June with Braids

Photo and text by Gabrielle.

Since the time little June first began to talk, she’s said the word ‘smarshmellows’ instead of ‘marshmallows’. It’s a pretty darn adorable mispronunciation. Knowing she is my youngest, and wanting to cherish every little bit of her childhood, I’ve never had the heart to correct her. : )

But a couple days ago, she asked for “a cup of hot cocoa with 4 smarshmellows, I mean marshmallows.” And I had to stop myself from going into the other room to weep because I could hardly bear how fast she’s growing up.

How about you? Any sweet mispronunciations that your little ones are holding on to? Or any that are gone now, but that you remember with a little flutter in your heart? I posted this on Facebook and Instagram and I LOVE reading everybody’s reports. I’d love to hear yours too!

P.S. — The kids went to gymnastics yesterday, and I realized June still has a mispronunciation! She calls it joo-nastics. 

88 thoughts on “Smarshmellows”

  1. My middle child Pip always used to say “I’ve got a good I plan” rather than “I’ve got a good idea”. It’s a phrase all our family now use and love. Another word we use is “cuggle” – half way between a hug and a cuddle – a term invented by my eldest.

  2. My son couldn’t say “sp,” and would compensate in all sorts of innovative ways. Our favorite mispronunciation was “sfinkles” on his ice cream (which he would eat with a “poon”). But one day in the car, when everyone else was silent, he started practicing: “sss….poon, sss…poon” until he got it: “spoon.” While the rest of the family tried not to laugh and tears poured down my cheeks in the front seat.

  3. Every night after dinner my 5-year-old son says, “Thank you for a nice very dinner, Mom!” Always eager to imitate his older brother, my 3-year-old now says it the same way. It makes me so happy every time I hear it!

  4. My son is 2 and a half and he has always called finger nails “finger tails.” I cannot bring myself to correct him, and my husband and I now only refer to them as “finger tails” too. I tell my husband I hope he calls them this when he’s 30!

    Another phrase my son has come up with is “all the much.” When he was teeny tiny and he’d play with his cars, he would pile them up and say, “I have all the much cars.” Or driving to daycare he’d say “I see all the much trucks.” It melted my heart the day he told me, “Mommy, I love you all the much.” It’s become our phrase ever since!

  5. Cora used to always call caterpillars “patter-pooters.” The first time I heard her say “caterpillar” correctly, I felt conflicted; both proud of her growth and so, so sad.

    1. OMG. I know this is years old, but I cannot stop laughing at “patter-pooters”. I’m so sorry she grew out of that one!! I can’t even put into a word what our little guy calls them, but I’m tempted to try to teach him this. Ha!

  6. Love this. I mourn the loss of every little person mispronunciation as they grow. ‘Boony’ for ‘balloon’ was particularly sad to see disappear. The evolution of how the younger brother says his older brother’s name has also been fun/sad to watch: it used to be ‘Ah Ta,’ and then ‘Hah Ta,’ and now is ‘Othco’ (his brother’s name is Oscar). They both call candy corn ‘corn candy,’ which is something I refuse to correct :)

  7. When we ask my daughter a question (she’s 3) and she doesn’t know the answer, she says “m n o?” instead of “I don’t know”. We have heard her say it properly but we are not correcting her and hope it sticks around for a little longer!

  8. Hoctipopper instead of helicopter. Fingamos instead of flamingos. Statues instead of pistachios.

    The kids are teens now and have gone to back to using these terms as a joke!

  9. My 6 year old still says “aminals” instead of animals and I love it. It’s the only one she’s hung on to. My 3 year old says, “Now hear this!” whenever he wants to tell me something.

  10. My faves:
    Yew Nork (New York — This one is so cute, we still say it.)
    Hold you! (Hold me! — He always got I, you and me mixed up since we would say to him, “Do you want me to hold you?”

    1. Oh man, I forgot about this until I read your comment – my son used to say, “Pick you up!” when he wanted us to pick him up. It was adorable.

  11. My littlest is going to be a “firema’am” for Halloween. It may live on in perpetuity because we all say it that way now.

    This isn’t a mispronunciation, but for the longest time one of my kids confused hot/cold and inside/outside. It was a relief when he finally got it straightened out, but now, of course, we miss it!

  12. My son used to say whack a molie instead of guacamole, and my daughter called evergreens “for evergreens” and her ear lobes “ear loafs”

  13. aw, that’s so bittersweet! i’m not correcting the sweet mispronounciations our daughter uses, either. my favourites are “cheedos” for children, and “bohind” instead of behind. i’m pretty sure she’ll come around to correcting them someday, but i’m not in a rush – the innocence of our little ones is so beautiful!

