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That special grandkid language

It has its own dictionary – written in my heart.

A two-year-old knows an average of 50 words. By the time he turns 3, the vocabulary expands to 500! What I have found, however, is that not all of these words are actually in a dictionary.

Unique words

As my grandkids are growing, I see their personalities taking shape in the way they communicate – or try to. These are the words I cherish the most. Here are a few examples from my kids – and my grandkids:

  • Telvamision (or telvamizh for short) = Television
  • High nails = high heels
  • Pass outs = presentation hand outs

Giggle-inducing words

Some phrases cause you to almost giggle – but, are really clever in their origin. For instance, my grandson told his mom that when the storm siren went off they practiced a Tomato Drill. I know we will start calling things a Tomato Watch from now on.

Words that make more sense than ours

Other phrases show a logic and grasp of words superior to those who created our language in the first place. Since she was very young, my granddaughter says "last morning." It is cute – and actually a more understandable phrase than 'yesterday.'

Toddler interpretation

I remember when my oldest (now in his 30s) had started a new school. He came to me and said "Reek By-Bee." I asked him to repeat it. Then I asked him if he could show me. In desperation he finally turned on his 14-month-old heel and went to his room.

It wasn't until that Monday that his teacher explained that Rick Bybee was his new friend. He had wanted a play date. His relief was palpable. He looked at his teacher as if to say "Finally! Someone speaks my language!"

Words from the heart

I try to really listen to them – because it can be exceptionally frustrating when you are not understood. There is a quote in one of my favorite books: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

"Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them."

I hope I am always listening with an open heart so I don't miss those special words.

Sue Klein

Sue is a mom of two, grandmother of four and daughter to her own mother. She blogs about all things 'grandma.' ...

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