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Simon likes language. I know that sounds silly, but what I mean is that he is very aware of the words and expressions he uses and tries to experiment with them. I’m hoping this foreshadows a lifelong interest in the written and spoken word. Until then, I’m enjoying the fruits of his unique idiolect.

Being only four, his experimentation often yields malapropisms. When he was a mere toddler, we were entertained by Simon’s attempt to use the word “embarrass” correctly. As in, “Bubbie, I’m embarrassed that the [traffic] light is still red.”

This past week, we had two doozies:

“Mommy! Don’t hug me so much. You’ll make my teeth hurt.”

Huh? And:

“Mommy, I’m so hungry I can hardly freak out!”

Then there’s his attempt to establish a timeline for his narrative. He struggles with the concepts of days, weeks, months, and years, so has settled on a catch-all for “time before now.” It’s “when I was three.” As in:

“Mommy, last week, when I was three, I chased Baron.”


“Last week, when I was three, I got a time-out for touching Gabrielle’s hair.”

In the first instance, it’s the “last week” part that is accurate; in the latter, it’s the “when I was three.” Mommy did have a little scare there imagining that her son got a timeout for harassing the same little girl twice.

And finally, there are the hilarious verbal meanderings that result from Simon’s exposure to different cultures and language. Like this:

“What starts with Q, Simon” [Q was the theme letter of last week.]

“Kwanzaa!” [Kwanzaa was one of the festivals covered in the pre-vacation holiday unit.]

“Actually, honey, Kwanzaa starts with—-“

“Can I get a purple lightsaber for Kwanzaa?”

Or this:

“Last week, when I was three, I went to see a movie called Arba’a. [Arba’a is the Hebrew word for four.] It was a number game.”

I would do anything for a chance to see and experience the world from his perspective for a day. It’s fascinating to witness how much his thoughts and expressions are clear and like mine at one minute, and then so opaque and alien the next.

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