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Ryan's Dictionary
by Glenn A. Hascall
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Ryan's Dictionary (First Published in 2001)
by Glenn A. Hascall

This month my son Ryan will turn two. He has added such a unique element to our family. My daughter Alyssa is a gentle and generally compliant child. She excels in her vocabulary and aptitude for learning. Ryan, on the other hand, is more interest in making sure that we get as much exercise as possible and that we understand he was put on this earth to explore and entertain.

When Ryan was born, my wife and I talked about the fact that our second child would be much different than our first. It took some time to come to grips with the lack of similarity between the two (except for looks).

Our daughter began talking when she was ten months old. Ryan on the other hand is following his "Daw-tee's" footsteps, waiting a while longer to let anyone know just how much he really understands.

I have put together a short dictionary of the new language we have learned in an effort to communicate with our son, Ryan. This list is not exhaustive (although it is alphabetical).

Awe-man: A statement that must be made with gusto at the close of any family prayer. It is also one of the last things that "Mom" and "Daw-tee" say before I have to go "nigh-nigh".

Baw-uhn: A circular object found on most people's clothing that requires my attention and possible assistance in determining how best to make it "un-baw-uhn". I have also been known to use this word in reference to an inflated piece of rubber that pops when I squeeze it too hard. Which of course should always be done on purpose and with great enthusiasm.

Bub-aw: A circular object made with soap that explodes on impact with my nose. It is also a substance that occurred naturally when "Mom" washes the dishes.

Cake: It may seem like you should know what this is, however many people have misunderstood this baked treat which should generally be considered a facial and hair cleanser and smeared liberally as required. Repeat as necessary.

Cur: A word I use when I require a book and crayon in an effort to demonstrate my creativity.

Daw-tee: The man who lets me climb all over him. I am also at liberty to generally annoy him at leisure. He sits with me every morning and holds me as I drink my "malk" and watch my "tree".

Gan: A request to repeat any complicated maneuver that was performed accidentally and against the wishes of "Daw-tee" or "Mom". Although these maneuvers are painful to my parents they provide great amusement to "Suh" and myself.

Getty: A pasta meal that consists of thin noodles and a tomato sauce and should be eaten at least six times a week - minimum.

Gummy: Not to be confused with a chewy fruit snack. This comes in sticks and is said to be designed for repeated chewing. However, I have found that the swallowing of "gummy" provides an aid to my digestive system.

Malk: A liquid that I require several times each day because I have come to realize that the calcium content is significant enough that a growing boy of my size must be diligent in drinking liberal amounts in an effort to encourage healthy bones and teeth. Mostly, I just like it.

Mo Malk: Two words that let my "Daw-tee" and "Mom" know that additional amounts of the previously mentioned liquid is required (See Malk). Delay in fulfilling said request is not recommended.

Mom: Self-explanatory.

Nigh-nigh: The time of the day when "Mom" and "Daw-tee" insist that I sleep.

Nose: The rather large object in the middle of my "Daw-tee's" face that requires much pinching and honking.

Op: This is said when I want to sit on either "Mom" or "Daw-tee's" lap. And is repeated with increasing pitch until such time as they pick me "op".

Peas: The best word to use to get "Daw-tee" or "Mom" to fulfill any given request.

Q: A word that seems to be appreciated by "Mom" or "Daw-tee" after said request is granted.

Side: The area just beyond the window or door and where I would most like to be.

Suh: The name I call my sister. (Alyssa).

Ticka: What is required when I want any of my family members to laugh and is generally performed by wiggling a majority of my fingers rapidly in some strategic locations on their person.

Tree: A videocassette tape containing songs that reach a young boys soul and is never as fully appreciated by "Daw-tee", "Mom" or "Suh" as it should, although they did seem to enjoy it the first 20 times we watched it.

Twain: A rather lengthy vehicle with a wondrous whistle that travels on tracks that constantly attracts or distracts me from any given task.

War: A clear liquid that demands that I splash and spill, which is a duty I am willing to perform at a moments notice and without a verbal or written request.

Yake: A body of "war" that I feel should be treated in much the same way as a bath in which much splashing should occur with regularity.

We would not want Ryan to be like Alyssa. Nor would we want Alyssa to be like Ryan. God has enlarged our hearts to love both of these children with their unique gifts and insights. It is marvelous to be a parent and I am grateful that God chose to lend a beautiful girl named Alyssa and a mischievous boy named Ryan to my wife and me. God calls them a heritage - I call them my son and daughter.

Awe-man. I Love being a Daw-tee.

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