Tag Archives: language development

the things they say #8 – unnameable pouches

easter collageIt’s been a really full-on couple of weeks what with it being the easter holidays and the fact that I’ve still been trying to work (ok, only one day but still… ), and write and blog and do my illustration course… and then of course there was the post that went huge and got me into many an inspiring Twitter conversation about education.

But the boys are back to school tomorrow and my blog hits have settled down again so, back to business! This feels like a gear change from recent posts but I do love recording the random things my toddler says, so here’s this month’s edition of silliness from my (just turned) three year old:

  • He loves to draw and currently produces about ten pictures a day – on a slow day! He usually draws with great intensity, taking more and more pens out of the case as he goes. Lids fly everywhere, scribbles adorn the table and ink gets all over his hands. The other day I pointed out he had brown ink all the way up his arms. “Wow!” he said gleefully “It look like a crusty bum!” I blanched, I mean… I suppose.. but thankfully he continued “Yes, a hot crusty bum!” at which point *PING* I realised that some of the marks were in a kind of cross shape and the whole thing was reminiscent of a hot cross bun. Of course. What else could he possibly have meant?
    • He’s noticed that ‘time’ is a thing for us (mostly, it has to be admitted, in the context of “Argh, no, is that the…?!?” rather than, “Oh, no rush, there’s plenty of…”) and has come up with an answer to the inevitable question. If you ask “What’s the time?” in his presence he always pipes up with “Seven pasty nine.” No matter if it’s morning, noon or night, whether he’s racing around outside in the sunshine or being tucked up in bed in the dark, it’s always and only “Seven pasty nine.” Sounds quite a tasty time of day though so I have no complaints!
    • Child of the Eighties? Remember Thundercats?  A few months ago it was available on Amazon Prime (yes, the original version!), and all three boys loved watching it together. They still play Thundercats games together now where they race around acting out the characters. My three-year-old likes to play their huge-haired, muscly leader, “Lion-o”. Except he calls him “Lion-mauve”. I rather like it – makes me think of Lion-o in a hand-knitted cardi. And what’s not to like about that?!
    • I opened the blinds the other day to a sea of mist. “Yay!” said the toddler “It’s froggy outside!”
  • We have parking meters in our town that give you a ticket for a FREE half hour of parking. It’s lucky you can get them for free as the toddler thinks the parking metres are “Minions” and loves to go and say hello and ask them for a ticket. They’re very obliging! You’re probably imagining we have lovely yellow parking meters – that would make sense, right?
     
    minion 2parking meter

    Minion or parking meter? Spot the difference!

  • And finally – one from my eight-year-old. During an average lunchtime conversation recently he made reference to “the pouch that no one dares name…”. He looked at us as if we would know what he was talking about, but we didn’t. After a little encouragement it was revealed he was talking about a scrotum, or scrotums in general. I’ll never view them in the same light again.*snort*
    Little Hearts, Big Love

the things they say #7 (the facial hair edition)

Do you ever look at your kids and think, ‘how did you get so big? Surely I only gave birth to you last Tuesday?!’ I do, often. It makes me want to make the most of spending time with my boys now (which admittedly can sometimes conflict wildly with the difficulties of just getting through some days!) and also to capture these memories somehow.

running baking

my 3yo taking a jogging break during a baking session!

That’s one of the brilliant things about blogging I think. These posts we write about the cute things our kids say or do and the times we spend together, might only be of limited interest to much of the rest of the world, but for our future selves, what a treasure trove! I can imagine reading this blog when my kids have grown up and loving re-living all the moments it captures. It’s probably inevitable that I’ll wince at some of my more naval-gazing posts, (rather like discovering your teenage diary that waxed rhapsodic about the boy who sat next to you in Geography) but I think I can bear that for the memories it holds.

