Saturday, February 16, 2013

stock phrases.

Choi Boy is quite the talker. Seriously, he wakes up talking, talks allllllll day long, and falls asleep talking to himself. He'll talk about anything and everything and will talk to anyone who'll listen. Actually, he'll talk to anyone, regardless if they're listening. Actually, he'll talk to anyone or anything.

You get the picture.

When CB really took off with his talking and was putting multiple words together, we would rephrase and repeat a lot phrases to him -- phrases that we wanted him to use on his own. And remarkably, they stuck and have become his stock phrases. While CB totally has a sense of humor befitting a 3 year-old boy and his vocabulary reflects that, it's nice to hear these stock phrases sprinkled into his conversations.

Many of CB's stock phrases are common and generic, but an added bonus is that it's also changed the way the hubs and I talk. In fact, many of these phrases came about in our home because Choi Boy was repeating something the way we were saying it and it just sounded unpleasant when we heard it parroted back to us by a toddler.

Here are some of CB's stock phrases:

*May I... I was big stickler on this one because I am just not a fan of hearing kids requesting things so casually. All day long at school I hear variations of "Can I have it?" "I want that!", etc. And while the motive behind CB's "May I"s is the same as all those other variations, at least he sounds a little polite while asking!

*Yes, please and No, thank you: Again, I wanted to make sure that whether CB was receiving or refusing something, he was at least doing so politely. I've mentioned before that CB is somewhat (okay, I really mean TOTALLY) spoiled by his grandparents and great aunts and uncles, so he is offered lots and lots of goodies. I wanted to make sure that he sounded grateful when accepting said goodies!

*Yes: NOT "yeah." Call me a stick-in-the-mud but I hate the way "yeah" sounds (unless you're Usher). Besides, "yes" sounds SO cute coming out of a little one's mouth!

*Pardon?: This one came about because of terrible habit I had of saying, "Huh?" (because that's way classier than "yeah") when I needed something repeated. We dabbled with "Excuse me?" as an alternative, but that phrase has the potential of sounding a bit snarky, so we went with Pardon; perfect for my Anglophile self.

*Jahl Muhk Uh Seum Nee Dah: This one is Korean, literally translated to "I ate well," but with a meaning more like, "Thank you for the meal." We are trying to use more Korean with Choi Boy, so the hubs has worked hard to help CB remember to say this at the end of our family meals.

*Excuse me: We've been working hard on this phrase for when CB wants to say something while grown-ups are talking. It's coming along, but we're working on having CB wait for acknowledgement after saying Excuse me, so rather than just launching into, "Excuse me, may I have a cookie? May I have another cookie? Mommy, may I have a cookie???", he waits for a second or two.

*Sure!: This wasn't one that we necessarily intended for CB to pick up on, but he has since I say so it often. It's incredibly adorable and upbeat and makes me smile every time!

* * *

As I mentioned, it's been fun to hear and see how these phrases have become a part of our whole family's vocabulary and I love the extra dose of decorum they bring into our lives! It is much needed, as much of our every day is otherwise very casual:

Very casual indeed.


  1. I really need a chat with this guy so I can hear them all myself... ok?!

  2. Always fun when they decide to join the conversation! My third is at this stage right now. Although the accent is still a bit thick - he thinks he's speaking English, but we have to listen in Childrenese.

    We've trained our children to interrupt by putting a hand on our arm or shoulder. We acknowledge that we got the message that they're waiting by putting a hand over their hand - that lets them know that we'll get to them in just a moment. It works really well for us. Just thought I'd throw that out there...


  3. Love the sweet voices of little kids! (so long as they are not talking back... we are in a real phase right now...)


why, hello there! do you have something to say? 'cause i'd so love to hear it!