I may be the only person in the world who finds this cute and funny, but I'll share it anyway.
I have a little three year old boy that I work with who could not say words with 3 or more syllables intelligibly if his life depended on it. We worked and we practiced and we worked and we practiced, and he's doing so much better. He can say triangle and rectangle, helicopter and firetruck. But his favorite thing in the world to play with is his toy ambulance, and despite the thousands of times we've practiced saying ambulance, he can't say it anywhere even close enough that anyone outside his family would have any idea what the word was supposed to be.
In conversation, he calls them "bambams", but when we slow down the word to practice, it could come out as just about anything. He's called them bambams so long that it's a struggle for his family and for me not to just call it a bambam!!
Well, Friday we were practicing once more, and we went over it and over it, AM... BU... LANCE, then put it together, and again some unintelligible muttering that sounded nothing like ambulance. I sighed, then looked at him and said, "Someday you are going to be able to say ambulance perfectly, aren't you?" He nodded happily and said, "Yeah. But *I* say bambams!"
Yep. You sure do. :)
Update: May 4, 2007 He said ambulance today, as clear as could be!! I'm wearing a green shirt today, and when I walked in his house, he said something that floored me, as he's never said any such thing before: "You wear green shirt, I like green shirt!" I started working with this little boy exactly one year ago, and he had less than ten words, and every single thing he's learned to say has been with huge effort. I can recall the weeks upon weeks of modeling two word phrases over and over, one word at a time, and try as he might, he just could not put two words together. And now listen to him chatter. :)