Column: You won't learn Emiliese in skewAugust 13, 2015
By JASON RECKER
In but a few days, the last of the Recker girls will depart for preschool and sooner or later be instructed that “Him have one feet” is a sentence that lacks both grammatical direction and anatomical logic.
She’ll be taught to use the correct pronouns and plurals and make sense of the language through everyday lessons with teachers who carry far more sway than Dad, even if he is paid each day for his construction and critique of words.
This disappoints me.
I’d rather Emilie speak Emiliese because anything a 3-year-old girl says is so cute it almost — but not quite, not at all, actually — makes me consider having a fourth child.
Three-year-olds are an uncoordinated insurance claim running too fast and climbing too high and caring too little. The so-called “terrible twos” aren’t actually that bad. It’s the 3-year-olds who are brave enough to try things and clueless enough to understand that climbing to the top of the cargo net then using both hands to wave to the neighbors is probably going to end with a piece of mulch impaled somewhere in a forehead.
They whine and they spill things and they claim they can’t wipe their own butts.
Then they talk, and innocence wins.
Even when she blurts about how it’s time that somebody “get me some frickin’ sir butt (sherbet),” the ending is the gloss that makes the toddler swearing permissible. Face it, it’s adorable when 3-foot-tall girls with curly hair say bad words.
Sometimes, we “scare the cap (crap) out” of her. Sometimes, she pesters us for more “butt gun” (bubble gum). Sour butt gun is her favorite, and I don’t mind her chewing some as long as she throws it away before changing into her pee damn its (pajamas).
The grammarian in me lurches to make revisions, but I save the vocabulary tutorial for the older siblings. I actually bait Emilie into saying the wrong things.
I read books in silly accents and never get more than two sentences down before she insists that I “wee bee kekly” (read correctly). Read what? Bee kekly. What do you want me to do? Wee. Bee. Keckly!
Where is the remote control? In the “oh yum” (living room). Where? The “Oreo room” (living room). Wait, where? The “wivvie oom” (still the living room).
What’s for breakfast? “Bee Anna” (banana) with “aches” (eggs) and “mow ted” (melted) cheese with a cup of “chalk it mill” (chocolate milk). Except she can’t get the “bee Anna” “oboe” (open) and it’s so hot outside “you sudden” (you’re sweating) and all that “sudden” is making both of us “skeek” (stink).
She’ll need a translator when school starts Monday. She calls it “skew” and I divert my route home sometimes solely for the purpose of driving past the building so I can hear her yell “My skew! My skew!” I laugh. Even on the bad days.
Her sister will be in the same “skew.” Her name is Halle, but she goes by “Hi Eye”or “Howie” because when Emilie was even littler, she couldn’t say Halle. Her other sister is Whitney, but Emilie has never actually called her that; she’s mostly “Ninny.” Grandma Colvin is Grandma “Coffin” — morbid, sure, but she’s only in her 50s. The dog is “Sucker” (Slugger), her mom works at “Mineral Hop It All” (Memorial Hospital) and the other day, she played on a playground with a boy named “Cake” (Tate). Her cousins are “Doo Doo” (Drew) and “E-Buy” (Levi) and “Ass sun” (Addison). Yeah, that last one ...
It gets more awkward.
She can’t talk about our vehicles or the furniture without sounding like she’s referring to someone’s groin. The dog is hiding under the “crotch” (couch) and Mom’s van is parked in the “crotch” (garage).
Consider, though, that she can’t even say her own name. She calls herself “Em Me” because three syllables are far too exhausting. So there’s a good chance she’ll report to her “T-shirt” (teacher) on Monday, claim her name is “Em Me” and ask why she’s not allowed to wear her “pee damn its” to class.
If she’s punished, I’m OK with it.
She’s growing up too fast and it’s scaring the “cap” out of me.
Jason Recker is the news editor at The Herald. He likes mint butt gun. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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