by Alana Morales
My husband and I are learning to speak a new language and its all our son's fault.
Now that he has hit the ripe old age of five, he is learning to read and with that comes the ability to spell. Gone are the days of spelling out words to my husband in front of him because our worst fear has been realized - he knows what we are talking about.
It started rather inauspiciously. My husband asked me if I thought it was still too hot to take the kids to the Z O O. Then our son piped up and started yelling "I want to go to the zoo!"
Um, ok. This forced us to change our whole way of talking. We tried talking in Pig Latin, but the words don't sound different enough and our son figured it out after about two days. Saying 'oy-tay' instead of 'toy' isn't really that much of a stretch.
We have graduated, however, and now sound like NASA engineers or IT people giving directions. Here is a recent breakfast time conversation:
Him: Do you think we should take the kids to go Snake Walrus Igloo Monkey?
Me: No, but maybe we could go out to Lion Umbrella Nerf Cat House instead.
Him: We could do that, but we have to make sure to still get their Noodle Apple Pigeon done.
The government would be so proud. Our kids found all this terribly amusing and thought that we had finally gone mad, but we knew what we were doing. The only problem I have is when I can't think of something for a particular letter.
N seems to be the one that get me the most. I can't help but think of the word naked or certain body parts, which while it may get a laugh out of the kids, I don't need them repeating it while at the store or at Grandma's house.
Then there are words that are actually fun to say in this language. Take zoo for example. In our house it is now Zephyr Octopus Octagon. Isn't this more interesting?
Another problem I have found is when we want to talk about a word that is over 3-5 letters. Then we find ourselves talking to the other person who is feverishly scribbling letters on a napkin trying to figure out what the first person is talking about.
You might wonder why we don't just save these conversations for later. Being a mom with two kids means that they each took a percentage of my brain cells, which makes it much more difficult to retain a thought for more than 4 minutes. Besides, we don't have too much time left before our son figures this one out too. Until then, we will continue with our own language - it's kind of Funky Umbrella Needle.