It's perfectly normal for a preschool aged child to use words incorrectly. Also, it's rather commonplace for a young child to tweak a word. Case in point: Mackenna's recent use of the word "bester."
Frankly, I don't know why "bester" hasn't been integrated into the English language before now. It works beautifully to mean "better and more"--at the same time. Here is an actual example in Mackenna's own words,
Mommy, you know who I like bester than Jasmine?
I like Snow White bester than Jasmine.
"Bester" is cute and quite useful in communicating. Anyone listening to Kenna could easily understand her meaning when she uses this term.
This is not the case with some of her other words lately. She's been making some words completely up (as far as her father and I can tell). Michael and I are readers; we've got decent vocabularies. We hold our own when we play "Word Power" in Reader's Digest every month. And yet Mackenna has stumped us twice in the past week with some of her "vocabulary."
The first instance happened when she and her sister were playing on the floor. Suddenly, Kenna was crying. I tried to calm her and find out what had happened. Through tears and with the utmost sincerity, she explained that her finger had been "friggled" by her sister and that is why she was screaming.
"Friggled?" I queried (see the above-par vocab coming out now?), "What does 'friggled' mean?" She looked at me like I had just asked her what "finger" meant. She went on to explain that "friggled" means "hurt." Marlee had hurt her finger. Oh.
The next morning, I woke up to her sitting on my bed chatting with her daddy. She was intent on sharing her narrative with her father. As my mind pushed its way out of dreamland and into reality, I heard this snippet, "...and then the mouses ate the appilators..."
I sat right up. "What is she talking about?" I asked my Michael. He raised his eyebrows and responded, "She's telling me about appilators." "But what are they?" I posed again. He shrugged. Mackenna went on to explain that they are things that "mouses" eat; they don't eat at all, themselves, as they do not have mouthes (pronounced mouth-ehs). Suddenly, everything was much more clear. As mud.
We have no idea where this child is getting her new words, but it sure is keeping us entertained! In the meantime, I guess the moral here is this: although it is not desirable to have your finger friggled, it's a darn sight bester than being on the appilator end of a mouse/appilator confrontation. You heard it here first.
I worry that Kenna gets a bad wrap on my blog. I hope you can tell from this post and this photo that my baby isn't all hellion. Truly, she's rather funny and cuddly.