When Spawn was a preschool aged tot, he liked to talk. All the time. He’d use words that were far beyond the normal range for his age, and he’d challenge himself, attempting to use words that he wasn’t quite sure of, but he wanted to give them a test drive. Most of the time, he did pretty well at using them correctly, but there were a few spectacular failures.
One of my favorites came to light one winter. In our old house, we didn’t have a built in humidifier, we had one that I had to add gallons of water to every other day in order to humidify the house. So, one day, as I was making breakfast for us, Spawn came toddling into the kitchen.
“I need some water, “ he said, “in a big, big gallon jug.”
“What for?” I asked.
“For the humiliator,” he replied.
“The WHAT?” I asked.
“The humiliator. In the dining room,” he said, and pointed his stubby little finger in that direction.
I poked my head into the dining room and, possibly due to long-term sleep deprivation, I couldn’t quite figure out what he meant. “What’s a humiliator?” I asked him.
“Dat fing. Dat fing you pour water into. It’s empty,” he said as he pointed at the humidifier.
“Oh,” I said, and laughed pretty hard. I gave him a half-gallon of water at a time and let him trundle back and forth until he got tired, filling the “humiliator”. I did eventually teach him the correct word, but I still remember his tiny little person, dressed, as my husband put it, like an educational toy, in red, blue and yellow, earnestly wanting to service the family humiliator.