Friday, July 24, 2009

Learning New Words

Malakai (almost 2) has been a notoriously slow talker. I don't believe it's an actual speech delay, so much as an issue of "why bother?" After all, he's spent a good year of his life pointing, saying "that" or "doooooosssss" (which means either juice or shoes, depending on where he's pointing) and having six willing people come running to fetch whatever "that" may be.

It was about six months ago that we began to realize the boy was not really talking. He had a fairly good repertoire of words that he'd used once or twice each, but if you asked him to repeat it he declined. Literally. I would say, "Kai, can you say 'puppy'?" and he'd respond with a head nod and an "mmm-hmmm." Stinker!

As a family we decided to buckle down. No more getting whatever Kai pointed at without encouraging him to name the object. And it has been working! Words, words, everywhere!

Malakai, like many little boys, is quite fascinated by cars and trucks. So much so that he will stop walking (even if we're in the middle of crossing the road) to stare at a vehicle. His absolute favourite new word is 'truck.' Thing is, it doesn't sound like truck at all!

This past Sunday, I dropped him off in the church nursery and told all who would listen, "Malakai has a new word. I want you to know that he is saying 'truck.' I promise you, he is saying 'truck.' Please make sure you tell all the other workers in here, so no one things he is saying swear words." My instructions were met with gales of laughter.

We have been very careful to repeat the correct pronunciation of the word back to him every time Kai says 'truck.' "Yes, Kai, it's a T-RRRRR-UCK." Every now and then you can hear him inserting the 'r' sound. (Finally!)

Yesterday, he was running around the front sidewalk admiring all the parked vehicles, "Truck! Truck! Truck!" and pointing. I said (about 400 times), "Yes, a T-RRRRR-UCK."

At about time 401, Abbey (7) turns to me and says, giggling, "Mom, it sounds like he's saying f%$@!" with the most innocent little look in her eyes.

I bit my cheeks really hard to keep from bursting into laughter, and very calmly replied, "Oh, sweetheart, we shouldn't say that word. It's not nice. Besides, we all know he's saying T-RRRRR-UCK."


  1. Lol I can relate to this one several times over!

    Excellent post!

  2. When we were camping this week Kai kept saying truck - except with a f and no r - and like you, I kept correcting. "Yes, trrruck." He kept loudly, and then more loudly repeating his work until he was yelling it in the campground. Great, I thought, our camping neighbours will really wonder about the kids in this family. Meanwhile, Kai I'm sure was thinking, "What's with grandma? Can't she hear that I'm saying exactly what she wants?"



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