When I Was Tree
Saturday, December 3rd, 2011
Do tell….what is the cutest thing your child says?
My four year old is somehow caught in a rabbit hole of not wanting to grow up. She knows that with her approaching birthday, when she will be 5, she HAS to start school. And she doesn’t want to yet. She tells me that she wants to stay “tree” (instead of three, because she has a slight lisp) forever. (Can you say heartbreakingly cute?)
She walks around all the time making statements such as “When I was tree…” talking like an old soul in a tiny-tot’s body about the days since past when she was three, or eh…tree, as if it was a century ago or something.
And then today, due to the cold weather – I put her first sweater of the season on her and she said, “Fweaters make me fweat!” I made her say it twice simply because it was so darn cute.
Funny, but I have never once had the heart or inclination to correct her. For one thing, I know teaching the whole ‘th’ and ‘sw’ sounds are difficult and could possibly shove me over the edge of my maternal sanity. But mostly, it’s because it’s cute. And because I know for sure that one day very soon, she will be able to say three, and sweat and sweater, as well as all the other words that she mixes up, with precision.
One of my other children fought with the word yellow, saying "lellow," until she was at least 5 or 6 (or maybe even 7). And my husband and I would try to teach her to say yellow. She would be able to say YELL, and yack and yoke – but as soon as you tried to get her to say YELLOW…her mouth retreated to the familiar ‘L’ sound.
I know firsthand that a lot of parents worry about their child’s speech. And, I also know that many kids in Kindergarten, First, and even Second grade, blunder their words around quite a bit. It sometimes gets worse before it gets better, when they start losing their teeth.
Of course as a parent, it is important to listen to your kids and try to help them formulate their words and sounds appropriately. However, if you are constantly nagging about it (because YOU are worried), you will simply give your child a complex when it comes to talking. You could inadvertently make them feel so self-conscious about "how" they talk that they won’t want to talk in front of others.
My Momspirational advice; see what sort of speech issues time works out on its own. And if your child is calling every truck they see on the road a “fruck” or worse…then count your blessings.
Chances are the day will come when you sit back and wish, for just a second, you could hear a squeaky child’s voice fumble around with words again…talking about when she was “tree wearing a fweaty fweater!”