September 02, 2010

Growing up

Ponytail, the little neighbor girl, calls me “Tooseen.” When I come home from work, she's often jumping up and down on my porch yelling, "Tooseen! Tooseen!" as if it's some kind of cheer. This pronunciation is so far off from my real name that revealing it does not destroy my anonymity. When I first met her, she’d often say phrases that we couldn't figure out, although after a while I got used to her way of talking and could translate most things.

Last year, Ponytail went to a speech therapist at school, and she’s become easier to understand. She’s continued to make progress over the summer, even without the speech therapist. Last week, she said to me, sort of out of the blue, “I can say your name now.” Then slowly, and carefully, she said my first name, both syllables.

I hugged her, and she repeated my name, over and over. I could tell she was proud of her accomplishment, but it made me a little sad too. She’s getting old fast.


Nitish said...

That's fantastic, jo(e). I always enjoy reading about Ponytail and Little Biker Boy; as so many of your commenters have said, they're incredibly lucky to have you in their lives.

Val said...

That's a great take on your name. :)

I just wrote about the same thing. My nephew, who just started kindergarten, couldn't pronounce "Aunt Val" when he was younger and would instead call me "Annie Owl." He eventually learned to say it right, but it was much cuter before. If he has to grow up, fine, but he could have kept calling me "Annie Owl" forever. :)

And then there was my younger brother, maybe five years old at the time and already car-obsessed but before his speech therapy began at school, who once told my Aunt Laurie, "Aunt Lah-wee! You should buy a Fuh-wah-ee!" :)

YourFireAnt said...

Don't worry. I'LL still call ya tooseen.


Liz Miller said...

Ooh. Just remembered how MM used to pronounce "oven" OHvin. Because his daycare teacher came from eastern Europe, and that's how she pronounced it.


Magpie said...

I was sad when my girl started saying Yellow instead of Lellow. It was the last vestige of something.

Anyway, FireAnt will still call you Tooseen, so it's all good.

Kyla said...

Very sweet.

Also, I'm glad she is getting the services she needs at school!

kathy a. said...

tooseen, such an excellent nickname! it's great she is getting help at school -- sounds like she has a sense of accomplishment, too. love the stories of the neighbor children; glad you are their neighbor.

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

I'll add another cheer for free social services offered through the school.

My 2yo nephew pronounced my name as "diaper" for awhile!