Saturday, December 1, 2007

Current Funny Sayings

Kwamai has quite the sense of humor. We still get the treat of knock-knock jokes and riddles at dinner time, and some of Kwamai's jokes are the best, in the round-about sense especially that they are so hard to decipher. He is into homonyms: pair and pear, for example. Felicity comes up with some interesting riddle questions, but then is completely stumped for the answer, so she slaps the table. For example: "Why does the garbage man put the garbage can into the garbage truck?" I guess just saying that is funny enough. The other night we were all laughing to the point of tears: Kwamai and Felicity just because they love to laugh at themselves and each other, and Erol and I because the jokes were so corny or nonsensical that they were hilarious. Felicity's funny habit, which I thought she picked up from a certain video, but Erol assures me predates it, is to ask "Ready for another one, kids?" before telling a new joke.

Speaking of that, Felicity has a habit of asking permission for just about everything she does. We went out tonight to Eat N' Park for dinner, and she asked me if it was ok if she colored the cookie on her place mat orange. She will ask if she can put her Little People in various seats in their vehicles. But if I suggest she do something different, she adamantly refuses, so it certainly isn't about any uncertainty on her part about what to do.

When Kwamai was little, we must have said "what if..." to him too many times. He came to believe that the conditional preposition was pronounced "whiff". And so from time to time he still says "Whiff I do this" or "Whiff we go there". It doesn't help that Erol and I pick up and repeat all these cutisms, and so sometimes say "whiff" to each other. Remember that Bill Cosby comedy routine about teaching kids to speak incorrectly? I fear it has come true.

And speaking of speaking incorrectly... the accents! I have to come to grips with the fact that I don't live in Wisconsin (Wiscaaaaaaaaansin) anymore, and my children simply are not going to pronounce their vowels properly unless I make a concerted effort to model. I have already noticed that Felicity has a firm Ohio Valley accent in the way she pronounces food (feud) or blue (bleeoo). And of course Erol who purposefully and willingly force-fed himself a Pittsburgh accent, insists on saying "daaan" (down) and "abaaat" (about), and so Kwamai tries to incorporate these as well, since Papa is of course the coolest thing since sliced bacon. What I wouldn't give for a little Canadian "abouwwt" in our haaaas. Even I sometimes say "kellers" (colors) which always makes me shudder and correct myself.

Ok, back to serious land (but speaking of foreign languages), Kwamai is currently learning to read Japanese characters. We have gone through the first four groups of the first syllabary, hiragana, for a total of 20 characters. He is doing very well, and at this pace he should know all of them by January or so. However, pace is never something I count on staying the same. Sometimes he begs to do more than I think is prudent, and sometimes he has no interest to do any. But he knows that pretty soon he and I will be equals when it comes to learning reading, as I have forgotten much of what I learned. The lure of surpassing someone is very strong for him.

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