Saturday, April 30, 2011

Do You Speak Four-Year-Old?

Last week, I posted on Facebook something that my 4 year old said - He said: “Sarah doesn't want to play with me & she said tomorrow & today is today yesterday....” I thought it was funny. My son was dead serious. Not only that, but also he believed that what he was saying made perfect sense. I suppose it did to other four-year-olds. If I learned anything as a parent, it is that little kids definitely have a language all their own. They take everything literally and they say it like it is.

When my oldest son was four (forgive me as many of you already know this story), he went to preschool at a synagogue. The class learned a prayer called “The Sh’ma.” The first line of the Hebrew prayer translates to: “Hear, O Israel: the Lord is our G-d, the Lord is one.” My son politely raised his hand and asked, “Well when will he be two?”

As long as we are on the subject of my oldest son, my favorite question that he asked when he was four was if I would marry him. I explained that parents cannot marry their children, then promised him I would love him forever. His response: “Ok, but when you die, will I still get all your stuff?”

My daughter, a natural performer, spent most of her toddler years singing. In particular she would sing “the potty song” to everyone and anyone who would listen. You know – the one that goes to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” except the words are “Wipe, wipe, wipe yourself, always front to back, carefully, carefully, now you’ve got the knack.” Definitely one of the many things that a cute little girl with blond curls can get away with… not so much when you are an adult.

Now for my youngest – he has definitely mastered four-year old speak. The other day he stated “I’m hungry. That’s why my foot hurts.” My reply: “That really doesn’t make any sense.” His response: “Well it makes sense to me.” Of course it did – he wouldn’t have said it otherwise.

His four-year-old friends speak this language as well. The other day, one of his friends at preschool learned my son possessed the Lego Batcave, apparently a hot commodity among four-year-olds. This friend came up to me and asked, “Can I come over to your house to play? But not today – I’m good.”

The problem with four-year-old talk is that it progresses each year and gets harder to understand. I’m much better at deciphering four-year-old talk than I am at figuring out teen talk (a discussion for another day).

I suppose my children think the same about “parent talk.”

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