Mother May I? Yes, You May! My Toddler is Ahead of the Game!

Quinn Using Mommy's iPad after saying, "Mommy, may I use your iPad?"

Quinn Using Mommy’s iPad after saying, “Mommy, may I use your iPad?”

When I was younger, I loved to play the game “Mother May I?” However, today, with the lack of regard for standard English,  I do wonder if it is now called, “Mother Can I?” While I do appreciate the idea of the younger generation and even my generation becoming well-versed with slang, text language and abridged spellings of words, as an English professor and someone who sees the importance of knowing not only slang but standard English, I worry that standard English will be viewed as obsolete by my daughter and that it will impact her ability to thrive in school and the work force. With this in mind, I’ve been making a conscious effort to speak properly around my two and half year old so that she will mimic my speech and apply it when she is in a school or work setting as she gets older.

So far, it appears to be working because I’ve noticed that Quinn will often say, “Mommy, may I have some milk?” “Mommy, may we go to the playground?” or “Mommy, may I use your iPad?”Just hearing her say, “Mommy, may I…” makes me want to honor whatever her request may be with a proud, “Yes you may!” I hope she doesn’t catch on to how excited I am about this and try to use it to get whatever she “may” want.

All the best,


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