… which brings me to my newly three year old son‘s language. It’s  developing so fast at the moment, I can hardly keep up! I keep noting down the cute words he uses or the way he phrases things, only to find out he’s moved on from them five minutes later. So the following list of things he’s said recently is already out of date, but I wanted to capture it here anyway for posterity (you’re welcome, future me).

  • On hearing his Dad’s footsteps on the stairs: “Here comes Daddy! He’s the Gruffalo!” My husband insists I misheard and that he in fact said “He’s Mark Ruffalo” (which admittedly would be a more flattering comparison), but no. It’s those terrible tusks that give him away.
  • While he was giving my husband a cuddle on the sofa and stroking his eyebrows (I don’t know why… because eyebrows are strokeable I guess), “I’m stroking Daddy’s libraries!” Ok, they’re considerably thicker than mine, but I’ve yet to find a book in them!
  • To me, when I handed him a sandwich: “Thank you, my love.” I tend to call him poppet or sweetie so I’m not sure where he got ‘my love’ from, but it was very sweet!
  • To him, where timing is concerned most things either happen now or “after later” which appears to be a vague or possibly non-existent time in the future. ‘After later’ is an annoying length of time when applied to the question “When will you clear up your toys?” but very useful when I use it as a response to a request for another biscuit when he’s already had too many. “You can have one after later poppet” “Ok”. Win.
  • He’s small for his age and also the youngest family member so he does get referred to as ‘tiny’ or ‘little’ a lot. Mostly he enjoys this (sometimes he insists he’s still a baby) but the other day he decided to attempt to refute the label with “I’m not little, I’m bigger than Daddy’s eyelashes!” I’m not sure it helped his case…

What have your little ones been saying recently? Is anyone else married to a Gruffalo?

Little Hearts, Big Love

 

conversations with my toddler #4

One of my toddler’s favourite games involves pretending to go to bed. My prescribed role in this is to join him under the bed cover (usually with it pulled up right over our heads so we’re kind of in a tent) and he then orders me to go to sleep.

sleeping toy bear

As any parent of young kids knows, it’s almost impossible to stay awake in this situation, but he takes care of that particular issue by waiting for the precise moment I’m drifting off and then shrieking “MORNING!” in my face. Perhaps to better ensure my continued wakefulness though, a few days ago he added an extra element to the scenario:

2yo: “Mummy, close your eyes.”

Me: “Gladly.”

2yo: “Are you cosy?”

Me: “Yes, I’m very cosy, thank you.”

2yo: “Ok, you go to sleep now.”

Me: *mumbles sleepily* “Of course.”

2yo: *sternly* “No, you NOT go to sleep like that! You say hot shoes!”

Me: *baffled* “Er… hot shoes?”

2yo: *frustrated* “No, not hot shoes! HOT SHOES!”

Me: “Ummmm… *tries again* hot shoes?”

2yo: ” NO! Not like THAT, like THIS: hhhhhhot shooooooes.”

Me: “OH! You want me to snore!”

I swear, fake snoring sounds exactly like ‘hot shoes’. Go on, try it now (especially if you’re in a public place) – see?

From now on, snoring will always be ‘hot shoes’ to me. :)

Little Hearts, Big Love

the things they say #6

My youngest son is nearly three now and is by and large a lovely, laid-back little boy. He definitely has his moments (in fact he went to nursery in his pyjamas this morning because after I’d dressed him he undressed himself then persuaded his brothers to help him back into his pyjamas which he then refused POINT BLANK to take off…  but they were new and very stylish so, meh) but mostly he’s easy going. In fact, a lot of the time he’s so deliciously cute – with his squishable huggableness and wonderful toddler language – that I can’t bear the idea of him getting older. I just want to keep my little cuddly mummy’s boy forever.

minions talkingObviously that’s not an option, (and I wouldn’t want it to be, not really… not really, really) but I figure at least I’ve written about a fair few of his lovely (and not so lovely) moments in this blog. I can imagine reading back in years to come and having a fond chuckle.

