Have you ever talked to your kid on the phone? What am I saying, of course you have. So you know what I'm talking about here. In person they are clear as a bell, perfectly easy to understand. But on the phone? They may as well be talking muppet.
I think this must be how people other than us hear our children all the time. It's why they listen to what our kid is telling them then turn to us with big eyes like, "I got nothing." We're like, "Really? How did you not get that? He was telling you in great detail about the part in Battle of the Heroes when Obi Wan gets choked by Anakin. It sounded perfectly clear to me."
But it's easy for us. We're fluent in whatever lispy mumbles our own kids happen to make. Everything they say makes perfect sense. Even when their mouths are full of food or they're telling us something while mid stream. It has to! Otherwise we'd spend all our time asking, "What?" while a frustrated kid spit nonsense at us.
And speaking of what. I'm not sure if Finn has too much wax in his ears or he doesn't pay attention or he has a weird tic or something but I swear to you, after almost everything I say he responds with, "What?" It got to the point where he was saying what almost as much as he was saying Mama. Which is a LOT. It was starting to drive me nuts so I told him he had to say, "Pardon me?" instead. It has definitely cut down on his auto-whatting. And now when he really needs me to repeat something he thinks for a second and asks sweetly, "Part of me?"
We went on a weekend trip with friends recently and it made me keenly aware just how accustomed to Finn's voice I've become. Everything he said - especially chocolate milk - made them giggle.
"Hey Finn, you want some more SHAKA MILLLL?"
It's true. He does say chocolate milk like a 70's DJ introducing a new disco song. Like Chaka Khan with a little more oomph.
And now that I'm paying attention, I see that he says lots of things like this. Frankly, he's adorable. His voice and intonation but also the things he says. For instance, the other night we went to ice cream and he said to the girl behind the counter, "May I please try the one that looks like poo?"
Then on the way home, I thanked him for being such a good date and he said, without missing a beat, "Does this mean we're gonna kiss?"
We laughed the whole way home.
Four is a really great age on this kid.