Toddler language is amazing. Truly, I am astounded every day at the words and phrases my almost-three-year-old son not only knows but also uses correctly. He is SO verbal, and I find myself wondering, a lot, where he has picked up half of the stuff he knows and says.
Of course I know a lot of his language comes from us. Because I know he listens to us all the time, I try to watch the words I use in front of him as best I can. Of course this mostly applies to cussing, but I’m quickly learning that what I say about common everyday things matters, too. For example, one of my stock phrases when I am frustrated and overwhelmed and by myself with the kids is, “Where is your father?” I know this because I now hear HD saying, “I don’t know where my fadder is” any time I ask about Daddy’s location in the house. Harrison never calls Ben “father” except for in these instances which are made even more amusing by the questioning hands he raises in the air and the shake of his head as he says it. What is also amusing, though, is that Harrison is still finding ways to embellish and create his own language, too.
Last month we added another phrase to HD’s vocab creation list when we bought a used playground/ swing set/wooden structure/thingamabob for our backyard. Part of this phrase’s creation came from our very confusion; we honestly didn’t know what to call the thing because it was far more than the simple swing set we would have purchased had we ended up buying something new. It had the slide and the bridge and the tire swing and the regular swings and two play decks and a picnic bench and even more features that make it the most mammoth playset I’ve ever encountered. Don’t get me wrong. We LOVE the thing and Mr. Monkey is having blast playing on it. We just weren’t sure what to call it. Leave it to Harrison to give us the answer!
Waiting for the playground/ swing set/wooden structure/thingamabob to find its home in our actual yard took a while. We bought it on a Monday, hauled the pieces on a Wednesday, and then had to wait a week and a half before we were able to put it all together on a Saturday with the help of Ben’s parents (Grandpa Dave to help Ben with construction and Grandma Deb to help me with running herd on the children during construction).
During the waiting period, we had to answer a lot of questions from Harrison about when the set would go together and when he could play on it, and all that. A LOT. Apparently it was during those discussions that we used the word construction to describe what would (eventually) happen to all the pieces sitting on the patio slab next to our garage. Because we kept calling the pieces different things (playground/ swing set/wooden structure/thingamabob), Harrison decided to make the final call by introducing us to the phrase Play Constructure. Much like his creation “Campfire” (in place of Kindle Fire), it stuck.
Now we find ourselves using the phrase all the time as if constructure is an actual word. In fact, I find myself having to explain/translate for other people (just like I have to with Campfire) what we are all talking about and if constructure really is a word. Technically, it is not, but for the life of me, I can’t come up with any better way to describe it. So, once again, Harrison’s literary skills amaze and surpass my own!