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CJ Heck

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Child-Speak
by CJ Heck   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Posted: Wednesday, February 15, 2012

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Do you ever wonder where those crazy made up words in childhood come from?


I miss the days when my three daughters were children. Now don't get me wrong, we have a great relationship now that they're women and raising their own children. I wouldn't change a thing. It's just that sometimes, I miss all of the little things they did and said in their innocent exuberance for life.

One thing I used to get a kick out of is how they created their own words for things they didn't know the real word for. I call it, child-speak.

I remember once overhearing a conversation between Carrie, my oldest, and Heather, the youngest. They were watching TV together on the couch. Carrie asked Heather if she would tickle her back for awhile. Heather said she would, IF she could borrow a "clo" from Carrie. Carrie was all right with that. She seemed to know just what Heather was asking, because she said, "Okay".

Whatever a "clo" was, they had made an equally beneficial barter and both girls were satisfied. The more I thought about it, the more curious I became, until finally, "Girls? What is a clo?"

Carrie matter of factly stated, "A clo is a clo, mom. You can have a LOT of clothes, but just ONE of them is a clo."

Hmmm ... how stupid of me.

I'll give you another example of child-speak. Sesame Street had this little animated typewriter guy who had a face. He was nearly always on the word segment of the show. He had this little song-sound he made every time he wheeled to the left or right across the TV screen, "Noo-Nee Noo-Noo", or something similar to that. But I digress … when this happened, I hadn't seen him yet.

Anyway, we were all in the car headed to the library one day and a tiny foreign car pulled up beside us at a red light. One of the girls pointed to it and yelled out, "Hey, you guys, look! A Noo-Noo car!" The other two understood perfectly and they were all excited. As I said, I had never seen the little typewriter guy on Sesame Street, so again, I had to ask.

What follows now is yet another child-speak word. This was the direct result of one rainy Saturday afternoon, three imaginative and highly inventive little girls that had to play inside:

"Permagosh"
(from the book, "Barking Spiders 2")

Mom is on the couch.
Dad is in his chair.
I'm in a corner on a stool ...
yeah, they put me here

'cause I did somethin' naughty
that I'm not supposed to do.
I invented Permagosh
mixing things with their shampoo.

First a real long worm of toothpaste,
then a cloud of shaving cream,
then two glugs of mouthwash
('cause I love the color green).

I stirred it in a mixing bowl.
Boy it smelled real good!
It was even looking better
than I ever thought it would!

Could it be a cure for cancer?
Take the itch from skeeter bites?
Or maybe, heal a sunburn
when it hurts to sleep at night?

Two shakes of baby powder
made it WAY too hard to stir,
so I added my mom's perfume.
Permagosh smelled just like HER!

Eww, then the bowl tipped over.
Permagosh was on the floor
and when I turned around,
my mom was by the door.

Now mom is on the couch.
Dad is in his chair.
I'm in a corner on a stool ...
yeah, they put me here.

Web Site: Barking Spiders Poetry



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