What a big stick you have

All right, I admit it. I laugh at my kids. My boy twin is particularly amusing at the moment, though I'm careful not to show it.

He's at that delightful stage where the words are there, but his pronunciation lets him down a little. And somehow it seems that all his mispronunciations create rude words (or maybe that's just me).

The "f word" appears with disturbing regularity, though he doesn't intend it to. His attempts to tell me about a flag ("Flag! Flag! There a flag! Look, Mummy, a flag!") while we were driving left me very confused. I was relieved when Vieve translated; she had the advantage of being able to see what he was pointing at.

"Truck" is another word that can be troublesomely amusing, particularly if it's a fire truck.  

It mostly emerges, though, when he's attempting to refuse something. "Th" comes out as "f", so "no thank you!" has definite overtones of "no, f___ you!", in both words and tone. He's started to say "No-thank-you!" in response to any request that doesn't meet his fancy, and since he's two-and-a-half, that's just about any request.

"Come and sit at the table for dinner, please."


"Do you want a bath or a shower?"


"Bed time!"


Some "S" sounds come out as "sh". So we've had the classic "Vieve sitting on the couch!" that made us do a double-take (and a discreet cushion-check).

The "st" sound eludes him, and is replaced by "d". This was hilarious at Matariki, when he got to cook damper in a bonfire. "Big stick!" he said. "I have a big stick! Big stick in the fire!" We suppressed our inner 12-year-old chortles and agreed that yes, he did have a big stick. Yes, Daddy has a big stick.

Disconcertingly, his sister had a big stick, too.

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