On that note, here’s what he’s been up to recently:

1. He spent a lot of December singing Christmas songs and carols. His absolute favourite is Jingle Bells but he also likes Away in a Manger.  Here he eschewed the traditional lyrics about ‘Lord Jesus’ and sang enchantingly about ‘Little Old Cheeses.’

2. The other day he was lying on the bed (as I was trying to make it – he’s ‘helpful’ like that) and kept saying “Wrap me up like a goonie!” I had no idea at all what a ‘goonie’ was (although as a child of the eighties I was reminded of the classic film of that name!) but he seemed happy as long as I wrapped the blanket around and around him when he said this. It wasn’t until later when I repeated the story to his brothers that I found out what he meant. ‘Oh, a goonie! ” they exclaimed, “That’s what he calls a genie!” Apparently he’d seen the picture on the front of an Aladdin DVD. Goonies do look exactly like they’re wrapped in a blanket, he’s right.

3. He loves shopping. Seriously I have never known a child love it so much. Every morning after we drop his brothers off at school he asks “Can we go to the shoppings now?” and is most displeased if I say no. His favourite place of all is The Metro Centre – a huge shopping centre near (ish) us. His name for it though is “Dementor centre.” This always makes me think of the dementors from Harry Potter – those creatures who drain “peace, hope, and happiness out of the air around them”. If you’ve ever visited the Metro Centre on a Saturday in December you’d know how apt this name is!

4. All my boys have had a different word for breakfast. My eldest called it ‘Brekkits’, my second-born, “brefkits”. My youngest, though, has the best word of all: “Gretgrits”. We all use this word now and I suspect we’ll be doing so for years to come.

5. Star Wars fever hit our house a few weeks ago (no surprises there) and although the toddler is too little to see the film he still got caught up in the excitement. He’s been running all over the place declaring he’s main baddie Kylo Ren. Only he gets it a bit wrong and shouts “I’m Carolyn!” I’ve nothing against the name but, well…

kylo ren

Does this look like a ‘Carolyn’ to you?

6. He’s had a sense of humour for a while now but more recently has been cracking ‘jokes’. These are possibly the worst jokes I’ve heard, in fact the only reason we know they’re jokes is because he repeats them and laughs manically. The other day he called me ‘Mummy Pig’, I realised this was a joke when he followed it up with “Haha! I said you Mummy Pig! Hahahhhaha.” The same thing happened when his friend was going home after a playdate: “Bye Bye, Daddy!” he shouted, then, “Haha, I said ‘Bye Bye Daddy’ to Luke hahahahhahaha!”. A career as a stand up comedian beckons for sure…

7. I love seeing empathy develop in my boys. Last night my eldest collapsed to the floor complaining of cramp in his foot. The toddler immediately shouted for me: “Mummy! Get Charlie and Lola! (a cold pack we keep in the fridge with their picture on it)” then he patted his big brother on the back and said “Don’t worry, I will keep you better.” My heart melted… until five minutes later when the same thing happened and instead of responding with gentle affection he ran past his brother cackling “Haha! You got crampings! Hahahaha!” Remember that sense of humour I was telling you about…

***

Linking up with From the Mouths of Babes at Little Hearts Big Love.

Little Hearts, Big Love

magical zebras – things they say #5

When I was pregnant with my third child I looked forward to lots of things: baby snuggles – of course, gazing into my newborn’s eyes – naturally… having to change my bed sheets at 3am because the baby had vomited milk everywhere and obviously he was in my bed because it’s not like he’d sleep anywhere else – er, not so much.

But what I really couldn’t wait for was hearing him learn to talk. I’d been through this stage twice before with his older brothers and knew what fun it could bring.

dancing minions

And I’m pleased to say it’s lived up to expectations – my toddler is 2 1/2 now and makes me smile and laugh on a daily, if not hourly, basis with the things he comes out with.

A particular favourite of mine is his use of the word “awollawong” when requesting ‘another one’ of anything. Because he tends to want more of, well, most things this is something he says a lot! “Can have awollawong drink?”, “Peese have awollagwong Lego?” or just, “Mummy, I want awollawong!”. It’s one of those words I find myself using too – it rolls off the tongue nicely, try it!

Another of his toddlerisms regularly occurs when he tries to join in his older brothers’ games. Aged 8 and 6, they both love Harry Potter and often enact magical duels where they stand pointing wands (or pencils) at each other shouting various spells in ringing tones: “Stupify!” “Imperious!” “Avada Kedavra!”

Given his awe of his big bro’s, the toddler obviously joins in these duels too, to the best of his ability. He’s all wild enthusiasm and very little accuracy so he tends to charge into the fray bellowing spells at the top of his lungs. Maybe it’s because “Avada Kedavra” sounds so much like ‘abracadabra’ that it appeals to him, but that’s definitely his spell of choice. Only he gets it a bit wrong… off he rushes towards his brothers, pencil in hand, little voice exclaiming:

“I got it – a zebra!”

Who could resist a spell like that?

The good thing is, such linguistic silliness doesn’t end with the toddler years, as a recent conversation with my six-year-old showed me. We were discussing his school’s ‘no jewellery’ policy and his remark on the subject was:

“It doesn’t matter – I don’t really like jewellery anyway, I just like spare diamonds lying around.”

Well, I mean… don’t we all?!

Meanwhile, my eight-year-old obviously has talking down to a complex art (honestly, sometimes he just won’t STOP talking!) but even he is not immune to the odd mishearing:

8yo: “Today was brilliant!”

Me: “That’s great to hear!”

8yo: “Yes, I was so excited to see my friends that I got a dolphin mouth!”

Me: “Um… you got a… what?”

8yo: “You know… like you had after giving birth?”

Me: “Ummm…” *realisation dawns* “Oh! you mean an endorphin rush!”

Possibly my favourite mishearing ever – the idea of him running round with an enormous, bouncy dolphin nose really made me laugh… not to mention the image it created in my mind of me gazing fondly at a newborn baby, with a dolphin snout in the middle of my face. I mean, would I be nuzzling  the baby with my nose? Would I be making dolphin clicking noises as I did so? The mind boggles.

What have your kids said that’s made you laugh recently? I’d love to hear!

 

Little Hearts, Big Love

the things they say #4

My toddler loves vehicles – really loves them. He waves at cars wherever we go, squeals with delight at trains and is forever pointing at aeroplanes. He even goes to bed every night clutching several toy cars (along with a silkie and an enormous fluffy teddy). I gave up trying to part him from them long ago. They may be hard and therefore not make the ideal bedtime companion, but he likes to run them along the bars of his cot and it seems to soothe him to sleep. (Well, that and singing “Let it Go” to himself!)

One of his favourite vehicles is a motorbike. We live up a hill and can often hear them in the distance. He always shouts “Ooooh! Zoombike!” delightedly at them and waves wildly regardless of whether they can see him or not.

His other great love is animals. He knows the names of loads because he’s always pointing them out in books and asking what they are. He was thrilled when his cereal this morning came in a box with a picture of penguins on it. “Ooooh! crunkins!” he exclaimed.

So I decided to combine two of his loves and draw him a picture. Not a very good picture I hasten to add (perhaps I should have asked my seven-year-old to draw one instead), but he appreciated it nonetheless:

penguins on a motorbike

crunkins on a zoombike…

 

Little Hearts, Big Love

the things they say #3

I enjoy linking up with ‘From the Mouths of Babes’ over at Little Hearts Big Love as it gives me the opportunity to capture and share some of the things my boys say as their language develops. I know one day when toddlerisms are a dim and distant memory I’ll look back and be glad I did.

