• http://asknawny.blogspot.com/ nawny

    I’m with you — the purpose of language is communication.

    It’s also worth noting that language evolves…

    Instead of assuming that Leta will need a translator, Jon should consider the possibility that in the not too distant future “sawl” might replace “seen.” It’s possible.

    (And Leta needs the Disney princess polly pocket sized dolls. Really. Teeny tiny glass slippers and such.)

  • cakeburnette

    Heh, I am amused that no one picked up on your use of the phrase “Do what?” in the letter to Leta. That, like “fixin’ to” and skule and crown and wender and such, is a definite Southern-ism. I sat it all the time, and when we were stuck living in Idaho (I’m from Alabama and Georgia) folks used to look at me so strangely when it would come out of my mouth.

  • http://www.foreverkaili.blogspot.com Liz

    Fabulous story Dooce. Love Leta. Not so much Jon in this case. Thanks for the hilarity and find that shoe!!

  • cakeburnette

    I SAY it all the time, not sat it all the time.

  • http://www.camprunapup.com Katybeth

    I almost never feel a husbands pain (feels really disloyal) but I married a Chi-cagoian and now my twelve year old says Snnnack in a nasal sort of Midwest tone and this is an affront to my southern ears!

    It MATTERS and is even worth cold undies but if you are looking for another point maker– I once sew the flap shut on all my husband’s boxers and briefs-well actually I had the cleaners do it (one day cleaners) because I don’t sew.

  • Layla

    Some Polly Pocket advice – get a cheap plastic box with little compartments for tackle/tools and use that for sorting the clothes. Makes it a little easier to find and the sorting is educational too.

    Also, soon the Polly Pocket clothes will no longer slide on and off their plastic bodies easily. It will become very difficult to take a shirt off or slide on a pair of pants. When that happens, use a light coating of baby powder on the inside of all the PP clothes and they will slide back on easier.

    yes, I’m serious.

  • http://www.smartinibar.blogspot.com Megan

    I wholeheartedly agree with the underwear freezing. And possibly unplugging the microwave so that ‘Oops, I don’t know why it’s not working. Too bad you can’t thaw out your pants until you get some water hot enough to work through all that ice… Sweetie.’

  • Anonymous

    his underwear AND his clogs. so there.

  • http://bestofcourt.blogspot.com Court

    Well, does she “wash” her clothes or “worsh” her clothes? You just let Jon know that it can always get worse.

  • http://cupcakes-4-breakfast.blogspot.com Jenn

    Totally unrelated, but I thought that the eye in today’s thumbnail belonged to Leta. Fantastic shot of you two.

  • KMac

    I totally say Crown…DUH. That should be your next masthead!

  • http://spanielranch.blogspot.com ALF

    I’m with Jon on this one – sawl is totally unacceptable. As is pronouncing crayon, “crown”. It’s just not right.

  • Tara


    I had a friend from Long Island that would say “draw” for drawer (DRAW-ER). I wanted to punch her in the face.

  • Ellynn

    My daughter is not to the Polly Pocket stage yet, thank goodness, she’s still into My Little Ponies. My son however, is constantly correcting me, the grammar Nazi, because I say “Cray-un” and “But-ten” for button. But he has to give me a quarter from his allowance every time he says “ain’t”! Yeah, I’m mean, but he’s 10 and I despise “ain’t” almost as much as I hate hearing grown adults saying “I seen it”.

  • http://www.grapedidit.com/ Grape Did It

    Or the conversations at our house when my husband replaces the word No, with Nary. I cannot get it across to him that they ARE NOT INTERCHANGEABLE. Plus, it sounds like he’s trying to quote a bad version of Shakespeare.

  • Lizandboys

    I laughed and thought “SO glad I don’t deal with Polly Pockets” and then I realized we have 5,564,382,901 Lego’s in our house…it hurts way worse when you step on a Lego than a Polly Pocket shoe. I guess we each have our own cross to bear. I am glad that both my kids are the same gender so I don’t have two different types of maddening toys in our house….

