Monday, April 28, 2008

Spell Check

When you're hanging around a two-year-old, you have to spell lots of words. At home, we always spell "B-A-T-H" and "C-H-O-C-O-L-A-T-E", lest we start a toddler frenzy before we are ready for it. My five day family visit last week morphed into a spell-fest that had us all tongue-tied.

It started on the way home from the airport, when E announced from the back seat, "I don't feel so much good." My sister in-law, E2, asked me, "Do you want a B-A-G-E?" A what? Oh, a plastic BAG to catch the V-O-M-I-T. I had to poke fun at her mis-spelling a three letter word, and perhaps the pressure got to her. Over the next few days, she mis-spelled MANY words, including "heart" (H-E-R-T) and "soft" (F-O-S-T). Why, you might ask, was she spelling "soft" anyway? Well, there's this tendency, once you start, to just spell the last word of every sentence, whether it means anything to the toddler or not. So the cookie dough was "F-O-S-T." E didn't seem to care. It tastes the same fost or rahd.

I also overheard sentences such as, "Should we let Spike [the dog] O-U-T?" The operative word in that sentence was "Spike," not "out." Once you've said "Spike" the rest of the sentence doesn't really matter to E. She runs for cover whether Spike is O-U-T, I-N, or anywhere
E-L-S-E. And putting the cookies in the oven, my mother announced, "Some of them are so thin, they might come out B-L-A-C-K." Perhaps she was trying not to scare E with the prospect of a cookie that was inedible. Come to think of it, that would be tragic for a toddler.

Soon, we will not be able to spell anything in front of her...she already knows how to spell her own name, and I'm pretty sure she knows N-A-P in context. We're going to have to work on code words, or maybe we can talk in pig-Latin. O-say ong-lay. I am oing-gay oo-tay ake-tay a ap-nay. I'm ired-tay of all this elling-spay.


Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr