Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Language Mystery Solved

For roughly four months, I have lived under the shadow of ignorance. My younger son Andrew is not quite 2 years of age, and most moments his presence in my life is a ray of sunshine that warms my heart.

However, a chief source of consternation is dealing with what I regard to be the most important element that produces the difficulty known as "terrible twos", and that would have to be the fact that toddlers are incapable of expressing themselves appropriately. Nowhere was this clearer in the case of my son Andrew than with regard to one phrase that he used to make.

He would exclaim, sometimes repetitively, "eeekah!", where the eee sound was accentuated. We tried to guess what it meant for several weeks, and it was clear that he knew we were clueless as to what he meant. That was, of course, probably just as frustrating for the poor lad as it was for his aging parents.

At any rate, we had all but given up hope on deciphering his declaration, when yesterday the epiphany struck us in a forceful way. He had picked up the DVD case for Toy Story, and he said "Yeehaw!" while pointing at Woody. I should have seen it all along. After all, his other phrase of excitement would be written something like this: "Doo di dee..... da DON!", which we had already interpreted to be "to infinity and beyond!"

That one was slightly easier to determine, as those cheers usually were accompanied with some dangerous act of climbing up whatever can be climbed, and a stance that would challenge the most formidable Space Ranger.

So, eeekah is yeehaw. When I asked him if that was eeekah, he got so excited, and our mutual frustration over the inevitable issue of language acquisition was abated, at least for this little hill to climb. But there will be more, doubtless.

And I should also say, now that I know what he was saying for all of those weeks, I'll look back fondly when I think of his attempt to say yeehaw.

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