When my 8-year-old was a toddler, he called Winnie the Pooh, Honey the pooh. For years, he wanted to read the “Honey the Pooh” book. I’ll never forget the first time I heard him say Winnie instead. I cried.
Every kid has these little language nuggets of sweetness that are uniquely them. They are special in our family, like an inside joke. Some of them seem to stick even into adulthood. My stepdaughter used to say it was “bednight” time as a sort of combination of the words goodnight and bedtime. She’s 28 now, but my husband still says it with our little ones. My 5-year-old says, “UHcause” instead of “BEcause,” and I am dreading the day she gets it right. (Here’s an idea to keepsake the things your kids say.)
When they start correcting these mispronunciations, it’s suddenly thrown in your face…THEY’RE GROWING UP!
Why is it so hard to watch our babies grow up?
It is the age-old bittersweet feeling of wanting to hold them in their swaddle blanket forever, and simultaneously wanting to watch them discover the world. We all would love to be able to go back and forth between the long naps in our arms and teaching them to learn to ride a bike.
Now, I talk to my 8-year-old about current events, his concern that sea turtles can’t go into their shell, and watch him begin to be sarcastic. (Don’t tell him, but I secretly love his sarcasm.)
I will never get tired of hearing my kids’ beloved little mispronunciations, but I’m certainly enjoying having more grown-up conversations with them.
It’s a hard balance to find; letting go. Do I let them go in a public bathroom by themselves? Get on Youtube? Use a knife? I guess if I can say goodbye to Honey the Pooh, I can let them cut their pancakes by themselves.
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