They say 70% of communication is non-verbal but I am not so sure. Languages are complicated-full of nuances,sticky grammar rules and home to an ever evolving wordscape. It makes them exciting to learn but a downright bitch to master. Like for example,in France when it is 4 o’clock in the afternoon and I enter a shop and say bonjour or good day and the shop assistant corrects me with Bonsoir or good evening and then the next day at 4.01, I enter the same shop and say bonsoir only to have another shop assistant respond with a nearly imperceptible but nonetheless present, bonjour. Bloody French. Then there is the case of Mini who is 3 and 1/2 and has very little spoken language. Her peers are holding full-blown conversations on everything from their day at creche, to the latest nail-biting episode of Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom-will Nanny Plum ever learn to control those wayward twin sisters?
Mini has full blown conversations too. The only difference is, nobody can understand what she is saying as she is the only one on this planet who is fluent in her very own language. I call it Mini-ese.
To the uninitiated ear, it’s hard to describe Mini-ese. Some days it gushes forth like an Arabic sermon, other days it has a more energetic quality and sounds akin to Japanese, some days it has a beautiful French rhythm to it and still other days it has a distinctly Spanish vibe. Mini has a lot of things to say, and unfortunately, our decoders don’t always function properly in deciphering her many musings. Occasionally, I’ll have a lightbulb moment and I’ll realise what it is she has been trying to tell us for the past few weeks or months. We have been told by the Speech and Language therapist that we should acknowledge what she is trying to say and then correct her by giving the proper word. There are some Mini-ese words, however, that I am loath to correct and will miss when they’re gone.
This is such a brilliant word for toothbrush. It’s so cheerful, it brings a smile to my face every morning, no matter how tired I am. I love hearing it.I love saying it.So much so that I now refer to all toothbrushes as toot-tees,even when I’m not talking to Mini much to the confusion of whoever I happen to be in conversation with.
Usually it’s “mamma” that will trip forth from her little lips and sometimes a lofty “maman” will be heard echoing through the house but every once in a while,she falls back on the first name she had for me-a simple “Bawboh” and oh how it makes me fall hopelessly in love with her all over again.
This is Mini’s favourite fruit and one of her favourite foods. I just love the way she belts out the word full of enthusiasm, although I am less in love with it at 3am when she wakes and thinks it’s morning time.
Said when she is going to bed-at all times of the day, not just nighttime and whispered gently to her dolly when she is settling her for her afternoon nap.
Everything is requested with a charming and energetic variation of the word please as if her very life depended on it. The girl has nothing if impeccable manners and I’m grateful for that!
This one really melts my heart. It’s her name for her little sister, who doesn’t have the easiest name for little kids to get right to be fair. When she comes home after preschool, calling out this name as she walks through the door, my flagging spirit is instantly revived, no matter what challenges the day has otherwise brought.
What “nonsense” words did you little ones have that you miss hearing?