  14. Exactly the same for me!
    My (french) two year old says petitjama (little-jama) instead of pyjamas (pajamas), and petitcament (little-cation) instead of médicament (medication), we parents keep using it as it’s too cute.

  15. My little boy always used to call a gas station a “gas ma-station” like he was trying to say “gas machine”. I never corrected him because I loved it so much. I think he made it to 4 or 5 before he realized it, but it was just a little bit heart breaking! Now I only wish I had a recording of him saying it!

  16. My son said baby suit instead of bathing suit. Also froggy day for foggy day. And my daughter came home from preschool very excited to tell me that they had a pet skinny pig (guinea pig). I never corrected them either because I thought it was so sweet. :)

    1. This is so sweet- my mom still reminds me that i used to say “baby soup”. I think of it literally every time I put one on :)

  17. My sweet third born is 3 and has a delightful lisp. My favorite word he says right now is “pampakes” for pancakes. Complete with a lisp at the end.

  18. My three-year-old little girl says “getfor” instead of “forget” and “on/off the light” instead of “turn on/off the light.” If I leave a light on, for example, I’ll hear “You gotfor off it.” It is just too cute to ever correct her.

  19. These are all precious! Our kids are 5,7, and 13, and we have some cute words still in circulation (okay, not the 13-year-old). We’ll need to dig on our “minnays” (mittens) if the mornings get any colder, and we’ll be eating some “churkey” really soon. My parents still call their tv the “telebidda” because that’s what I called it a LOOOOONG time ago : )

  20. I have been going through this exact thing lately – my son is 5 and JUST starting to correct his mispronunciations. A coupe of his were “lellow” for yellow…”pa-grage” for garage…I will miss those words sooooo much.

  21. Oldest child when he was very young and still lived in an apartment, noted to others that “We live in a compartment.”
    Youngest child, who loved and was learning about weather, was teaching us all about the different kinds of clouds, pointing the various ones out from our desert sky, “Those ones are stratus, thoses ones over there are cumulus, those ones way over there are… they’re…. stormulous!”
    You can’t argue with either of those observations, so even today, as these two kids are completely grown, people can live in compartments, and yes, stormulous clouds are on the way!

  22. I know exactly what you mean about “going into the other room to weep”…. Both of my sons, now 21 & 24, used to say “lellow” for the color ‘yellow’, at the same age. It made me smile every time they said it. When they started to pronounce it correctly, I was so sad :/ – They just won’t stay little. Gabby, one of the reasons why I read your blog, even though my sons are grown, is the memories your posts/questions bring back to me about my own children growing up. Thank you for that!! :)

  23. What sweet memories come back with this post! My almost 17 year old used to say “snissehs” for scissors and I was sad when that disappeared. But we still call fleece jackets “fleecers,” which my now teen boy coined as a toddler.

  24. I love how mispronounced words become part of your own family’s culture and are a lovely way to have an inside connection that only you share. My daughter use to say ‘soe-maj’ instead of massage so when I’m really stressed I still ask her to soemaj my shoulders. She also use to call any type of advertisement – in the newspaper, on TV, at the movies – a ‘coupon’. Now she knows the difference but we still call all of the ads and trailers before a movie – coupons.

    1. I love that, too — and it keeps going throughout the generations. We still say “basketti” for spaghetti and “hangabars” for hamburgers because that what was my mom (now grandma) said when she was little. The whole family also says “excumasee” for excuse me, from my son.

      The very best is from my friend’s daughter, who said a completely insincere “sar-sar” when she was told to apologize. My family uses it all the time, and since it’s so much better than “sorry not sorry,” everyone I know has adopted it (including my boss!)

  25. My oldest always thought televisions were called “the watch something” as I used to ask her if she wanted to watch something. I was so sad when she corrected herself at 3.5

    1. Ha! My cousin always asked for the careful at dinner-it was his word for pepper because whenever he put pepper on his food everyone said ‘careful!’ Quite logical when you think how they learn language but very funny!

      1. This makes me think of my son. He’s 2 and a half and when it’s sunny outside he yells for us to “Open the window so I can see the beautiful!” I think it’s because when it’s a nice sunny day I always open the blinds and say, “Oh, it’s so beautiful outside!” I love this so much.

  26. When my son was small he pronounced his l’s as y’s. I have a group of ladies who get together once a month to work on crafts. When we were hosting the group at our house, he would get so excited and he would tell me, “The yadies are here” when he heard the first car arrive.

