Sand & Pancakes

Me: ‘Would you like some honey on your pancakes?’

I knew there was only a tiny bit of maple syrup left and I was hoping to save it for myself. If I am going to consume the calories, I want to really enjoy them, which can only be done with good maple syrup.

P: ‘Non, je veux du sirop de sable.’ [No, I want sand syrup]

I know at this point I am supposed to correct her by using the right word myself as in:

‘D’accord, voici le sirop d’ÉRABLE’ [Sure, here is the maple syrup]

…while poring maple syrup on her pancakes.

But like my father who refused to correct my mother’s ‘frenchisms’, some things are just too cute to correct. I know that just as she learned that she wanted to sit on my lap and not my lacks, she will self-correct. I hope she will forgive me for dragging out the process for my own gratification.

7 thoughts on “Sand & Pancakes

  1. My mother liked her children’s mispronunciations so much that she insisted the whole family say it that way and got upset when anyone (like my father) used the correct word. This means my whole family still uses some of the baby words of the younger children, even though they are now entering their 20’s (my siblings are considerably younger than me). I don’t go that far by any means, but I do secretly love the funny things my daughter comes up with. And I tend to use them myself, but like you, I use the correct versions as well so I don’t end up with a 10 year old who really thinks that’s the right word (since I’m her primary source of English). Nothing wrong with dragging out the process a bit for your own gratification as far as I’m concerned :)

    • Could I persuade you to share any specific examples? My mother’s godson when trying to say Elisabeth as a toddler could only pronounce Abiba. The name stuck. Now he is about 6ft 4 with a deep voice and still calls her that affectionate name. I wanted my children to use it but she insisted on Yaya.

      • From the family growing up? The main one that lasted the test of time was probably my name, a similar story to Abiba basically – two of my siblings couldn’t pronounce L, so Melissa became Wissa, and the whole family adopted it to the extent that my youngest sister was in kindergarten before she realized that was not the name I was given at birth. (The penny dropped one day when she made the connection with another person named Melissa.) After that she called me “Wi – I mean, MUH lissa.” The family still does use that name for me though, after 20 years. Other than that we said “dror” for “girl” for years (sister #1), and now that I think of it a lot of the others are more old jokes that never died (like my brother’s nickname of Buttercup). I know there were a lot of things Mom tried to preserve that were specifically mispronunciations or misunderstandings of words, but nothing else is coming to mind at the moment… Some of it was as simple as saying “brubber” or “bruvver” instead of “brother” and so on. Oh, and “stop making funny of me”.

        In the new generation, I also tend to refer to baby M as K’s “bruvver” because that’s what she calls him. Or a couple of years ago she referred to bread (chlebík) as “hebik” which was just too hilarious not to encourage. My mom has also picked up a few of K’s (English) childish sayings and uses them even when we’re not there, she says. Haha :) I try not to let it get too out of hand, but it is fun to have a family dialect.

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