My dad has a yellow binder of mostly handwritten notes about funny things my siblings and I said as kids. That binder is probably one of our most prized possessions, but not because of the binder itself. The experience of going through it together brings us back to the moment that was cherished enough to be remembered.
You might have things like this in your own family. Is yours in home videos? Photos? In stories narrated around the dinner table?
Regardless of how you capture the stories, it is likely, no inevitable, that you have some of your own “Kids Say the Funniest Things” material. To be blunt, children don’t come into the world speaking their native tongue properly. And sometimes, it is hilarious what they think is logical.
In college, I studied Spanish and I started to see how language is constructed, from the ground up. The English language has a lot of exceptions to rules! There is also slang. When you think about it, it doesn’t always make sense based on grammatical rules, but because it is used by so many people, it becomes an accepted part of our language. Try explaining that to a kid!
My linguistic side is fascinated by the ever changing landscape of language. But, I digress. Back to the point–It makes total sense to me that kids would easily make mistakes when learning to communicate.
Their little voices are so cute, too! Even when they do say something correctly, it may just crack you up because their voices are higher-pitched or sing songy. Or, if they’re related to you, you might crack up because you see yourself in them and you love it or hate it but either way it is real and it catches you and makes you smile.
Parent as Coach moment – don’t let the cuteness of your kids distract you from really hearing what they’re saying underneath their words when it really counts. Also, don’t get so carried away with capturing the special moments on camera or on paper. Everyone wants to be seen and heard. Don’t miss one of those moments when your child doesn’t need your laughter or your camera, they need your ears.
Now that my brother has kids, we are compiling a new edition of “Kids Say the Funniest Things.”
My nephew is the first of grandkids, so his sayings are highly cherished and celebrated. I’m the first grandchild on my mom’s side, so I felt that way, too. Being the first one, you don’t have to share the stage with anyone, and the novelty to all the extended family of having a kid or grandchild is just, well, so new.
I go around saying things that my nephew used to say like they are commonly used expressions. “I so mart” (I’m so smart) is what I chirp to myself when I do something well, mimicking his voice. My nephew’s little bits of wisdom are meshing right into our family language. This dialect may defy grammar, spelling, or proper sentence structure, but it is all heart and rich with memories.
MAKE IT REAL:
What family expressions do you cherish? What medium do you use to capture them and with whom do you share them?
How conscious are you about unplugging from technology to just simply be with the kids in your life? How well do you balance being with them versus catching them on camera?