My youngest son sees a speech therapist. His teacher recommended it; most people find it difficult to understand him. This is partly because he mixes up English, Italian and the local dialect and partly because he does not correctly pronounce many, many sounds. We are supposed to correct him when he speaks, and lately I have been better about this. In the past I was not so good about it, mainly for selfish reasons: I love the way he talks. I love, love, love it. And I thought I would miss it terribly when it is gone.
Last week his father took him to speech therapy and when they came back Four could say “treno” correctly in Italian, rolling the R. He had a whole list of words he could now correctly pronounce and he triumphantly shouted them out to us. Three hours earlier he couldn’t make that sound, and now he could. We were so happy for him! I could hardly remember how he used to say those words and seeing him so happy, I didn’t miss his jumbled pronunciation as much as I had feared I would.
This morning on the way to school he was telling us a story about a girl at school, and it started out like this:
Four: The sister about Francesco to playground.
Me: Francesco’s sister?
Four: Hm. No, the friend about the sister about Francesco.
Me: Francesco’s sister’s friend?
Four: Yes, shur go to playground.
Me: She went to the playground?
Four: Hm. No, maybe shur alweady dare.
Me: Francesco’s sister’s friend was already at the playground?
Me: Ok, so what you say is “She was already there”.
Four: Shur was alweady dare.
Eight: No, no, no. You say: “ SHE was already there”!
Four: Ok, ok, ok, ok! She was already dare. And another SHE was dare too! OK?!!!