kids book

At nearly eight, my eldest no longer comes up with the gems he used to and uses language pretty much like a grownup. We did have a chat this morning though about ‘old fashioned’ language. He’s reading Emil and the Detectives which was published in 1931 and as he sat there absorbed in it, every minute or so he would ask me for definitions of various words like a ‘shilling’, a ‘Sunday Suit’ or – my favourite question – “What’s a prig? Is it kind of like a wazzock?” Well, ummm, is it? I didn’t even know he knew the word ‘wazzock’ – I bet we have Harry Potter to thank for that…

Then there’s my five-year-old. The most obvious thing about his speech at the moment is that, although he can talk completely normally, he often uses a funny little voice where he hardly opens his mouth. It’s really hard to understand (and can be really frustrating to listen to sometimes). I thought it was just his own particular quirk until I heard him talking to a group of his friends in the school yard the other day and they were all talking in the same way! What must it be like being their teacher?!

My youngest is two-and-a-bit and his language is at the totally adorable stage where you just want to bottle it up and keep it forever. He likes to copy everything at the moment and when I read to him he’s always pointing at tiny details in the pictures, saying “What that?” and then imitating my response (with various degrees of accuracy). Last night we were reading a book set in the jungle and he was transfixed by the animals: “Cleelimonim” (chamelon), “Calot” (Parrot), and, when I didn’t recognise the animal in question, “asortimonkeysin” (A sort of monkey thing). For some reason though, snakes are always ‘Daddy!’ Honestly, my husband looks nothing like a snake… not long and skinny… not stripy… doesn’t wriggle along the floor (usually) so this has totally baffled both of us!

One of my favourite things about my toddler’s speech right now is the way he makes requests (which is most of the time, come to think of it). He knows a lot of nouns but always says, “I want it” first. So for example,”I want it, a cake,” “I want it, a car,” and, one night when I was (unusually) away at bedtime, “I want it, my Mummy.” Awww. And, yes, “I want it” isn’t very polite so we do say, “Can you ask that nicely?” at which he almost invariably responds, “Yes, I want, it a cake nicey.” He’s getting there.

Little Hearts, Big Love

conversations with my toddler #3

My toddler is twenty-six months now (how did he get so old?!) and his language is getting better all the time. He speaks in sentences and even strangers are starting to be able to understand him although I mostly still have to act as translator.

minions talking

Mind you, there are times when even I struggle to work out what he’s talking about… like in this conversation we had at the lunch table the other day:

Toddler: *putting down sandwich to speak (so this must be important)* “Mummy?”

Me: “Yes sweetie?”

Toddler: *brightly* “Woo da dotta ow?”

Me: “Er… sorry poppet, what was that?”

Toddler: *slightly more forcefully* “Where da potter foul?”

Me: *Still baffled* “Where’s the…? Sorry, can you say that again?”

Toddler: *leaning forwards and looking at me earnestly* “Where da dotter howl?”

Me: “Um… sorry, I still don’t understand what you’re asking for…”

Toddler: *loudly and forcefully* “Where. The. Potted. Owl?!”

Me: “Oh! The potted owl!” *looks around wildly*

(we don’t have a potted owl)

(what even IS a potted owl?)

(I offered him a biscuit.)

Little Hearts, Big Love
Conversations with my toddler #1 – Toast
Conversations with my toddler #2 – Wheels

empathy

One of my favourite aspects of parenting (alongside hearing my kids learn to talk) has been watching their sense of empathy develop. Babies certainly don’t come into the world as natural empaths, given that their initial survival depends on being almost entirely egocentric and letting us know what they need, LOUDLY, without a thought for the needs of anyone else.

horses and their boy

My eldest son displaying ninja, horse-whispering skills.

