Friday, June 05, 2009

The Latest in K & O's Twinspeak

I've posted before about Kyle and Owen's twinspeak. As they get older their twinspeak becomes more and more sophisticated (and thus more and more cryptic to all those outside of their tight duo). Braydon and I will spend huge chunks of time trying hard to decipher what, exactly, they mean by certain parts of their linguistics. I, especially, am fascinated with it. This is one of the parts of raising twins that I really enjoy -- I find it strangely entertaining and fun to take on the intellectual challenge of trying to figure out exactly what their phraseology means and how to use their language correctly. They correct me if I get it wrong (believe me!). And they seem to get a little kick out of it when -- on the rare occasions -- I get it right and use one of their pieces of lingo appropriately. And yet, at the same time, they would never actually use a piece of their twinspeak in direct communication with me. Maybe that is, in part, why I feel some sort of bizarrely deep satisfaction with figuring out how they are using certain words, the origins of the words, and the various nuances to their usage. This part of living with them is like a living, breathing, 24x7 Mensa-challenge-brain-teaser! I spend countless hours observing intently, listening carefully, and trying to figure it out. Here are the latest two that I have mastered from their twinsy-talk.

  • "Eins Eins!" This is a phrase, an exclamation, and also an adjective. The only translation I can think of that sort of comes close to it is the adjective "super" in Spanish. As in, in Spanish, "super lindo!" (very, very attractive), or "super delicioso!" (extra very much yummy), or "super rapido!" (so fast), etc. The K-O "eins eins" is often used similarly. They might say, for example, that really good ice cream is "eins eins tasty!" Getting ready to get on the plane for vacation is "eins eins exciting!" Meera is "eins eins cute!" Or they might say, "Mommy's new shoes are eins eins beautiful!" But the 'eins eins' is used in more ways than simply as an emphasizer. Sometimes it can be used to substitute for "pretty" or "nice" -- as in, (when looking out the window at some birds eating at our birdfeeder one morning), "Owen, look at the eins eins yellow bird!" or (when talking about a friend from school one day), "Kyle, he is our eins eins friend, right?" And sometimes it is a stand-alone exclamation, sort of similar to how you might use a 'honk' of your car horn to sort of say 'hello' to someone you know as you're driving by them on the street. One boy might be running, or riding his bike or scooter, very fast past the other, and then just as he passes by he will very quickly shout out "Eins! Eins!" to his brother. The most popular usage of this term, however, is in relation to their socks. Certain socks of theirs are "Eins Eins Slippery Socks" (all caps; as in a title). Almost all Eins Eins Slippery Socks are sports socks. But not all sports socks are Eins Eins Slippery Socks (I've learned this the hard way). When wearing Eins Eins Slippery Socks they like to slide around on the hardwood floors and make a big production of it -- "Look at these Eins Eins Slippery Socks!" / "Owen are you wearing Eins Eins Slippery Socks?!!" / "Kyle, you need to put on some Eins Eins Slippery Socks!" / etc. The origin of this "eins! eins!" thing seems to lie somehow with the show Little Einsteins, but I have yet to come up with any working theory as to exactly who/what/when/why/how this derived. And, as with all twinspeak, the "eins eins!" is only ever used between the two of them and/or in the presence of each other.
  • "Bad Kitty!" - "Good Kitty!" This is never used in relation to a cat. In fact, they don't call cats kittys (according to them, "Only babies call cats kitties."). As far as I have been able to figure it out, "Bad Kitty!" - "Good Kitty!" is used in only two very specific circumstances. Either, a] in response to the driver of a vehicle's reaction to their efforts to get that driver to honk their horn for them, or b] in relation to "box trucks" (which is K-O twinspeak for 'mail delivery trucks'; i.e., a Fed Ex truck or a UPS truck). First A... at some point they learned that universal hand motion that can sometimes get a big mac-truck driver to honk their horn (holding their arm up in the air and pulling their fist down to motion to pull the horn). That eventually morphed into them doing this motion to every single vehicle driver that they see passing by on any road at any time. So they'll spend hours just doing this motion (extremely enthusiastically) to cars/trucks/motorcycles/anything driving by on any road they happen to be near. Probably about 1/4th of the time they manage to get the driver to honk at them. When the driver honks, they --every single time-- jump wildly up and down screaming "GOOD KITTY! GOOD KITTY!" When the person does not honk they --every single time-- stand there disgusted and forlorn saying "Bad Kitty! Bad Kitty!" until the next vehicle comes into sight. Next B... When a "box truck" pulls into our driveway, then it is enthusiastically greeted with shouts of "GOOD KITTY! GOOD KITTY!" When a "box truck" is spotted driving in or out of a neighbor's driveway then shouts of "Bad Kitty!" are sent in its direction. Origin of the term = the movie Madagascar II: Escape 2 Africa. In this movie an old lady repeatedly and comically tries to shoot the lion, all the while yelling "bad kitty!" at the lion. How and why this somehow morphed into K & O's linguistic use of the phrase in relation to horn-honking and 'box-trucks' is way, way, way beyond me.


Kathrin said...

They clearly speek german. :)
Eins Eins - one one.

That's very cute and clever.

JenniferJ said...

I haven't spent enough time with our boys to see all of this yet, but they do call each other "Ma-ma-ma". When my daughter and I visited we found it difficult to chase both boys, till Ana found that saying "Allez Ma-ma-ma" would make either of them stop what they were doing and find the other and they would stay together. :)

Jen said...

Hi Heather -- I'm a follower of your blog (I love your writing style!), and a soon-to-be adoptive mom of an Ethiopian boy. Your family is adorable, and I will be inundating you with questions related to their locs (starting them & maintaining them). Theirs are beautiful! I love the picture of the three of them in the tub together. Keep on writin'!!
Jen in Texas.

Maggie said...

OMG This is fantastic!!!!! :)

Heather said...

It is like a linguistic TWINADO of interpretive reproduction! Don't you want to come study them for a weekend this summer?! ;)