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Sometimes kids' verbal skills amaze me

Speaking with my grandkids reminds me that my imagination is severely limited - as are my verbal skills. I know you have had these experiences where your kids or grandkids use the same everyday words we do - but somehow they are able to describe things in a really original way. 

Sleepy eyes

For example, my son-in-law and I were watching the two granddaughters at nap time. The 2 year old had already very willingly gone to sleep with her pink bunny blanket. Meanwhile, the 4 year old was resisting. And negotiating. Her dad offered that if she picked up the doll explosion in the living room, she could watch a movie and lay on the floor in a "nest." Here was her reply:

"Dad, I can't pick them up because I am already tired and my eyes would get crinkled and have sleep goop in them and then I wouldn't be able to watch the movie." This was accompanied by some really expressive "spider fingers" indicating how eyes get sleepy. 

Colorful descriptions

Her negotiation reminded me of some of my favorite descriptions from these short folks who have not yet honed their vocabulary:

"That sandy feeling"

My daughter - at about 5 - told me that her arm had that sandy feeling. Yes, it had fallen asleep. 

"Nose holes"

Nostrils is such a weird word. Are they not "nose holes?" My grandson reports that his nose hole is stopped up.

"Peek around"

Kindergarten roundup is an almost scary description of what my grandson called the "peek around." 

"Last morning"

We say 'this morning' and 'last night.' Where did yesterday come from? Last morning makes a lot more sense. 

Adult and child vocabulary

The average adult vocabulary is between 20,000 and 35,000 words. A 4-year-old generally knows 5,000 words which double by age 8. 

All of this reminds me of the wisdom of a certain bear:

It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?  A. A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh

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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