We are a married couple who adopted our little Russky, Nikita {aka Nicky, Nicky noodle, little man, Nikoli, the Nickster, crazy dude, goofball, puppy love, etc...you get the picture!} from St Petersburg, Russia four years ago. Join us as we stumble through the joys and perils of parenthood, while our son teaches us a few things along the road...



(Nicky sporting my swim-cap I had to wear when swimming at the "schwimmbad" (pool) while living in Germany. I assure you, it looked super-hot on me! For some reason, Kris thinks the swim-cap is super funny and loves to make us all put it on - including the dogs...not sure what it's all about, but we love him anyway! This picture has absolutely nothing to do with this post, but it's cute none-the-less!)

Back to "eff"...No, I'm not cursing...although, maybe a little bit as I find the humor in the literal-ness with which my son takes things. Sometimes, we just don't stop to explain things as efficiently as we think we have, and the subsequent reaction from a child is quite comical! This past summer, we subjected Nicky to a lengthy testing process to see where he was at developmentally, and to try to figure out what we could do to help get him caught up to his peers. Part of his diagnosis involved his speech/communication/articulation delays, so we started taking him to private speech therapy for the articulation portion (he already attends an early childhood school for the communication part). The results of the speech therapist's tests indicated Nicky has a lisp and is in the 11th % for articulation. So the work began; tackling the letter "f (eff)" to start. You see, Nicky tends to substitute the letter "f" for the letter "p". So, "feet" are "peet"; "fun" is "pun"; "finger" is "panger" (he changes the "i" to an "a" in this one, not sure why.)...you get the picture. Well, the other day I was trying to get Nicky to say "Spongebob" - he tends to drop the "sponge" off the name (thus calling him "Bob") because he also struggles with the letter "s". As I slowly and phonetically sounded out the word, having Nicky repeat after me, the letter "p" that he always pronounced with zest; the letter that was his strong-suit; had morphed into the letter "f"! It was then that it dawned on me. We never bothered to try to explain to him that there are different letters in the alphabet that make up the words we speak. Nor did we explain that each letter makes a different sound. So of course, we didn't tell him that there is a letter "f" and a letter "p" and they have their own respective sounds, and that he's correct in making the "p" sound. Instead, we practiced all these "f-words" (tee hee hee), teaching him to remove the "p" sound. It's no wonder he now thinks that all "p-words" should be changed to "f-words". Shew...that's a lot to wrap my brain around...poor little guy! Now what?

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