Saturday, January 2, 2010

Day Three-Hundred Fifty-Seven: Godder


My son has learned a new word. Actually, it seems more like he's made up a handy new word, and he's quite comfortable plugging it into any situation. The word, as far as Kim and I can tell, is "godder."

Godder is a noun. Godder is a verb. When necessary, godder appears to be an adjective. I have not yet seen any instances of godder being used as an adverb, but I'm fairly certain it could be if needed.

The first time I heard the mysterious new word, I tried to figure out what exactly it was supposed to mean. I was relaxing in bed, and Robbie was crawling around and throwing himself face-first into the pillows, when he suddenly sprung up and said, "I going to go get you some godder." "Some what?" I asked. "Some godder!" he repeated. We played this game several times, when finally I said, "Some godder?" And he, thrilled that I had finally caught on, shrieked "Yes!" and then went off to get me some godder. (We play a similar game often, when he says he's going to go get some pizza. He goes across the room, then comes back holding out his hands as if there's something there, gives me the invisible pizza, and I eat it) He brought back the invisible godder and thrust it into my hands. I held it, a bit perplexed. Finally, I asked, "Am I supposed to eat it?" He laughed and then threw himself face-first into the pillow again.

Soon, I started to hear godder pop up in different conversations. "How are you doing?" "I'm godder." "You're what?" "I'm godder!" Or, "Come on, Mommy! Let's godder!"

Here's the funny thing about godder, though: it's not exactly a nonsense word because it very clearly stands for something. It's the something in question that seems to be in a constant state of flux. When Robbie can't find the exact word he wants, either because he doesn't know it or because it's just slipped his mind, the word becomes godder. Why break up the flow of the conversation? Just say godder and keep it going! When godder happens to be an object, he'll point out godder when (if) you come across it. It's really fascinating.

Godder is the new whatchamacallit. (Wow, honestly didn't expect "whatchamacallit" to go over OK with the spellcheck, but it did) So far as I'm aware, nobody taught him this sort of word substitution. I'm sure there's some child psychological term for what's happening, but the fact that something is explainable doesn't really take away from the wonder of it all.

One thing parenting is constantly teaching me is what a miracle life is. I'm not talking about the joining of two zygotes into a new living, thinking, reasoning individual, though that's quite a feat, too. I'm talking about the process of living. I'm talking about learning. What an incredible thing it is to learn! Eating with silverware is not something that came naturally to us. Nor brushing our teeth. Nor manners, sharing, patience, healthy living, or unhealthy living. We had to learn! And eventually, we started making our own rules--godder, for instance--with nothing but the combination of what we'd learned and our own imagination and intuition. I mean, how cool is that??

Bah. I'm starting to ramble. When my mind gets really excited, it starts to repeat itself, to churn the same thought over and over, keeping is fresh like the same batch of saltwater taffy is stretched again and again until it's ready to be enjoyed. When I'm in that state, I tend to log off, because I feel the churning of the same thoughts comes across as babbling, and when I think I'm babbling, I lose the novelty or the profundity of whatever it was I was churning in the first place.

So instead, I'll simply say godder, my friends.