Please and Stegosaurus

Lately Trixie has been using her imagination to take a word or an expression and contort it into either a nonsense word or an outright substitute. For example, I’ll say, “We’re having dinner guests tonight.” She will declare, “I call dinner guests, Spinner Chips”. I love seeing what she comes up with.

Last night at our regular Monday-night-kid-eats-free venue, Trixie was not using good manners. Jennifer had just refilled her water and we were waiting for a ‘thank you’. Trixie danced around (literally) with a variety of gibberish before she decided on ‘Stegosaurus’ with a wink.

I had finally had enough and told Trixie it was over. She was going to be PUNISHED — no TV. The fallout was immediate, but not entirely predictable. Trixie turned red and started bawling. I picked her up to give her some security, and told her that we love her, but that she should have used good manners. That point was lost on her. “I SAID STEGOSAURUS!!,” she howled, tears pouring down her face. “I SAID STEGOSAURUS…”

At that moment, she believed with all her heart (which was beating a million times a minute) that Stegosaurus was the right thing to say. I relented and gave her another chance, but also a gentle reminder that ‘thank you’ is really better for most situations. She gave Jennifer a hug, a regular, non-nonsensical ‘I’m sorry’, and the rest of the night went ok.

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7 Responses to Please and Stegosaurus

  1. Lmaver says:

    My 4 1/2 year old has been doing the exact same thing since she was about Trixie’s age. We named her language Evelish (her name and English put together) and she’s JUST beginning to get that the rest of us have not been schooled in her ‘mother tongue’. She honestly believed that we all would know what she ment when she said that she wanted one thing but said another.

    Some day I will be able to embarass her with it.

    Stegosaurus, for letting me have my say.

    • Trish says:

      It’s a little dionsncerticg to have her creeping around the room in the dark, knocking things over and running into stuff. It sounds too much like something is loose in there, just waiting for the rest of us to go asleep. LOL! That just made me burst out laughing. The idea of a stumbling Trixie wandering around like a miniature figure from Plato’s Allegory of the Cave is hilarious.

  2. Jeff says:

    What’s the chance that in her head, stegosaurus really did mean “thank you”? It’s not beyond comprehension, given the current knowledge of language acquisition.

    I wonder if she saw something ON TV that would have her relate the concept of thanks with the word stegosaurus?

    Either way, I’m happy to hear that she pulled out of the tailspin in time.

  3. Judy says:

    Oh yes, welcome to the preschool years – in full force! Get your game on, because the ride is mighty fast from here on out!

  4. Nat says:

    aww bless her that really is an adorable story.
    now then, just another 2 years to go before my daughter is Trixie’s age and I get to encounter stegosauruses. thanks for the warning lol.

  5. Elizabeth says:

    I had to check to be sure I wasn’t on my own blog – that is so something that Dorothy would do. 🙂

  6. kate says:

    that is now my new word for thank you.
    love it!