I realized with slight dismay over the weekend that Toby said “yellow” instead of “lellow” for the first time. This is something of a passage – it means that he has pretty much no cutely mispronounced words any more. There were a few we enjoyed: Elump for elephant, shortly followed by ellepuh, also for elephant. He used to call our cat Scout “Dout”, and referred to our other cat Nessie as “Ne-ness”. The only thing he consistently can’t say is the J sound, like in the letter G, or “jeans”. I think he makes the sound in the side of his mouth with his tongue, rather than at the front with his teeth, so (this is difficult to describe by typing) it’s more of a wet “dzzhh” sound rather than a clean juh sound.

There are also a few words that he’s extra-American on. He’ll sometimes say “cay-ut” for “cat”, and has quite the midwestern nasal A in, for example “bath”.

But really we’re very pleased with how good and clear his speech is. I hope he remains as verbal and easy to understand as he grows up.

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