Friday, October 5, 2007

So To Speak

Noah is doing the weirdest thing…

(Big shock, eh?)

He has this new best friend, Cooper. Cooper is just the sweetest, most polite boy you have ever met. I LOVE that he has come into our life because Noah has been pretty friendless since we left Ohio, and has been getting too rough with the twins and has developed some behavior issues. I think Cooper is an awesome example for Noah. He is a gentle soul. And I love that Noah is starting to live up to Coop’s example a bit… except for one area.

Cooper has the same speech impediment I had when I was a kid… he replaces his R’s with the W sound. (You can imagine my frustration as a child trying to pronounce my own name, Kawen Wenee’). Cooper gets very frustrated with the sound of his speech and is working on speaking more like his classmates and less like “a baby” as he puts it.

But not Noah!

No… Noah has decided that the way Cooper talks is as cool as Cooper is. So, my linguistically gifted child has decided to start speaking the same way! Yes! So he might say, “Mom, I was wunning on da playgwound today and I twipped and huwt my fingow”.

I remember working on plays (back in my theater life) that had actors speaking with a British Accent, or Irish, or whatever, and we all started talking that way for the fun of it, which is pretty much what Noah is doing, and I found that after some time, it’s very difficult to make yourself stop when you need to! So I worry a bit that Noah will end up continuing on with this speech pattern even after Coop has worked his way out of it!!

So we are trying to nip it in the bud. Pretty much every time we will say something like, “You did WHAT, Honey??”

“I huwt my fingow”

“You hurt your….umm... What?”


“I’m sorry, sweetie, I don’t understand what you are saying…”


“OOOHHH!!! Your FINGER! I’m sorry, I couldn’t understand what you were saying! How is your finger feeling now?”

“It has a wed mawk on it”

“I’m sorry, it has a WHAT???”

And so on like that. We hope to exasperate him so much that eventually he will go back to his usual way of speaking. We work hard not to say that he is speaking “wrong” or that he isn’t doing it “the right way” or that he is “talking like Cooper” so that he doesn’t come back to Cooper with any conversation that will make him feel bad about himself. We just try to sound like we can’t understand what Noah is saying.

When I asked him why he has changed the way he speaks sometimes, he told me…

“I’m just talking with an ACCENT, Mom!!!”


willowtree said...

Tell Cooper to go live in England, the way he speaks, he could get a seat in the House of Lords.

Carrie said...

That definitely sounds like a kid to me! It would be both cute and frustrating all at once!

I think you are on to something with the way you are responding to him. I don't know if I would have thought of that myself, but it is a great idea!

Good luck getting him switch back from his accent. lol

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Beckie said...

My son does this sometimes and my daughter has a lisp. I so understand the frustration.