Some kids, by the time they're four, can talk almost as well as adults. Not Sweetie. Some things she says, it takes all my synapses to figure out what she means. The worst was 'tanahat' which turned out to be "Cat in the Hat". I think that took a few days. The funniest is "Holy-you-ya!" Fortunately, she's very patient. I repeat what I thought I heard, and she says it again with slightly different emphasis until I get it right. But now, sometimes she takes advantage of this arrangement, by saying gibberish on purpose, but changing it slightly everytime so that I never win. This is a very funny joke to her, and she tries to keep me going even after I protest that she's pulling my leg.
Tiny has the same problem, but zero patience for my confusion. I usually only have two tries before Tiny starts screaming the phrase, which makes her even harder to understand. (We're still working on the commandment, "Thou shalt not scream") But when I'm lucky, Sweetie is there to translate. Somehow she understands everything Tiny says, even though their pronunciation habits are completely different.
Another game Sweetie likes to play on me is asking the same question repeatedly until I accidentally give a different answer, or asking several questions in rapid succession so I get confused. When in my distraction I give the answer she wants, she tries to hold me to it.
- Can I play in snow when we get home?
- No, you need a nap before church.
- Can I have a snack?
- We have crackers right here.
- I want different kind.
- <checking blind spot> This is what we have.
- When we get home.
- When we get home you're taking a nap.
- I don' wan' take a nap.
- Do you wanna go to church?
- Then you need a nap.
- Can I play outside when we get home?
- <waving pedestrian to cross> No, you need a nap.
- Can I sleep with my baby?
- Can I have crackers?
- Right here.
- Can I have a drink?
- Wait till we get home.
- Can I play in snow?
- <looking for space in traffic> Yeah.
- <confused> No, wait a second, you can't play outside...
- But you said I could.
- That's cuz you were confusing me!
- <grins, giggles>