Shortly before Michael's second birthday Lizzy, Michael (the elder) and I went to Germany for a couple of weeks. We left Michael (the younger) in the care of a wonderful niece, Jessica. In preparation for our trip Michael made a manual for Jessica, complete with photographs on how to prepare Michael's food, how to work the remote for the television and several delivery-restaurant menus. He also included a section on how to translate Michael-speak.
Somewhere along the line, Michael had started saying "Birtday, Birtday" every time he wanted something to eat. He also couldn't say the word "straw" and would put his finger in his mouth and pretend to suck on it while holding his cup in his other hand whenever he wanted one for his drink. So, we determined that Jessica would need a series of translations so they could communicate.
Eventually, Michael stopped saying "Birtday, Birtday" and miming sucking on a straw, but other Michaelisms appeared.
"Michael, turn the TV off!" would be countered with "Just five more mittens?"
Any injuries that resulted in blood would be met with, "Mommy! I'm leaking!"
Tall towers of blocks would be celebrated with yells of " And La La! I did it!"
I thought these were so cute, I hated to correct him. After all, doesn't 'leaking' make ever so much more sense than bleeding? And really, how many five-year-olds are there who run about yelling "voila!" 'La La!' is much more youthful. Mittens? Well, come on, 'mittens' was just adorable.
Sadly those days have passed and these days bring the repetitive dullness of verb conjugation correction and crises of selective hearing. Case in point:
The other night, Lizzy, Michael (the younger) and I were playing a game on the Wii.
Michael, after getting a high score: "That was freaking awesome!"
Me (aghast): "What did you say?"
Michael: "Freaking. Is that not right? How do YOU say it? Is it frigging? Fricking?"
Me: "It's none of those. How about we all just say, 'La la!"