When Caroline was three, she was very well spoken and eloquent for her age, but some words or phrases still escaped her and she was totally capable of completely butchering these and then memorizing the carcass of the said word or phrase, incorporating it into her vocabulary in its new and improved form.
One of those butcherings came as a result of something she heard in Disney's Alice In Wonderland.
The White Rabbit says, over and over, "I'm late! I'm late! For a very important date!"
But apparently there was a disconnect between what her little ears heard and the way her three-year-old lips could perform the imitation. Her version came out as:
"I'm yate! I'm yate! A-ponna-monna-date!"
So, one of the days on which we were driving the 5 hours down to see my parents, Calvin looked at his watch and said, "Oh, hey, we told your parents we'd be there at --- and I think we're going to be late."
At which point Caroline chimed in helpfully from the back with "I'm YATE! I'm YATE! A-Ponna-Monna-DATE!"
And I gently corrected her, pronouncing each word very slowly and deliberately, "Caroline, honey, it's A VERY IMPORTANT DATE."
FYI: Correcting this kid has never been easy, even on a good day. She drew herself up to the full height she could achieve in her car seat straps and snapped, "That's what I SAID, mommy! A-PONNA-MONNA-DATE!" .
And she crossed her little arms over her chest and stuck her nose in the air in the direction of the window where she didn't have to look at us trifling, meddling people.
We still do laugh about and use this term of hers. Frequently on the way out to work, Calvin will remind me that he's "yate for a-ponna-monna-date".
And seriously, how hot is a man who has ponna-monna dates?!
I know, ladies. But, hands off. He's mine.