Mini meanings

Mini caught in full flow.

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.

1. Toot-tee
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.

3. Nanana
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?

0 thoughts on “Mini meanings

  1. Aw! Love those words. Mini is marvellous – she’s bilingual too, which takes most kids longer to sort out in their heads regardless of any developmental delay! I’m sure there will come a time when no one will be in any doubt about what she’s saying – in France AND here!

    If you can believe it, I’m already missing the word ‘Mama’, as one of my little ladies has decided I should be addressed as my proper name from now on. ‘Dada’ is suffering the same fate 🙁

  2. What a little cutie-pie. It must be so hard to resist her charming ‘peeeeeeze!’. Although, I think little girls are great for wrapping us around their little fingers. I think Mini and my little girl have both figured this out perfectly! 🙂

  3. Hard not to read this and think ‘Aww’.
    My boy was very late to speak. I minded another little girl his age and she ‘spoke’ for him all the time. She always knew what he wanted, when I, his mother often hadn’t a clue.
    He would bring her in and she would say what he wanted and he would stand beside her nodding mad and saying, ‘Ye, ye, ye,’.

    1. Aw,Tric-that’s so lovely.That makes me wonder are they friends now?It’s amazing the fleeting connections we form with other human beings-I’m thinking of friends made at Irish college and on family holidays-great friends for a few weeks and then we never see them again,and if we do,it’s never the same as it was for that brief moment in our lives.

      1. Yes. The two I minded are both at college now but still in touch regularly. She and he went to his Debs together, and she got dressed here instead of at her own house. I would still have huge feelings for her and her sister.
        I found two of my oldest friends on facebook recently, (well they found me) and it really is lovely to reconnect after so many years apart.
        Loved this post, for as you can see, the years fell away and you reminded me of that lovely time.

  4. Adorable! I love the little words. I wrote a post a couple of years ago about how my non-French child said words like a French child! I don’t think I’ll ever forget how he used to say danny-hip (not even slightly French obviously) all the time which, believe it or not, meant “down the hill” but we still knew what he meant. Love the cutie talk!

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