September 14th, 2004


Baby Talk

Back when I visited my nephew, we had many interesting conversations. A lot of them were somewhat challenging, because, well, he is still new to this talking thing. He was just 17 months old after all. I did my best to interpret what he was saying though.

My sister was holding him at one point, and he said, "Poo-tee!"

We both looked at him puzzledly. "What did you say?" my sister asked him.


I have a bad habit sometimes, when I don't understand someone, of just picking the closest thing to whatever I did hear and pretending that's what they said. Whether or not it is at all likely. This kind of deliberate misinterpretation always amuses me. (I admit that others might find it annoying-not-amusing at times though, so I try not to over-use it.) "Poutine?" I said to him. "Don't be silly; poutine isn't good for babies." I poked him in the belly, elicting a smile. "Besides, you're not Canadian. We're not anywhere near Canada. There isn't any near here."

My sister gave me an even blanker look than the one she had been giving our nephew. "What are you talking about?" The baby looked at my curiously also.

"He's asking for poutine, and I was telling him that was a silly idea."


"Poutine, you know, the Canadian snack, fries with cheese curds and gravey....?"

At this point, his dad (my brother) rolled his eyes. "He's saying that someone or something is pretty," he informed me.