It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Say what?

question-marks“A gang yetwa go.”
(I can’t let you go.)

I gaga hoeyawn.
(I have to hold on.)

William was a pretty quiet little dude for the first few weeks here.

“You gwanga paya my gwanegwak?”
(You want to play with my train track?)

Once he begain to speak in any quantity, it quickly became apparent that the boy is in need of speech therapy. It’s taken me a couple of weeks to be able to understand the 70% of his utterances I’m pretty sure I’m getting.

“Ungaya woe!”
(Look out below!)

I am not always sure of my translations.

“Wa gum make um why.”
(I [or maybe ‘we’] are going to [or maybe ‘can’] make some pie.)

I’m giving it to the end of the second full week of school before his parents have received some sort of communication from his teacher on this. Give the poor woman a chance to sort out who those small bodies in her class are before worrying about the niceties of their pronounciation. I’m sure she’ll get there.

(Had William been in my care all along, I’d have dealt with this long since, but since he’s only been with me a few weeks, I’m content to stay back and let his teacher, who will be dealing with him over a longer timeframe than me, approach the issue. However, if it hasn’t been addressed by Thanksgiving — mid-October — I will talk to his parents.)

William is pretty cooperative with my corrections. With such wide-ranging mispronounciations, I’ve arbitrarily decided to start with one: the initial ‘s’. (You’ve got to start somewhere, right? If I corrected every mispronounciation to fall from the poor boy’s lips, he’d never get to say anything.)

Tyler was fascinated as we passed by the tennis class at the local outdoor courts.

“Do you think you’ll play tennis one day, Tyler?”

“Yeah. Tennis.” The kids is obviously just humouring me. He’s distracted, still staring at the game.

“Because it’s a certainty you’ll be playing soccer.” Tyler’s father is Serbian, and (I get the strong impression this pretty much goes without saying for a Serb) an enthusiastic soccer player and watcher. I just can’t see his kids not playing, at least for a few years.

“Soccer! Yeah!” No humouring now. The boy is EXCITED!!! Yes, the social conditioning has indeed begun. This child going to play — and he’s going to love it.

William pops into the conversation. “Ah gway wokka.”

Sssssssssoccer.” I enunciate. “You play ssssssssoccer.”

“Yeah,” says the co-operative William. “An’ gasssssssssgahgawl.” (Basketball)

He’s got a ways to go….

September 16, 2009 - Posted by | Developmental stuff | , , , , ,


  1. I have a little one with speach problems. Mom claimes that he is an “irish twin” and when little sister speaks he will… so 6mos and counting for a 2.5yo to begin speaking? However if big brother didn’t “translate” every point grunt and shrug I might get further!

    My youngest cousin is the youngest of four boys. When, at age three, he still had barely spoken a word, my aunt took him to a speech therapist. The conclusion? His older brothers needed to stop translating, and no more reacting unless he used actual words. Six months later, he was as fluent as any 3.5 yo!

    Comment by Jess | September 16, 2009 | Reply

  2. […] getting better at deciphering William’s poorly-articulated speech. (He has started speech therapy, so we’re hoping for steady improvement.) I’m getting […]

    Pingback by Creative hearing « It’s Not All Mary Poppins | December 16, 2009 | Reply

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