was mine and now he's ten and never shuts up. There are kids out there with cancer for goodness sake!!!!!!


Sheesh Nonny. How about you get over it?


My son is also speech delayed and I try my best. But I will never stop saying "otay"...hearing a 2 yr old fall and then say "I Otay" is hilarious.


Yeah Noah! It's just another step in his growing up. That's hard, but he's doing so great and so are you. My "funny word" story is when I was little I always wanted to look in my mother's "your-croscope" cute, but 30 years later she still tells the story.


My mom and I have been trying to remember all the cuuuuuuute little things my mildly speech-delayed (now 7-year-old) brother used to say.

He used to say "powder-pillar" instead of caterpillar and "hopty-copter" instead of helicopter.

We copied the way he said it all the time because it was so cuuuuute, but he doesn't say those words that way anymore.

When we tell him how he used to speak, he laughs and says, "NO WAAAAAY!"

Sometimes we'll ask him to say powder-pillar or hopty-copter, and sometimes, very rarely, he'll roll his eyes and say it, just to make mom and me smile. :)


Oh my gosh, on the subject of damage control...I don't know how I forgot about this one.

A few years before my brother was born, we were living near a fire department and my mom babysat our neighbor's 3-year-old son. He just LOVED to talk about the "fire fucks" he saw next door!


And we had to try to correct him WITHOUT laughing. Right.

Queen Bee

You're being so strong. Teaching him the right way to do things. You know you're doing it the 'right' way, right? He will still be cute and adorable even IF he uses the right words. :-)

Jozet at Halushki

Awwwww! It's so hard when they're being so cute and growing up so fast.

My favorite was "heppa-toppas" for helicopters.

Have you ever heard that Steve martin routine where he talks about how funny it is to teach children to talk wrong so that it would be a real laugh-riot on the first day of school when the kids has to pee and asks, "Excuse me. May I mambo dogface to the banana patch?" least you didn't ask that, right?


Nonny, why do I get the feeling you go over to kids' cancer blogs and shout, "Get over it! There are kids with speech delays, for goodness sakes!!!!!"


I've been screaming at kids (my own now, in previous years, my nanny charges) to stop and go back when they grew into the correct pronunciation of a lot of words. And ditto to Helen up there. My Bubs (and everyone associated with him under this roof) will always call his favorite blanket "The Bap" or "The Bappie." Amen.

We also say "guck," "gucky," or "super guck" for a variety of gross out moments.

Oh, and there's also "tee-too" for Thank You and "Yubba You" for I love you. Some of these little expressions are just going to be part of the threads in the big quilt of what makes our family...well, our family. Double Amen.

(Also, my younger brother and I thought we made up the word "Fucker." Imagine our surprise when we used it for the first time among the grown-ups.)


The Teenager (before he was a teenager) used to say "thigger" instead of "Figure" I thought it was the most precious thing in all of the world.

I'd ask him how to do things on purpose, just so that I could say "let me try to thigger it out!"

Then, one day, when he was about... oh... I don't know, in third grade? I told him it was "figure."

He sat quietly for a few minutes.

Then, he said "Well, thanks for making me look STUPID all these years, Mom."

You're welcome son.


I would like to clear something up here, I in no way meant to insult you Amy and reading back my comment I did sound harsh, put it down to being up all night with a grouchy 12 week old. All I'm saying is you are so blessed, your child is beautiful and his speech delay does not define him. You have a lot to be greatful for. I have a friend right now who is going through somehing awful with her child. Your boy is perfect and healthy, focus on that.


Also for someone to say that I leave comments on kids cancer blogs is a bit sick.


come on, at least you've spared your kid embarrassing childhood moments (well, as much as you can, anyway).

you coming to SXSW this year?


Michael used to call dinosaurs sanimals, I think it was the s in dinosaurs on top of animals. I was actually a little sad when it stopped.


A person could get lost in that dimple.

Miss Britt

I still call my brother-in-law Jeremer, as opposed to "Jeremy". He's listed in my phone as Jeremer.

My son, who is now 8, thinks I'm crazy.

My daughter's speech therapist thinks I'm a lazy parent, I'm sure.


My youngest daughter used to tell us that she needed a tennis shoe because she bless youed. As opposed to needing a tissue because she sneezed. And my entire extended family often declares that they are "nerm" because my younger brother couldn't say the word "nervous". (Although why a two-year-old needed to say he was nervous is a whole other story.)


My nearly 3yo son calls the elevator "alligator" and, although I know I am not supposed to encourage it, every time we go to the library and he says hopefully "take the alligator mommy?", I respond "no alligators today" or "yes! we shall take the alligator!" So I have some issues re: letting go as well.


My two favorites: googies was what my son called either cookies or goodies. Couldn't tell.
Also my niece called her poops cockies. One time we were out without her mom, and she kept telling my SIL and I "cockies." We kept telling her we had no cookies! Poor kid, it's a wonder she didn't have an accident!

Greg S

Just have to share my two cents...

My first, and completely all-purpose word, was "dit." I suppose it was a mis-pronunciation of "this" and/or "that." And apparently I used it for any and everything. I'm not even sure I reserved it for nouns. It became my nickname for a while - I was "the dit."

My oldest nephew ate a lot of yogurt when he was little - he called it "ya-yo." And his mother went along with that. She called it yogurt to us, but anytime she was addressing him it was ya-yo. Her mother (my MIL) tried once to correct him (long after he should have been using "yogurt") and she was emphatically corrected (with excellent diction): "No, Grandma, it's not yogurt it's ya-yo." He's since relented and uses the "grown-up" word.

Michal Dillon

Oh my! I loved this post. We have a few words around the Dillon household that I will seriously morn the passing of. My daughter is 3.5 yrs and we still have a few.
Nyoshie = snuggle/blanket
What's Happ-ah-wing?= what's happening
Behind is used for every preposition
Yissa = her Aunt Melissa
Grumpaw = grandpa
Grum = grandma
There's more and I love them all. I use them whenever I can and quite frankly we have friends that use them as well.
I really enjoy your blog and I think Noah is "adorabelle"
Michal Dillon


My daughter had no speech delay (in fact was an early talker) but she was the princess of the adorably goofy word. My favorite were "calla-pitter" (catapillar) and "cer-tick-a-fit" (certificate.) We still call a certain beverage "appah soose" and the kid is 15. Maybe we oughta let that one go. Heh.


It's not like you taught him to say neenee, right? I mean, teaching your kid the wrong words on purpose would be bad, right? Like telling him that the sky isn't called the sky at all but it's called fish? That would be bad.



Meh. I called "water" "moose" for years and I turned out okay. Those little flaws are what make them our babies. Even when they aren't our babies. I think I'm disproving my point so I'll stop talking now.

Heather O

My Grandaddy liked to make up words and teach them to my Mom when she was growing up. She thought a filing cabinet was called a Whyabastople (spelling??)until graduate school and her future husband broke the news. So first grade really doesnt sound so bad.


How could you not repeat everything that comes out of that angelic mouth? He is sooo cute!


My daughter is 2 1/2 and says Gucky all the time. Instead of things being Yucky she says Gucky. Which I think is way too cute and I dont correct her, I actually say it myself!! hah.
And with her 'stuffed dog'.. she calls him Goggie. She can actually SAY doggie now! Guess her 'doggy' took on the name "Goggie".


Cwurls = curls

Fwowler = flower

This post = waaaahhh!

I never corrected Em's mispronunciations, and yes, like others, often adopted them myself. And yes, she has since outgrown them.

The baby days...they fly so fast.

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