Rylee Speak

by katherine on January 16, 2014

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Every kid has certain words they say funny. It’s one of those things that as a parent, you hope they never outgrow because you know when they do, they’re officially not-so-little anymore. Rylee has a few and I love each and every one of them. So much so, that I’ve found myself saying them her way. {Note: it is not nearly as cute coming from a grown adult}

Fableeus = fabulous
Hanguber = hamburger
Pateren = pattern
Redicleeus = ridiculous

But, other than these funny word mishaps, she’s a lot got something else going on…

The other day at gymnasts, Rylee had a new teacher. The introduction went like this:

Teacher: “I’m miss ___ {I never caught her name}. What’s your name?”
Rylee: Rylee
Teacher: Wylee? Nice to meet you!

The teacher then proceeded to call Rylee “Wylee” for the entire rest of the class until the very end when Rylee eventually got so irritated with the teacher she finally spelled it for her.

On the drive home, Rylee expressed her frustration with me about how the teacher kept getting it wrong. Then she said something that simultaneously made me proud and broke my heart.

“Can you teach me how to say my name right?”

Proud in the sense that she realizes she needs to work on something and is willing to do the work to make it happen. Heart broken because no parent wants to hear from their kids about their feelings being hurt particularly because of something related to their development. It really bothers Rylee that she has a hard time saying her “Rs”. Rylee is Wylee. Red is wed.

It’s not as bad as that annoying bear from sesame street, but it’s obviously bad enough that people don’t even understand what her name is.

When I was her age I had a hard time pronouncing my R’s as well. I remember being called into my school’s speech therapist’s office for a speech evaluation. I distinctly remember them asking me to say the word red. It was awful. But I also remember the follow up a couple of years later. I was fine. No intervention, or even “r” practice was needed.

So speaking from personal experience, I am confident that Rylee will grow out of it. That doesn’t mean I just want to ignore it…especially because she is so aware of it herself. Overall, Ry is a pretty confident little girl but I don’t want this to be her hang-up. I don’t want her self esteem effected because of it. It weighed on my heart and mind for the rest of the day.

That same evening she came out of her bedroom holding a pencil and a spiral notebook. She asked me how to spell “fantastic”. Not thinking much of it, I spelled the word for her without ever looking up from my dinner prep. Later when I was putting her to bed I saw the spiral notebook lying on her desk bench…


In case you can’t read it, please allow me to translate: “I am fantastic as can be. The way I am they sure do love me. I am so happy. But do you know why?”

Ha, guess I don’t need to worry too much about her confidence.

She’s going to be just fine.

To this day though I hate saying words like rural.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ot & Et January 16, 2014 at 12:55 pm

Everything about this made me happy. Rylee is amazing, strong, confident, and willing to work hard to get better. We should all be so amazing! I remember people called me Wendy until I was like 8 because I was nervous to correct them. Now I proactively spell my (stupid) last name because I know my M kinda sounds like an N (ps I don't think so but whatever). Took me years to get where Rylee is. Otto has the same, it took our doctor pointing it out to me, I didn't even notice his little lisp. As long as it doesn't bother him, I ain't sayin a thing! xoxo


2 Jessie January 16, 2014 at 1:35 pm

I had trouble sayin my “r’s” as well when I was little. When I was going from kindergarten to 1st grade my parents spent the summer “helping” me. They gave me a nickel or something every time I pronounced it right. What started as something I had to concentrate on (to get my money) soon became second nature.

Although I sometimes still mess up when reading aloud…..


3 karey January 16, 2014 at 5:22 pm

This is the best post ever and that note? Ohmyheart!

You guys are doin' it right, I tell ya and you've got an amazing little girl on your hands!


4 Emma White February 7, 2014 at 3:47 am

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5 Emma White February 7, 2014 at 4:16 am

Awaysome post


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