    Also, cookies were “coopies.”

  27. My son said “Ohnange” for “orange” until 4 or 5. Our three year old daughter mispronounces it the same way, and I don’t want to correct her either. :)

  28. My youngest is two so he still mispronounces words. My favorite is “nuggle” for snuggles. He’ll see a dog and ask, “Give him nuggles?” I die. It’s adorable.
    And he also says “Ofal” instead of Olaf. It comes out sounding like Awful.
    And he has refers to himself and “Etty” because his nickname is Elly and he can’t say the “L”.
    Our dogs name is Jovi. He says it like “Voe-ee”. Like: “Give Voe-ee nuggles?” Oh man, I’m gonna miss this stage.

  29. My 5 year old often will ask while I’m driving, “Mama, are u going speed lemon?” She means to say speed limit but this is how it comes out. It’s so precious to me I’ll never correct her.

  30. My 4 year old nephew says “blub-berries” for blueberries. He’s the last grandchild on my husband’s side of the family, so we’re all savoring the last bit of his baby-ness.

  31. Our littlest will turn 3 at the end of the month. She was a late talker and has a sweet little lisp. It reminds me of the lisp our 8-year-old son when he was little. I’ll be sad when she loses it because it will mean she is growing up.

    She also has her own sweet little words. She calls dogs “wogs” – and asks “pet wog??” Her older brother is “dickie” (his name is Lukas and we call him Lukie). She sleeps with her “Ooman” – the Superman stuffy her brother gave her. And, she calls herself “Hanbelle” – her name is Annabelle.

  32. My daughter called marshmallows “fuffos” until she was 6. My son said “hopticopter” for “helicopter” until he was 7. And now that he is 8, he still catches himself saying “turch” instead of “church.” These are the things I miss about them growing up.

  33. Maryfrances Moriarty

    Oh the cuteness! I want to bottle some of my lil Aran’s (21/2 yo) mis-pronunciations … “crimps” for crisps, “naana bread” for anything baked and “ready” for Freddy (his favourite teddy). Alice used to say “the two do them” instead of “the two of them”. Actually, Alice made up a new word, which we still use: Pretendly (a very useful word). Any, this is one of my favourites: Alice, when she didn’t know the word for vomiting, came up with her own description: “Sticky Yucky”

  34. My favorite right now is my three year old is loving The Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Like you said, I don’t have the heart to correct her. But she says “he went in the raccoon for two years” instead of the “cocoon for two weeks” and I love it! She points to the picture and says…look at that raccoon.

  35. My now 3 year old would say there were “Four many cars on the road”, instead of too (two) many for the longest time. He calls binoculars “knockers”, M&Ms are “chocolate guys”, and car brakes are “squishes” or “pushers”.

    My 2 year old, who’s had a check of a vocabulary since 13 months used to say “rhinus” instead of rhinoceros, still says “mammals”, and once said (pardon the language hear) “dildo” instead of armadillo. That last one surprised me so much I was in tears laughing. I corrected that one right out of the gate!

  36. My now-18-year-old daughter used to call gloves “glubs.” We all still call them glubs once in a while. Love these remembrances. So sweet.

  37. My 3 year old daughter has always called breakfast “breskit”. So much so, that my husband and I catch ourselves saying it too!

  38. Pamela Balabuszko-Reay

    Oh Golly! Be still my heart. My kids just turned 13 and 9. I miss these days.
    We still use our kids’ mixed up pronunciations. My favorite is that both kids had initial mispronunciations that they corrected with another mispronunciation of the same word.
    Bella”s cash register went from cash-di-jer to cash-reh-jir
    Isaac’s helicopter went from hell-ih-dopt-di-dop to hep-i-ter

  39. My first had such funny unintended double meanings in his mispronounciations. The mail box was ‘snail box’ (we did often have snails eating our snail mail!), the mechanic was a me-panic, lunch time was munch time.

    I love seeing their little brains learning and finding out all the crazy things they’re thinking. So much fun!

  40. Oh my kids are full of these adorable-isms and I do get unreasonably upset when my husband corrects them. My daughter believes grilled cheese sandwiches are “girl” cheese sandwiches. This was not a problem until my son learned to talk and threw an enormous tantrum one day that he wanted a “boy cheese” sandwich for lunch! Eventually I connected the dots and now they always receive their own respective gender sandwiches.

  41. When my children are watching a movie and want to replay a small section they will ask to “fast backwards” it (like fast forwards) instead of rewind. I’ve never had the heart to correct it.

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