04 April 2014

SQTF 84: Linguistics, Lassitude, and Little Ones

This week, I learned the word "eggcorn." From Wikipedia,
An eggcorn is idiosyncratic substitution of a word or phrase for a word or words that sound similar or identical in the speaker's dialect. The new phrase introduces a meaning that is different from the original, but plausible in the context, such as "old-timer's disease" for "Alzheimer's disease."

I was reminded of the term yesterday, when Little Bear and I went for a walk with my mom and youngest sister. Little Bear kept trying to run back the way we'd come, and my mom asked my sister to let him hold one of her plastic dinosaurs as a distraction. "Do you want one of the dinos?" she asked, waving an ankylosaur in his face. He took it, looked at it curiously, and tapped it against his nose. "My-nose?" he asked. He looked at it again, and tapped his nose with the tail. "My-nose, my-nose?" We finally figured out that he was trying to make sense of the word "dinos"!

This week has largely been a series of long, unproductive days spent curled up on the couch trying not to get sick, fending off the toddler's wrath over my refusal to feed him tuna (or any other strong-smelling foods), and hiding everything capable of making noise. I cannot remember ever being this nauseous or prone to awful headaches while I was pregnant with Little Bear! I know I shouldn't complain, because many women's pregnancy-sickness makes them actually throw up and mine hasn't (yet!), but it's hard to choose to see something positive in feeling like this all the time.

I'm a language nerd; I will admit that I read multiple linguistics articles just now to make sure that my use of "nauseous" instead of "nauseated" was acceptable in the previous take. As recently as ten years ago it could have been considered incorrect, but not anymore. Evolution of language is so fun to study! I know, I know, I'm weird.

Maybe not linguistically yet, but Little Bear certainly shares some of our personality traits that we never expected to see in a toddler, like a love for strongly-flavored and spicy foods: every time he manages to sneak past me into the fridge, he goes straight for the bottles of Chipotle Tabasco sauce and Sriracha! And when Matt brought a dish of salsa to the table the other day to go with breakfast... Little Bear promptly forgot about his yogurt and dove right in.

No, we don't let him have any of the Sriracha, and we've started buying mild salsa since he seems to want to eat so much of it. But really, he'll eat anything as long as it has some sort of kick to it; we had Thai for supper the other night (Squirrel insisted), and Little Bear ate so much of my Pad Kee Mao!

Looking for a photo to post today, I deleted another 100+ self-portraits of Little Bear's nose and eyebrow. This kid loves the camera, and because it's accessible even when my phone is locked, if I forget and leave it in his reach I'm sure to come back to more goofy photos. He's even figured out how to switch filters on me! Occasionally, he winds up with something approaching startlingly decent composition, too:

Little Bear went down for a very early nap this morning, after being up for several-hour stretches the past two nights. But it's a good thing, really--yep, still trying to convince myself--because I'm supposed to be at a meeting at 12:45, and this way he will be awake and happy and I can hand him off to my mom and let him play with the other Catholic homeschoolers who are getting together after noon Mass for their Third Friday potluck. And I can be... foggy and nauseous and trying to look like a coherent adult at my meeting? At least there won't be a grumpy toddler on my lap disrupting everyone, though.

The weather outside is beautiful, and Little Bear would love to spend hours out playing in puddles, but the ones right near our house have mostly dried up. I took him for a walk the other day to find more puddles, and there are a great many just a little farther down, but it wasn't worth the trek: our roads are horrendous. Three- to five-inch-deep icy troughs surround most of the puddles, and there's a smooth, slick layer of ice hidden beneath the mucky water. Between the troughs it's practically sheet ice. In his breakup boots, Little Bear can't get any traction; I found myself slipping, too! It doesn't make any sense that they haven't graded our neighborhood yet; we are blocks from an elementary school, and if our jeep is having this much trouble with the deep ice ruts, I can't imagine the school busses and all of the parents with little cars are fairing much better!

Have a lovely, warm spring weekend! Visit Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes.

No comments:

Post a Comment