Hedgehogs and jingle bells

I love words. I love to talk, to write, to read. I could spend hours playing in the reference books – dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopedia, I love them all. I have to make a conscious effort not to go to get sucked into the many online reference tools I have bookmarked, as I could easily spend an entire day just following one link or another through words, etymologies, linguistic histories. Words rock!

And now, in my very own house I have two living language projects that I find even more interesting (is it possible?) than the online reference tools. Watching the boys learn to speak and to use language fascinates me. Tristan was an early talker, Simon not so much… but then, it’s hard to get a word in edgewise between Tristan and I! Tristan has been talking so well and for so long, it’s very strange to go back and watch the videos of him at 11 and 12 months when he was nonverbal. A Tristan who doesn’t talk? Inconceivable!

He still has a couple of language peccadillos that make us laugh. He inverts words occassionally, so when we walk the dog he tells me, “You have to pick up the poop dogs, mommy. Poop dogs, look at those poop dogs.” Actually, I think he’s onto something there!

Last fall, we were at the park and we found some pinecones. “Do you know what these are?” I asked.

“Hot dogs,” Tristan replied, to my surprise. He knows very well what hot dogs are (a little too well, perhaps, but that’s a blog for another day), and although I’m not the world’s greatest chef, and my hot dogs really don’t resemble pinecones. It was only many days later, and after many trips to the park where he repeatedly told me they were in fact hot dogs that I realized he was saying “hedgehogs.” Ahhhhh! Well, at least that makes more sense than hot dogs.

The one that really tickles me is the fact that he calls Homer Simpson “jingle bells.” I have not even the faintest clue as to why. Since well before Christmas, every time he sees a picture of Homer, he says, “Look Mommy, jingle bells.” We don’t watch the Simpsons regularly anymore, and certainly don’t watch it with him around. I can only imagine what was in his head the myriad times we sang “Jingle Bells” in over the holidays.


Author: DaniGirl

Canadian. storyteller, photographer, mom to 3. Professional dilettante.

3 thoughts on “Hedgehogs and jingle bells”

  1. Language development is fascinating! My son inverted his words, too—one I loved was “I carry you!” when he meant “You carry me!”
    What an agile, associative mind your son has—pine cones do indeed resemble hedgehogs!

  2. For the life of me I cannot fathom how he gets Jingle Bells from Homer, although I am sure you will one day do a big A Ha! and it will all come together.
    A mommy who will be sad when her son completely stops referring to himself in 3rd person

  3. Danigirl
    I love too how Kids learn how to talk. My little man is a really advanced talker for his 3 1/2 yrs. He makes me laugh with the things that come out of his mouth. We often tease him and call him Monkey boy but last week he said Mom I’m not a Prime Minister or a Prince i’m just a boy. WHAT????Couldn’t figure out where that came from.
    Word Rock Even out of the mouth of Babes.

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