    BTW, Chuck ROCKS….I can’t get our dog to do $&^*

  • katie

    unfortunately that tact wouldn’t work so well on my husband. i have to bargain with him NOT to put his underwear in the freezer when it’s this hot out. he’s convinced sticking clothes in the freezer for 20 minutes before putting them on = his very own personal air conditioning.

  • http://www.sugarloot.com/entry/145669084 Stephanie

    WOW, I’m still hung up on the dolls for Polly Pocket–the last time I saw/played with them, they just lived in teeny little pink or green semi-circular containers, and all of their teeny little parts didn’t have shoes, they were just painted on their teeny little feet. So now they are larger than that? My Polly Pocket was like..the size of my baby toe nail. Or maybe a little larger.

  • Bibi

    In our home, walking into one of my children’s rooms is like walking across hot coals.

    I consider mispronunciations to be part of the charm of growing up. I still favor saying the W in the word SWORD, even if it’s wrong. It makes me sound special.

  • http://heyyourememberme.blogspot.com that girl

    Many people here and abroad regard a southern accent as endearing.. charming even.

  • Cecilia

    Geeeeeeeeeezzze. Sounds like SOMEBODY forgot to take his Prozac today! ;->

  • Carin

    That is the best story and brought much humor to my day!! Sounds like a converastion my husband and I would, and yet we don’t have kids.

  • http://www.shamelesslysassy.com Shamelessly Sassy

    I am pretty sure I will meet my demise searching for Polly Pockets super tiny shit. or stepping on it. If I get one more miniature piece of furniture jammed under my foot, I’ll probably stroke out.

  • http://www.iambossy.com/ BOSSY

    Jon is the Grammer Whisperer.

  • Stacy

    Oh my! I laughed so hard that I started crying. I’m going to hear “AWWW. AWWW. AWWW.” in my head for the rest of the day.

  • Kati

    Have you tried looking up Leta’s nose? My friend’s daughter decided one day to see if she could fit a blue Polly Pocket flip-flop in her left nostril. And it did fit, so snugly in fact that it took tweezers to get it out. Tweezers which, to my friend’s daughter, might as well have been the Jaws of Life for all the screaming and flailing of limbs that began as soon as she saw them. My friend is now firmly convinced that Polly Pocket shoes are from the devil.

  • http://www.gonelsons.com jennie

    I keep finding one of those tiny shoes under the table and always think it’s a bug or maybe some lunch that escaped the table. It’s disturbing, every single time, to realize it’s a tiny shoe.

    I’m always tempted just to throw it away, but then I’m certain we’d have the SAWL discussion at our house.

  • http://velvetlava.blogspot.com/ Ann

    I think you should just say CRAYON CRAYON CRAYON over and over and over. Dude, you’ll totally outlast him – you know it and he knows it.

  • Lola

    The DNA Smackdown of focus and determination. Shoes-0; Sawl-1

  • Pegnandy

    My son is 14 and still says “gift certicket” instead of certificate. My parents now share his pronunciation. Must be nice to be the grandchild, since my mom was the grammar nazi when we were young!

  • http://moumou.ca/ Rebecca

    haha your husband seems harder to communicate with than your daughter!

  • shannon

    i totally get being proud of the language acquisition…when my son was 2 he was eating a bowl of fried rice, took a big spoonful, and before it got to his mouth it spilled all over the table. “fuck,” i heard him say. i had to leave the room.

  • Annie

    You think Polly Pockets are small now, you should have seen them back when I was a kid.

    God that makes me feel old..

  • http://cosmosnow.net Feilisha

    I still don’t consider English my first language. I learned other languages before English, and I refuse to pronounce words “correctly” according to the average English teacher.

    I’m sure your husband meant it out of sheer love.

