Tag Archives: language

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


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

how to win an argument with a toddler

Have you ever accidentally made a promise to a toddler that you couldn’t keep? I think it happens to most of us – things often don’t go quite as planned when you’re dealing with little people and feeling a bit frazzled. Luckily, as parents, we get quite skilled at thinking on our feet to get ourselves out of it though.

polar bearI found myself in this situation with my two-year-old the other day. It started when we’d just dropped his big brother off somewhere and were getting back into the car. He was wriggly, the weather was foul and rain was slashing in my face as I battled to strap him into his car seat – so naturally he decided it was the perfect time to strike up a conversation:

Him: (enthusiastically pointing) “Mummy, we go this way!”

Me: (not really concentrating given ‘wind and rain in face’ situation) “Yes, ok we’ll go that way.”

Him: (sensing my weakness) “Yay! we go that way… and get a polar bear?”

Me: (confused) “A polar bear?”

Him: (as if it was my suggestion): “A polar bear?! What a good idea! Hooray! Let’s get a polar bear!”

Me: “Ummm, poppet I’m not sure we can get a polar bear… ”

Him: (adamant) “We get a polar bear, you SAID we get a polar bear!”

Me: “Well, no I didn’t actually, I’m not sure where we’d even find a polar bear, we’re actually just going home now.”

Him: (suddenly furious) “No! We NOT going home! WE. GETTING. A. POLAR. BEAR!”

Me: (trying to salvage the situation) “We’re not, but oooh! I know… why don’t we go home and make polar bear BISCUITS? You love biscuits! POLAR BEAR biscuits. BISCUITS!  *thinks if I say polar bear and biscuits enough times maybe I can win this one*

Him: “Ok, yay! We make polar bear biscuits!”

Me *thinks* Phew, got out of that one. *pats self on back*

My self-satisfaction didn’t last long though when we got home and couldn’t find the polar bear biscuit cutter. Which is because we’ve never actually owned a polar bear biscuit cutter. Dur.

Never mind I thought breezily, we’ll just make biscuit dough and shape it into polar bear shapes freestyle, who needs a cutter anyway? Cutters are for wimps!

Oh, but then it turned out we didn’t have enough sugar to make biscuits of any kind. I suppose I could have gone out to buy some (I could even have bought a polar bear cutter at the same time – if they exist) but remember that driving wind and rain I mentioned? There had to be a better solution…

And I found it! Presenting our very special…jam tarts

Jam tarts! Made with sugar-free dough and plenty of strawberry jam (some recipes include sugar but the jam is quite sweet enough in my opinion).

And you know how I sold these distinctly un polar-bear-shaped treats to him? I just told him that jam tarts were “the sort of biscuits polar bears love to eat!”

He loved them: they were delicious and no one had to go out in the rain.

Or find space to house a polar bear.

And then the fun began...

Little Hearts, Big Love

celebrity look-alikes?

Waaaaay back in 2010/11 I had another blog. It was part of a babywares business I ran with my husband and when the business closed the blog went with it. We kept the blog posts on a computer somewhere though because we had mostly written about our kids and wanted to keep those memories.

boys at kirkley

My oldest two back in 2011. I think they’re looking at insects (not much has changed, then… )

This summer I decided I would dig that old blog out and share a few old posts. When I found this post it actually made me laugh out loud  – I’d totally forgotten all about these incidents! It’s from back in March 2011 when I my (then) youngest son was eighteen months old:

Like most babies, my toddler recognised the faces of those closest to him when he was very young. As is the norm, his eyes lit up when he saw Mummy and Daddy. Pretty early on he started saying ‘Dada’ to my husband, which soon became ‘Daddy’, and after that he learnt to say ‘Mummy’ when he saw me. So he knows who we are. He knows what we look like. Of that I am sure.

And yet…

Last Saturday I was flicking through a magazine while the boys entertained themselves happily around my ankles as they (sometimes) do. I paused for a moment on the celebrity pages, casting my eyes over the latest gossip. My 18mo wandered over to me and looked at the photos there. Suddenly his little face lit up, and with great joy and certainty he pointed and said “Daddy!”

Who had he seen, you might wonder? Bradley Cooper perhaps? Johnny Depp? Dermot O’Leary? Oh no. No one like that.

Jennifer Aniston.

I chuckled to myself as I said “That’s not Daddy it’s Jennifer Aniston” : a phrase I can’t say I ever expected to utter. Ha ha, the idea of my stubbly, bespectacled husband being a dead-ringer for Jen with her glossy mane of hair and perfect Hollywood skin. Oh and her gender, of course.

But that wasn’t the end of my son’s curious misconceptions. A few days later he was messing about with his dad when he suddenly spotted his Cliff Richard calendar*. I believe this month Cliff is depicted wearing a rather garish shirt and stroking a collection of fake parrots. But one look at this image and he pointed, and delightedly declared “Mummy!”

Great. I look like Cliff Richard. Caressing birds. I may need to rethink my beauty regime.

So, what do you think? Do we get his eyes checked? Or his brain?

*For the sake of my husband’s reputation I should probably point out that he only possesses such a calendar as a result of a long running joke with a friend, who has been sending him one every year for the past 15 years!

And now… that toddler is a couple of weeks away from his sixth birthday. When I got dressed up to go to a wedding the other day he told me I looked ‘beautiful’ (a heartmelt moment) so I assume he’s moved on from thinking I look like Sir Cliff. His younger brother recently had some strange ideas about my physical appearance though so perhaps I am odder-looking than I ever thought possible?

Oh, and my husband has now been receiving Cliff Richard Calendars for twenty years as part of that running gag. And in all that time Cliff appears not to have aged a day. Perhaps he’s not such a bad person to resemble after all.

