Friday, September 18, 2009

Sam's getting a man voice

Sam's voice is changing into a man-voice. Sometimes I can't tell if it's Mitch talking in the next room or if it's Sam. He has to talk really quietly now though, because if he raises his voice it cracks like Peter Brady's voice in the Brady Bunch. It got me thinking nostalgically of back when the kids learned to talk in the first place.

Before the kids could talk they were a lot like pets. Kira didn't speak until she was almost two, and then it was only in one word sentences. She would mostly form her mouth into a perfect O and say "Oooooooooo" and point to what she wanted. The oooing worked for her and was surprisingly effective. One afternoon she was oooing and fussing and bugging me. Her pants were clean. She wasn’t thirsty. She wasn’t hungry. I got some toys and games out and tried to play with her, but she didn’t want to play either. I got frustrated and said, “I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU WANT, YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO LEARN TO SPEAK. ”

The next day she pointed at the refrigerator and said, “ooooo c c cup.” Shortly after that she learned to say, “ooooo eat, ooooo done, ooooo light” and “ooooo tape.” All of her words sounded very strained. Imagine a man dying in the desert; think of they way he croaks out the words “water......water.” That’s how she said everything.

Why "Ooooooo tape," you ask? Tape was an important part of her vocabulary because from the age of about ten minutes she had the ability to remove her diaper by herself. The only way to keep her from being naked all the time was to tape her diaper on her tightly. It was only masking tape; and it wasn't like I taped it to her skin or anything, I just wrapped it around her waist five or six times to keep the tabs down. After a while she insisted on being taped. When we would change her she'd say, “tape... ooooooo tape....tape,” and she'd struggle to sit up and point to the industrial roll we kept on her dresser. Like we’d forget.

Sam, on the other hand, was extremely chatty early on. (However, for a long time he wasn't so good with math -- Auntie Beth convinced him there are no numbers after 10.) He had one long-lasting speech impediment and I was sort of sorry to see it go. He couldn't say the “s” in words where the “s” is immediately followed by a consonant. For instance, instead of saying “skunk,” he'd say, “’kunk.” One summer, after playing all afternoon with Uncle Tom, Sam brought me a grasshopper in a jar. He was telling me everything Tom told him about grasshoppers. He said, “You know what it eats, Mom?” I said, “Grass?” He laughed and said, “No Silly, Human flesh!” I said, "uh... what?" He said, “Human flesh, you know, ‘kin and ‘tuff.”

Aunts and Uncles are so important.

The kids still have some language quirks. Sam puts an N in vegetable so it's pronounced "venchtable," and Kira calls buttocks "butt hocks." As in, "I kicked that kid right in the left butt hock!" I'm not correcting them because I think it's cute. Is that mean?


  1. I may be laughing for the rest of the day about "butt hock."

  2. Great. Now I have that Peter Brady "Time to Change" song in my head. I think I like Rock Lobster better.

  3. "Butt hock." Am totally stealing that. Loves it.

  4. "Oh, yes Sir. Bit me right in the butt hocks."

    Kira is Forest Gump.


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