I live with a wild elven pixie named Camille. She’s my daughter. I like to describe living with my four-year-old daughter like living with Bjork. She’s like a mythical fairy creature. She’s highly creative, and likes to monologue to herself throughout the day. I also sometimes nickname her the “Wall of Sound.”
Camille started talking at a very early age. The best thing about the really young being hyper verbal is that you get a glimpse into a one-year-old’s elaborate and spectacular mind. So I like to jot down interesting things she says. The result is that we’re building up an entire new language I like to call Camillese.
It’s in my immediately plans to co-author some children’s books together. Here is the dictionary we will be drawing from – a couple invented by me but inspired by her:
Hot eyes – when it’s too bright out she used to say she had hot eyes.
Sprinkles – her word for freckles
Excombilated – when everyone is disappointed and no one will say anything but no one wants to go to sleep. “This night is excombilated,” or “Everyone was feeling excombilated.”
Girlsentish – a magical language that girls speak together. We were talking about doing crafts together and Camille leaned in toward Harry and Cliff, as if translating, and whispered “We’re speaking girlsentish.”
“All tunched up” – sort of a mixture of tucked under and bunched up. She saw three cats sitting in a row in a storybook and said, “look at all of those kitties, all tunched up under the moon.”
Rizzley – the too-fast, too-tickly feeling of water that sprays you from a shower head. “Too rizzley”
Yepping goat – a goat that walks around saying “yup. yup. yup.”
Pots of gerbin – one day Camille was making believe that she was eating pots of gerbin. I imagined that pots of gerbin are little clay pots full of an oatmeal-type mush that elves eat in the forest, but I could be wrong.
Curtcurdles – another time, Camille was pretending that she was eating bowls of curtcurdles. It sounds kind of like cottage cheese to me.
Box of clevers – another random phrase that she was repeating one day that I don’t think she had any idea what it could mean. I thought it could be nice to carry around a little box of clevers to pull out and amuse yourself with whenever you need a pick me up.
Heartland – Camille was drawing and filled a page with hearts. She declared, this is Heartland. It’s a magical place with hearts everywhere and everyone loves each other. Great destination for a children’s book.
Bloobyberbin fish in the blooming sea – this is something Camille was skipping around singing one day, and I think it would be a great start to a poetic children’s book.
Hockberries – you eat them at night and you don’t have to go to sleep. I asked whether this means that they are magical and you just skip the night and go straight to morning, or if they are just like coffee and they keep you awake. She wasn’t sure, but we’ll get back to you.
Farnch: sitting up straight at the very front end of your chair. “I’m all farnched forward in my seat.”
Chewsies: this is the word Camille uses for gummy candy and fruit snacks, because they are chewy. She has always just said this.
Moon chewsies – pretend magical half-moon shaped chewy snacks that she talks about a lot. I would guess that they give you super powers.
Cranbabies (cranberries), callepitter (caterpillar), hippo-po-motamus (hippopotamus) – three words she has always mispronounced in delightful ways.
Zazzberries – jingly sparkly silver berries I invented that explode in your mouth like pop rocks.
Flurvesday – the eighth day of the week that I created for the sole reason of doing all the things you don’t want to do.
Laughodils – pretty self explanatory – daffodils who giggle.
Pareil pareil fidai – One day Camille stood poised on her bed and recited a nonsensical word jumble of a poem with the utmost seriousness. At the end of the poem she said slowly and loudly, with a large gesture: PAREIL PAREIL FIDAI. It struck me as being a very weighty way to end a poem, like it would mean “Always and forever until the end of time” in Latin or something.
Chauncing – honestly, I don’t know what chauncing means, but I do know that it is a verb that Camille uses A LOT.
Subacka – In her make believe scenarios one day, Subacka was the person who always came into the room and smashed everything up. I thought this could be a good character to have in a story when you need to shake things up.
Kayla – Kayla is the name she has given to her tummy. Kayla has a sleep and awake schedule that is separate from Camille. When it’s time for Kayla to go to sleep, Camille pats her belly and says “Shhh, Kayla. Go to sleep.”
Kissing fishes – one day in the car Camille just started singing to herself, “Kissing fishes, kissing fishes, where are you / kissing fishes, kissing fishes, how do you do?” She explained that kissing fishes come out of their hole underwater and kiss her on the mouth.