Language Development & Ethanisms

It’s fun to hear Ethan’s language develop. In our home, we call them Ethanisms (someday, we’ll start a list of Sarahisms).

I’m sure most families have their list of favorite things kids say. Here are some of our favorite Ethanisms (at least the few we’ve written down!).

One day at meal time, I asked Ethan how he was doing. He usually says, “Pretty good,” but this time, he said, “Not good.” I asked him why, and he said, “I don’t like good.”

One late afternoon, I went to his room as he was getting awake from his nap. He seemed a little sad and said, “But we have to wake up one more kid” (referring to Sarah who was still asleep).

Once, I was trying to give Ethan some advice on going to sleep for his nap after lunch (he was a bit wound up). I suggested he lay still and close his eyes. He said, “I can’t close my eyes.” When I asked him why, he said, “Because I can’t see.”

Ethan has picked up some phrases either directly or indirectly from us, like, “What’s your plan?” (as in agenda for the day). Sometimes, Ethan hands us an imaginary seed-sized object between his thumb and index finger, and says, “Do you need an idea?” to which I usually reply, “Yes! I need lots of ideas!”

Whenever I take a multivitamin, Ethan wants to look in the bottle. One day, he asked why I take them and I said something about them helping me stay healthy. Now, to understand Ethan’s response, you have to know that Joleen’s back had been bothering her and I occasionally have trouble with my lower back muscles tightening up. So, in response to my comment about vitamins helping me stay healthy, Ethan said, “M&Ms help my back feel better.”

Somewhere along the line, I started adding “yes or no?”to the end of my questions, indicating that I needed a yes-or-no answer. Ethan caught on and after a while, he went through a stage that whenever he’d ask for something, he’d say something like, “May I have some milk? Yes or no? Yes?” (suggesting the preferred answer). He doesn’t seem to do that as much lately, but last week, we attempted to feed the ducks at the river in town. Ethan asked the ducks, who didn’t seem too interested in our bread, “Do you want some bread? Yes or no? Yes?”

Over the weekend, a bumblebee buzzed around Ethan in the backyard. I told him not to swing at it but just let it fly away. After it took off, Ethan said, making sure the bee could hear him, “Thank you, bee. Thank you, bee. Thank you for letting me go!”

Also in the last couple days, Ethan laughed at something I said or did, and he said, “You make me funny!” (he did use the word “laugh” in the next phrase, but I don’t remember how, exactly).

Lately, Ethan has noticed that I’m getting a lot of extra steps, due to the current HealthMiles challenge. This morning, after I left for church at Centre Grove and just before he went to Sunday school at West Side with Mommy and Sarah, Ethan started walking around, as if on a mission. When asked what he was doing, he told Mommy, “I’m getting my steps!”

Fun stuff.

3 thoughts on “Language Development & Ethanisms”

  1. You’ll be so glad you’re writing these down! Wish I had done more of that. It’s amazing how much you forget in a relatively short time (speaking for myself)!

  2. Yeah, I wish I would have written more down.

    Even when I knew I wanted to write this post, Ethan said some things I thought for sure I would remember. But I didn’t write them down right away, and I forgot them pretty quickly.

  3. I liked him saying, “I didn’t know that” and “I’m very, very sorry” for a couple of his statements. Also, his prayer for the meal.


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