Soon though, they learn the importance of smiling as a means of interaction (and of getting what they want) and, later, that talking is even better. But empathy probably comes a little way down the track due to their firm belief that the world revolves entirely round them. It was only very recently that my toddler stopped assuming that all and any pictures of babies were pictures of him. “Diddy!” (his name for himself) he would shout with delight pointing wildly at a picture of a blonde haired girl on the front of some nappies, or a brunette boy in a magazine. It didn’t matter that they didn’t look remotely like him – to his mind, all babies were most certainly him.

After a while though, children come to understand that others have feelings and that those feelings matter. This is something I’ve always been really keen to promote with all three of my boys. With our first son we were rather spoilt in this department as he’s a naturally sensitive soul who very early on became aware of – and cared about – the feelings of others (both humans and animals). When he first became a big brother at the age of just turned two, his reaction on meeting his new sibling was to kiss him and give him his favourite toy elephant – it brings a lump to my throat just to think of it! These days (aged seven),when we watch a film as a family and there’s an emotional scene in it I can guarantee that his eyes (alongside my own) will be filled with tears.

My second son learnt a lot from his brother and although these things didn’t come to him quite as easily, he has always been concerned with the welfare of babies. He really can’t bear any sort of mishap to befall them.

Most of the time, I love these qualities in my sons. A few weeks ago though, the three of them got nits (yuck) which necessitated a swift application of that horrible oily shampoo stuff. This should have been a reasonably straightforward (if messy) process but I encountered severe resistance when I (foolishly) let slip that the greasy goop was to kill the nits. “Kill the nits? KILL them?!” said son no. 1 in shock, “You can’t do that, it’s wrong! It’s killing wildlife!” Sigh.

Things got worse when I had to repeat the oily-hair process a week later to ensure that all the lice eggs had been got rid of (otherwise they could all hatch out again – I know, it’s truly lovely). “Lice eggs? You want to kill the nit babies? You can’t kill babies!” Said son no. 2 in horror. I think he imagined his hair full of miniature, cute, smiling baby-bundles. I had to do some powerful persuading in order that round two of the ‘wildlife massacre’ could go ahead.

I’m hoping that the nits are gone for good though as I suspect next time I would have three little people standing up for the rights of their disenfranchised pests, given my youngest is now learning all about empathy too. The other day when his big brother was crying he toddled over to him and started stroking his back, “Alright Doda?” he said repeatedly (Doda being how he pronounces his big brother’s name). My eldest was very touched and it definitley helped dry his tears up. A few days later, sitting in his highchair the toddler heard his big brothers bickering in the next room. When they both started crying he tried to clamber out of his seat saying “I help brubbers!” I had to let him loose and he rushed through to administer cuddles (whereupon another fight nearly broke out as both his brothers wanted to cuddle him first… but let’s gloss over that).

If I can ensure my sons grow up without losing this capacity to care for others then I will have achieved one of my main parenting goals. For my lovely, caring boys to grow into loving, empathic men, well, what more could a mother hope for?

Little Hearts, Big Love
Also linking up with The Prompt which, this week, is ‘presence’ (because of the presence of empathy in my boys – I know, it’s a tenuous link!)
mumturnedmom

the things they say

At just-turned-two my toddler’s language is developing at quite a pace. He’s putting together more complex sentences all the time and although the way he constructs them isn’t necessarily ‘correct’ yet, I rather like it that way. This week my favourite utterances of his have been:

  • “Uppy daisy! I droppity boon!” (On dropping a spoon… well, it was possibly “I drop it, a boon” but it sounded like ‘droppity’ and I just loved that word!)
  • “NO nap! I want goot with brubbers!” (Unimpressed by the idea of a nap – he was determined to go out scooting with his brothers.)
  • “Mummy – a flanoo for the wiping, peese.” (Politely requesting I get the flannel to clean him up after lunch.) This was accompanied by a sweeping hand gesture and the over-all effect was rather Shakespearian and regal. I was almost tempted to reply “As you wish, my liege.”

little king

I have to admit I’m not in any hurry to leave this phase – it’s too cute!

Little Hearts, Big Love