"Oh, it's just leftover from my sleepover. I forgot to pack it out."
"You mean unpack it," I corrected while Child #1 stifled a laugh.
And we were off. On the way home I thought about Child #2's linguistics. From the time he was little he's always been creative with words, both prononciation and application. He played with disanours and requested hangabers for dinner.
As he gets older, he's been known to use his language skills as an offensive technique. Word to the wise, if you're slated to play the Blue Bombers this spring, don't talk to the kid on third base. He'll only distract you from completing your homerun.
Instead of listening quietly, I inflicted my baby French on everyone I met until eventually, baby French became grown up French.
And even if there's a language barrier, I still manage to have interesting conversations. I'll try English, fall back on French, poke my husband to see if he can come up with the phrase in Italian or Japanese and if all else fails, I resort to pantomime.
The more I thought about this trait, the more I realized it's more than just social butterflyness or chattiness. My son and I process our lives through interaction. Our experiences of the world aren't concrete until we've discussed them, literally felt them slip-slide over our tongue. We're oral processors. And language, as it turns out, is nothing more than an obstacle course. If you tackle it in the right way, you find yourself going around, over and under it.
The important thing is finding your way through to the other side.
So whether you unpack, pack it out; tell everyone you meet you plan to be an avocado instead of a lawyer or cause well-meaning Italian men to blush all kinds of red by telling them you love to eat "fica", eventually the misunderstandings get straightened out and you're on your way to a conversation.
And if you're lucky, you might just be taken to a fig orchard, which incidentally is pronounced fichi, and told to pick as many as you want.
Are you an oral processor? If not, how do you process your world?