  • http://cherylwittmann.blogspot.com Cheryl

    hilarious. thanks so much for the mid-day pick me up. the people in my office now think I am insane because of all the laughing.

  • Anonymous

    The funniest thing I heard was my sister-in-law, saying that she wanted to drive a vulva. I said, no you drive a VolvO, you have a vulvA.

    And the thing I hate is when people wanna “axe” a question. What are they gonna do chop up the words? You ASK a question….you chop wood with an AXE.

    –Thanks for the laughter

  • http://ducksmahal.blogspot.com/ Audubon Ron

    Underwear in the freezer. Well, all righty then.

  • Jennifer

    Boy oh boy, all those tussles Coco and Chuck get into, really show their PIZZAZZ for life.

  • New England Single Mom

    I have totally taken up residence in 3 year old meltdown land. I completely understand the absolutely adorable, completely spontaneous, teeth-crunching cuteness of the 3 year old’s attempt to communicate.

    This wasn’t a screaming command, but it was cute enough to pass along. Yesterday, responding to the steam on the bathroom mirror, my 3 year old asked, “Why the mirror not peeking my face, mama?” :) I think I’ll keep him!

  • http://www.quackplayer.com/ns5 Lucendi

    Broken english is glamerous.

  • http://beckycochrane.livejournal.com Becky

    As long as she understands that y’all NEVER means only one person, it’s all good.

  • http://www.threeseven.ca zchamu

    Hmm. Wouldn’t it have been easier to correct her by saying “did you see it”? As opposed to switching the tenses.

    Ugh. *slaps self for being annoying* Carry on.

  • http://andria-and-co.com Andria and Co.

    Hilarious! I saw the “crown/crayon” video- that was frickin hilarious.

  • Jodi

    My daughter used to say, “You formember lasterday” instead of You remember yesterday ! I thought it was the cutest and it bugged the hell out of my husband. I had to tell him to let it go, she would grow up soon enough!!!! Now she doesn’t say it anymore and he misses it.

  • Eva

    If you can get to it before she eats it, I might check Coco’s poop for the shoes.

  • http://1crazymomma.typepad.com Antonette

    I think if you trace the DNA in your husband’s family back far enough, you will find a link to MY husband’s line.

    Must try the underwear in the freezer…

  • Allison

    Polly Pockets have shoes? When I played with them they were slightly bigger than a thumbnail and just had one joint at the waist. They had clothes (and shoes) painted on them and came in little carrying cases that were entire worlds. They must be a lot bigger nowadays!

    And does Jon realize that what she really should be saying is “have you SEEN”, so arguing that the word “sawl” should be “saw” won’t really help her anyway! Good luck with that!

  • http://domesticspaz.com Domestic Spaz


    It’s awesome that I can totally picture this. Maybe you can buy a whole bag of Polly Pocket shoes on eBay and just hand over new ones whenever other ones get lost. :) Maybe I should start selling bags of Polly Pocket shoes on eBay!

  • http://bunagsbooks.blogspot.com Lisa

    Can I just say that I love your newsletters to Leta? I think they’re beautiful and inspiring. They’re hilarious and she will love them more than words can say when she’s ohhhhhh 20?

    I love your reference in the last one to kids sunbathing in Alaska. Wish that were true. We had snow as long as you did up here in the great northern frozen wasteland. So, I totally, TOTALLY feel yours (and Leta’s) pain. My mood has changed too….for the better.

  • Becky

    I’m from Georgia and my husband is from Connecticut. The first time we went grocery shopping together, I asked him to grab a buggy. He looked at me like I was an alien until I finally pointed to the carts. I think we spent the first year together saying “What did you just say?” to each other. The most annoying one to me is that he pronounces drawer as “draw.” He just drops the whole last sylable. He makes fun of me for saying “fixin’” instead of “about to.” I can only imagine how our future child will speak: “Y’all, I just found a wicked cool chest-o-draws at the store. I’m fixin’ to put it in my buggy so I can buy it.”