translating gibberish: success!

Translating Corrigan’s “language” is a skill that I am constantly honing.  There is one particular phrase he uses that no matter how hard I concentrate I can’t figure out what he is trying to tell me.  He uses it frequently, with the same inflection every time, so I am hopeful one day it will come to me. Bless his heart, he rarely gets mad at me for not understanding.

Yesterday he came out of school with a series of new phrases that I was clueless as to his meaning.  It went something like this…

“I tuh tic-cha!”


(then makes this clicking/lip smacking sound)


(garbled words here)

He repeated it many times on the way home and Sadie and I were unable to figure it out.  When he learns something new in school, perhaps from a story or song,  there is no real way for me to translate without bringing the phrase to the teacher.  As I drove home I was asking him about his day and I remembered that he had Spring portraits taken that morning.  Something clicked…

Me: “Corrigan, are you saying CHEESE?!?!?!”

Corrigan: (eyes get wide) CHEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

So I think about the first part of his conversation.  “I tuh tic-cha”

Lightbulb moment..

Me: I take your picture?

Corrigan: (super excited) CHEEEEEEEE!!!!!

Sadie and I deduced that the lip smacking sound must be the camera clicking and then his teachers yelling “yay!!”

Maybe??? It is so hard to tell.  I can only imagine the difficulty any other photographer would have trying to take Corrigan’s photograph.  When I want him to look at me for a photograph, I lay in wait like a safari photographer and have super sophisticated skills like fake sneezing, or holding up cards with letters that force the mouth to form a close approximation of a smile. The letter “B” works great for that trick. He looks at the card next to my camera, he loves letters, and says “Bee!” and I click at the right moment.

Voila! You think he is smiling!

Later, I got my camera out to snap a few shots of Corrigan laughing his butt off with Sadie while watching a Saturday Night Live skit and when he saw my camera he jumped off of her lap, ran up onto the couch and started all over again.

“I tuh tic-cha!”    “Cheee!!!!!!” and smiling like the biggest goober on the planet.  Not a fake “letter B” smile, but a real life smile.  Smiling so hard his face might fall off and there I was, with a camera that won’t focus in my cave-like living room, and a kid that WANTS ME TO TAKE HIS PHOTOGRAPH. Most were so blurry, due to lighting conditions, that they are not really usable but I was thrilled at his willingness to participate in something as simple as a photograph!

Holy cow, I don’t know what voodoo tricks the teachers/photographer used yesterday but I owe you a million bucks.  For a photographer, having a child that shuns the camera is the ultimate defeat.  To have one suddenly willing to look straight at me and smile?  I am amazed.

I can’t wait until he wakes up to try it again outdoors!


2 thoughts on “translating gibberish: success!

  1. I love these pictures!! You know what it could be? His peers, that he sees everyday in class, doing cheese and smiling at the camera. It is amazing what these kids can pick up from peers.



Your comments are appreciated!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s