Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cracking the toddler code

I often wonder, as Kaitlyn talks toddler to me, if other toddlers understand what she is saying. I mean, beyond the obvious words like "MINE!" and "SHARE!", which are pretty universal, do they know when she says a string of syllables and consonants, what that means? Or do they act like miniature adults and smile and nod? For Kaitlyn's part, it seems like she grasps a new concept or word each day. She is confident in what she is saying and her poor parents can only hope to keep up with it. To wit, here are some of her new words.
"Cuppy" - and no, she's not asking for her cup, she's asking if we want coffee.
"Gurdy" - could she want to engage in a little hurdy gurdy? Nope, her hands are dirty.
"Glah" - maybe if mommy can see better, she can understand toddler requests better! here mommy, have your glasses.
"Poohwup" - Sounds adorable each time she says it, I wish she ALWAYS wanted a pullup.

Those are only a few words out of the Kaitlyn dictionary. I feel smug each time I am able to decipher what Kaitlyn is saying. I feel sure that when I meet other toddlers, I will be able to decipher them too. Except when I do meet them, and they have their own version of "Gurdy" that I don't understand, both the toddler and the parent shoot me a look like I clearly should have picked up on what was just said! I think the toddler code cracking is specific to the individual toddler and cannot be applied globally. Just my experience, but then, it could be that raising a toddler has zapped my last living brain cell, rendering me incapable of coherent thought beyond "MINE!" and "SHARE!".

Beyond just the language, the hijinks in the house are ever entertaining. Or terrifying. Depends on which view you take when raising children. Yesterday, my two and a half year old cut herself shaving. *collective gasp* However, she didn't cut herself shaving the parts mommy shaves (a bandaid on the leg would have been FAR easier to explain away). No, no, she cut herself shaving the way daddy shaves. Imagine my dismay, when Toddler in Chief comes down the stairs, minus the temper tantrum worthy shorts (not a shock in the least) but blood smeared everywhere grinning a maniacal grin. Knowing the tools for animal sacrifice were locked safely away (just kidding....we leave 'em out in the open...no, seriously, we don't have any animal sacrifice tools), the next logical conclusion was that the blood was coming from TIC herself. Closer examination revealed that TIC had performed a classic rite of adolescence and had cut her lip shaving. A Dora bandaid made everything better (not that she was crying anyway!! and she was suspiciously compliant when I put her shorts on) if not an awkward story to tell when we got to day care. Fortunately, the day care is full of moms who have their own razor stories and my "Bad Bad Mommy" burden was lifted.

One of these days someone in our house is going to go certifiably insane and someone else is going to wind up in a straight jacket. Wonder if they make 'em in toddler sizes...

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