24 September 2011

The Penis Pronunciation

Now that Emmaline is two, it is a whole new world. She learns something new every day. For instance, how to make breakfast.

Or how to take care of the livestock...

To ride in a rodeo...

To prepare for the catwalk...

To turn brand new blue shoes to black in less than sixty seconds...

Or even how to seek out new worlds and new civilizations.

But perhaps the most impressive strides she's made lately is in her ability to communicate. Sure, this often takes the form of earth shattering shrieks and a deluge of tears. But more often than not there's a sentence thrown in there somewhere.

"Stop Mama, no kissing me," was not a sentence I particularly wanted to hear today, but it was a sentence nonetheless.

And though she says much that we don't understand and says even more that you wouldn't understand, when she chooses a word, it is usually correct. Once she pins down the syllables, she rocks them like a beat poet and expects her audience to appreciate her efforts.

So it was unexpected when, after introducing peanut butter for the first time, she got it so entirely wrong when asking for seconds. The peanut butter lollipop was a favorite of mine when I was younger, probably because it was within the reach of my culinary skills consisting as it does of peanut butter loaded onto a spoon. Emma had some. She liked it. She did not demonstrate any feared allergic reaction but instead smiled and asked me for more.

"Like more penis pop, please."

"You want more peanut butter lollipop?" I asked innocently.

"Yes please, I love penis lollipop."

She said lollipop. She also says helicopter and refrigerator and lullaby and thunderstorm without difficulty. But she cannot say peanut butter.

I didn't laugh. I didn't draw attention, though this was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I simply repeated the words peanut butter to her as often as possible in the days that followed, waiting patiently for Emmaline to get it right. Granted, I've been waiting less than a week, but we're not making progress.

This afternoon, while lying underneath the kitchen table to let Scout lick the remains of her snack off of her face, Emmaline exclaimed, "Mmmmm, I love penis crackers!" Then she said, "Crazy dog, stop licking me."

At least she's getting some things right. In the meantime, I'm waiting for the knock on the door from social services. And I have a feeling I'll be talking about peanut butter a lot.

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