Okay, so here’s a strange thing. Dante’s inventing nonsense words, and has attached himself so strongly to a couple of them that he says them all the time. He’s got imaginary words the way other kids have imaginary friends. Here are the words, with spelling approximated by me:
1. Dado, pronounced “DAY-dough”.
2. Wagachuber, pronounced “WAG-a-chew-ber”.
He shouts them out loud, he mutters them to himself, he chants them when he’s concentrating on something. He mixes them up in whatever combinations feel right to him at the moment, and does not hesitate to stretch the syllables way out if the mood strikes him. “Dado wagachuber dado. Dado waaaaaaaagachuber dado.” They aren’t the only words he’s invented — he comes up with stuff all the time, though most of the things he says are at least based on something concrete. For example, in a park with three slides (which are three different sizes), he might say, “I call the middle slide the mediamo.”
For that matter, there’s Dante Language. Here are the rules of Dante language:
1. Long words (and I do mean long) mean “Hi.”
2. Short words mean themselves.
DANTE: Dadooohhhhhhhhhhhhh-bee-gaa-ber-doh-[raspberry sound]-go-bee-dah-dee-fee-lo-deep-ba-wagachuber-dado-bee-mee-go-[imitating a siren]-frrrrang-ow-b-b-b-b-b-b-[waggling his finger up and down on his lips]-pool-ah-wagachuber-ah-jerang-o-deal-oh!
ME: What in the heck did all that mean?
ME: What’s “fee-long-oh” mean?
It’s nothing but tautologies and speaking-in-tongues from this kid. I suspect I’m to blame for rule #2. He sometimes gets voracious for stories from his own childhood, and at some point recently I told him this one, and it seemed to really tickle him. Now everything just means itself, unless of course it’s too long to remember and repeat. Or it’s wagachuber-dado, which means nothing and everything.
(P.S. We haven’t closed yet, but things are looking very good on the house we’re buying.)