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Uppy, Cuppy, Me

At the playground this evening, my daughter Seren announced her arrival at each stair on her way up to the slide with a single word: Uppy.

I love hearing my two little girls talk about their world. With my boys, I was always trying to correct their speech, but, with my girls, I find myself encouraging them when they use "cuppy" (or "copa", as the case may be) for "cup," "gacker" and "memi" for their brothers "Isaac" and "Remi," and "uppy" for "up".

Remi and Zac have picked up on it, too. One of their favorite games of late is to ask the girls to say random words. While Seren isn't really interested, Lici seems to get that it's a game and plays along. Most of the words that they pose to her are simple "r" words, Remi realizing that toddlers typically can't say the letter "r".

My favorite one, though, was from the other night at dinner when Remi asked Lici if she could say "macaroni degeneration".

It's kind of nice because it makes me feel bi-lingual. Aside from speaking English, I also speak SerenLici.

The other funny thing that we've noticed is that it carries into the sign language that we've been learning for about the past year. The girls get their daily viewing of Signing Time--a set of videos made for kids about learning ASL--and they regurgitate it as SLASL, in which Kristi and I also have arrived at fluency.

Lici's favorite sign, I think, is probably "dog". It involves tapping your thigh with your hand like you're saying "here boy!" to a dog. Except that Lici turns the "tapping" into an Olympic event where her motto is "higher, faster, stronger". And, if she is sitting on your lap when she spots a dog, watch out because it will be your leg with the red mark that will invariably appear after she has smacked your thigh repeatedly for several seconds until you have finally verbally acknowledged to her "yes, Lici, there's a dog!" I speak from experience.

Seren's is "no". This is made by taking your index and middle fingers and tapping them a couple to times against your thumb. Combined with Seren's incredibly cute way of saying "no" while making a very sinister-looking crusty face and you find yourself doing things that you know she won't like just to get her to response in the negative.

While this post is, indeed, about my girls, I'd hate for my boys to feel left out, so I should mention my favorite "toddler talk" of theirs, which is "em e ems." From the day that Remi could ask for that chocolate manna in a hard candy shell, it was "em e ems" instead of "em n ems." Zac followed suit, and they still call them that today.

Eventually, they'll grow out of it, but it's one of the highlights of my days right now.


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