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Learning a new language

Written by: Suzanna June 20 2011 According to my pregnancy books, Baby Palmer has been able to hear for a few weeks now. As of 24 weeks (two weeks ago), his ears were “structurally complete.” It’s neat that he can start to get to know mine and Tom’s voices, but it’s a little nerve-wracking, too....

Written by: Suzanna

According to my pregnancy books, Baby Palmer has been able to hear for a few weeks now.

As of 24 weeks (two weeks ago), his ears were “structurally complete.” It’s neat that he can start to get to know mine and Tom’s voices, but it’s a little nerve-wracking, too. As they say, little pitchers have big ears.

When Tom and I first found out we were expecting, we agreed to weed sloppy and crass words out of our vocabulary. Fortunately, there weren’t too many. (My husband is a youth pastor, and I do my best to maintain some semblance of lady-hood.)

Though we’d hardly fit in on the high seas, I wouldn’t say our speech is squeaky clean either. “Sucks” and “crap” were our two biggest offenders. We have our occasional slip-ups, but for the most part they’ve been replaced with kid-friendly “lousy” and “crummy.” (I’m sure these would make an English tutor’s nose wrinkle, but baby steps, people, baby steps.)

And speaking of babies, thanks to our lab puppy Jake, “pee” has already been replaced by “potty.” As for “poop,” it will remain just that, as all the cutesy substitutes that some people (i.e. mothers) use, make my skin crawl. Seriously, I tried typing a few of them here just to give you a “for instance,” and I couldn’t do it.

Tom and I want to keep our conversation as G-rated as possible, but if I could choose for Baby Palmer to hear nothing but perfectly-spoken English until he was 20 years old, I don’t think I would do it. There are certain turns of phrase (okay, let’s be real, they’re mispronunciations) that I’ve noticed in me, my husband, and our families that I wouldn’t mind Baby Palmer picking up.

For example, when Tom pronounces “wolf,” the “l” magically disappears and what comes out is “woof.” Linguistically correct? Not exactly, but it’s darn cute. Almost as cute as the other night when he found out the baby’s ears were developed and proceeded to have a full-on, albeit one-sided, conversation with baby. He asked him to play baseball and videogames with him someday.

When that day comes, we’ll just make sure they’re E-rated.

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