When I can't understand his words, I do one of the following:
"Show me a "ahnuhdah." Can you point to "ahnuhdah?"
Sometimes I get lucky, and he shows me exactly what he means.
Other times, he points to me. "I'm "ahnuhdah?" No, he nods. I sigh.
Then again, he might smile and nod, yes. "I'm "ahnuhdah?" He smiles again. I sigh, no closer to deciphering the verbal cuneiform.
Yet another outcome is that he might point to a picture or an object. I query, "A car is "anuhdah"?" No. "A truck?" No. "A vehicle?" No. I sigh. "OK."
Or, I might raise my eyebrow, nod, and smile emphatically as though I were conversing with a kindly person in a foreign country, like my husband's Hungarian grandmother.
Today, Beren and I walked through the Spring Street Garage on the way to the Princeton Public Library.
"Boo," he said pointing at a blue car.
"Yup, a little blue car," I replied stupidly.
"Yed," he pointed at a neighboring red car.
"A little red car," I said.
"Yed," pointing at another red car.
"Yes, that's red, too," I said.
"Ahnuddah," he said pointing to a third red car.
My mind slowed by two nights of crappy sleep - my son has yet ahnuhdah cold featuring a cough and sniffles. I mean another...wait. Ahnuhdah?
"Yes, that's another red car," I said and kissed his temple.