I Like Big Words . . .

ryan-talk.jpg. . . and I cannot lie.

Well, not me so much, although there have been times when I have come across a word that was just so perfect I had to roll it around in my mouth a few times.  Sometimes words can be almost as fulfilling as paper. Sometimes.

My older son, he of the never-ending stream-of-consciousness conversations, loves words. The technical term for that is logophilia, and Ryan has been a logophiliac pretty much since he learned to say “doggy.” His first sentence, “I see you,” was followed quickly by other sentences, which were followed quickly by paragraphs, monologues, and novel-length stories.

At the age of five, Ryan is now more in tune to what is going on around him, and he likes to imitate what he hears. If we’re listening to the radio and the weatherman says that it’s going to rain, he will promptly inform everyone in listening distance (and possibly some not actually in listening distance) that it’s going to rain and so we should all get our umbrellas.

Another sweet and darling characteristic of this young son of mine is his complete faith in the veracity of his friends’ statements. Every afternoon we cart Ryan off to preschool, which has been very educational for him. Without preschool, Ryan would have no idea about Transformers or what happens when you put a gerbil in the toilet. This is, of course, why we send Ryan to preschool. Art and I are completely incapable of being cool parents, so the next best thing we can do is send him off with little urchins whose parents allow them to watch PG-13 movies and let said urchins educate my children. This makes us cool by default, right?

Anyway, Ryan is entirely convinced that everything that proceedeth from the mouths of Hayden, Landon, and Pierce is God’s Own Truth.

“Mommy, look! Daddy bought me a Transformers puzzle with Ocktimus Prime on it!”

“Actually, it’s Optimus Prime, darling son.” (I always talk to my children like that).

“Well, Hayden told me it’s Ocktimus Prime.”

Forgive me for thinking that it was even possible I might know more about anything than a five year old. WHAT was I thinking?  In the words of the child himself,

“Mommy, Landon and Pierce know everything.”

“Everything? Are you sure? That’s a lot of stuff to know.”

“Well, I just think they know everything.”

“What about me? Do I know everything? I am your Mommy.”

The look bestowed upon me by my innocent little five-year-old cannot be put into words. It puts my 16-year-old self to shame.

If Landon, Pierce, and Hayden are the  Resident Preschool Knowledge Depositories, Ryan is the Self-Proclaimed Resident Preschool Comedian. He loves to make people laugh and will do almost anything to make his friends giggle. (In some ways, he’s not so different from his mom). Yesterday the King of Jocularity woke up with extreme bedhead. I should have taken a picture of it, I really should have, but the memory card was full and I kept putting it off until it was time to send him off to preschool.

Ryan noticed his hair in the mirror while he was brushing his teeth and immediately began angling to wear it like that to preschool. He really, really wanted to have bed hair at preschool. Why?

“Because it would unfortunately make my friends laugh.”

Unfortunately. I did not type that word by accident. That is the word he used. Only he didn’t really think it would be unfortunate, remember, he wanted to go to school looking like someone whose mother does not insist on any amount of personal hygiene whatsoever.

I have no idea what Ryan thinks unfortunately means, but it is obviously not the right definition. Perhaps this is one of the “everythings” that Landon and Pierce know.

All I know is that this is not the first time this has happened. In fact, more and more lately I have heard that boy string together several impressive-sounding words into meaningless proclamations, and then get mad when no one understands what he’s talking about.

The other night, after the fun with grapes, I grabbed the last one and attempted to toss it into the air and catch it in my mouth. That’s when Great Grandma St. John disowned me from heaven. I used to be really good at throwing food and catching it in my mouth; in fact, our mutual ability to catch everything from popcorn to pancakes (not making that up, please don’t anyone tell my old boss) was one of the things that cemented the bond of love and romance between me and Big Sexy.

Now, however, I have lost my skills, so that most of what I throw up into the air lands on the floor and is promptly ingested by the dog. Anyway, Ryan apparently thought that sticking grapes in facial orifices was perfectly acceptable, but throwing the same fruit into the air and attempting to catch it in one’s mouth was just going way too far. Therefore, he crafted this lovely utterance for our familial enjoyment:

“Why are you having an unnecessary time with grapes? Maybe it’s because the light is contrasting with a deet-dee.”

Now, aside from the obvious deet-dee, which is a mysterious made-up word which only Ryan and Sam (well, and of course Landon and Pierce, being that they know everything) understand, am I the only one who sees problems with that whole quotation?

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

But think how entertaining his blog will be when he’s old enough to type.

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8 thoughts on “I Like Big Words . . .

  1. This is simple justice. Do you remember when your teacher who knew more Spanish than English (despite the fact that English was her first language) taught you all the wrong definitions of homonym, antonym, et al? If you’re still confused about those it’s because we never quite did convince you that, at least in that case, parental knowledge trumped teacher knowledge.

    Ontogeny may not recapitulate phylogeny on an evolutionary level, but it looks like some of the principles apply, at least in our family.

  2. Mindy said, “I consummately coincide with Ryan’s assessment of your nonsensical regalement comportment”

    The Grandpa said, “Ontogeny may not recapitulate phylogeny on an evolutionary level…”

    I say, “Huh?” and “This Blog is neat.”

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