Friday, December 15, 2006

The Mysterious Uncle Benny

In Swedish dagis, the kids do lots of crafts and gifts, especially around Christmas time. They usually wrap them and take them home to be given to various family members. Imagine our surprise when we received a package labeled "Merry Christmas Uncle Benny from Christopher". We racked our brains, trying to imagine who he could be. Christopher's uncles are Mark (Mak), Doug (Duk) and Rob (Wap), but nothing even approaching Benny or even two syllables.

Of course, Annika should have prepared us... One day when she was about 2, we were looking at an IKEA catalog (as one does in Sweden) and she started pointing at the pages and saying "fuck". Given that that particular four-letter word doesn't make up a large percentage of David's and my vocabulary, we wondered where she could have picked it up. I asked at dagis, and they were as mystified as I was, until we realized that the place for all their papers is a FACK, with a very long Swedish A-sound. Of course, we haven't met any French seals yet... (foque)

So back to Uncle Benny... we finally realized that Christopher tends to drop a few letters in various words. His word for "everybody" ranges from "eh-be" (which I mistook for Eva for a while) to "eh-biddy", and somewhere in the middle, the dagis must have heard Uncle Benny.

Christopher and language will be interesting. He is very talkative, and demands his share of attention. Many car journeys are made with his insistent "Mama, tak ME!" repeated over and over again. Benjamin gets so frustrated because Christopher's demands for air time interfere with his thought process, not to mention sibling peace.

Christopher has learned that most people understand him even if he speaks English. Every morning he starts the day being greeted with a "God morgon - hur mår du?" to which he replies without fail, "Good." However, many of his words are not so clear. Benzie and Aka are his siblings, "Piss" is fish and milk is a two-syllable word (me-yulk). Anything beginning with an S gets pretty creative. "Kwong" is strong, "bleepy" is sleepy, and snow is just plain "no".

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