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Little Hearts, Big Love

my little jekyll and hyde

Two – it’s a gorgeous age isn’t it? Full of toddler giggles and huge, snuggly cuddles and hours digging happily in mud. Two-year olds love their parents unreservedly and without judgement – we are the best things that ever walked the planet to them. They laugh a lot, the smallest things make them happy and the things they say are hilarious and cute. Who wouldn’t want to live with a two year old? Who wouldn’t want to live with twenty two year olds?!


Well… except that two year olds, for all their adorableness, can behave like little monsters. Like shouting, screaming, unreasonable tyrants. And while it’s a totally normal part of their development, it can be completely exhausting to deal with. The lack of logic and control they possess can be fairly staggering, I think.

I’ve been through my share of toddler ups and downs with my three boys although, up until last week, I’ve felt very lucky with my youngest. He’s two-and-a-half now and he’s always been a laid-back type who’s happy to just fit in and get on with things. But last week we went on holiday and all that changed – he found his inner toddler and throughly got his ‘two’ on.  I don’t mean he wasn’t lovely some of the time too… but you never knew when he was going to flip. He was basically marmite – you either couldn’t fail to be charmed or you really wanted to run in the opposite direction.

A case in point were these conversations with him that occurred close together:

Scene One – the swimming pool. While his brothers swim splash noisily in the water, the toddler sits on my lap on a step at the shallow end.

Toddler: *snuggling up to me* “Awww my baby” (a phrase he uses to mean ‘give me a cuddle’. I didn’t realise that I often say this when I cuddle him till he started using it as a request!) then, looking deep into my eyes as only a toddler can, “Mummy loves Liddy” (his current name for himself)

Me: “I do, I love you very much.”

Toddler: “And you loves your (his brother’s name).”

Me: ” I do, yes.”

Toddler: “And you loves your (his other brother’s name).”

Me: “I do, I love ALL my boys very much!”

Toddler: * fixes me with the most sincere expression I have ever seen in my life* “And I LOVES my mummy.” *gives me a huge hug*

So obviously my heart was melting a bit after that.

But then there was:

Scene Two – in the car on the way home from the pool. All three boys are in the back.

Me: *cheerfully* “Home we go!”

Toddler: *suddenly inexplicably angry* ” NO! We NOT going home!”

Me: *breezily – trying to head off the tantrum at the pass* “No, I suppose not, since we’re on holiday… we’re going back to our holiday home!”

Toddler: *Fury building* “NO! WE NOT GOING BACK TO OUR HOLIDAY HOME.”

Brothers: *erupt in gales of laughter*

Me: “… well… I…”

Toddler: *Incandescent with rage and pointing wildly at his brothers* “NO! YOU. NOT. LAUGHING! WE NOT GOING HOME!!”

Me: *Thinking quickly… must distract him…* “Oh look! It’s started raining.”

Toddler: *Starring at heavy rain with murder in his eyes* “NO! IT! NOT! RAINING!

Me: *not quite sure what to say* “Well, I think it is, poppet, just a little bit.”

*Brothers manic laughter adds to frenzied feel in the car*


*builds up to crescendo of rage* “IT SUNNY!!!!!

Thankfully we arrived home. He calmed down. *Whispers so as not to tempt fate* luckily his tantrums don’t last long.

Ah, my gorgeous Jekyll and Hyde.

You know what? I love Marmite.

Little Hearts, Big Love
And then the fun began...

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


I’ve heard people say that having (or being around) children keeps you young, and I suppose in some ways it’s true. After all, we parents do find ourselves playing with toys, drawing silly pictures and making ‘magic potions’. We act like kids at times, doing ridiculous things to make them giggle. Being able to embrace your inner child can certainly help in parenting, I’ve found.

But in terms of physical appearance at least, I think being a parent ages a person. Or it has done with me anyway! When I look back at photos of myself holding my infant firstborn I’d swear I look twenty years younger in the photos, not merely seven. Yes, nearly eight years of nappy changing, toddler tantrums and sleep deprivation have taken the youthful bloom off my skin and put dark shadows under my eyes. As for my body, all those hours I’ve spent on my hands and knees wiping food off the floor, or staggering under the weight of increasingly heavy children as I load them into cars (and hold them under one arm as I charge for the school gates) has done a number on my knees and my back.

What I hadn’t realised until recently though was the ageing effect that parenthood has had on my hands. This became clear to me the other day when I was playing cars with my toddler and he suddenly reached over, pointed at my knuckles and delightedly exclaimed, “Look Mummy! Dinsisaur!”

Old? I’m positively Jurassic!

dinosaur hand

My very own Handasauraus

What do you think? If you’re a parent, has it kept you young or aged you? Anyone else got any Jurassic features? ;)

Little Hearts, Big Love

toddler talk

My toddler’s language is developing at quite a pace. We have whole conversations now and, despite the fact he only turned two last week, he’s already commenting on my outfit choices. ;)

toy car

Toddler: *pointing at the front of my top* “Yook! Wheels!”

Me: “What’s that? … Oh I see, they’re buttons poppet.”

Toddler *examining toy car in his hands and holding it next to the buttons* “Wheels! Yots and yots o’ wheels!”

Me: “Yes, I can see what you mean; the buttons are the same size and colour as the wheels on your car… but they’re buttons.

Toddler: *shakes head firmly* “No. Wheels. Wheels Mummy.”

Me “You’re right, clever boy, they look like wheels but they’re actually buttons. Buttons.”

Toddler: “Shhhhh! WHEELS!”

Me: *gives up*


I actually rather like the idea of having a host of spare wheels on my top. My toddler LOVES cars so it’s good to be prepared for a toy-related emergency!


Little Hearts, Big Love


When my eldest son had just turned two I made a list of words and phrases he was using at the time. He was at such a gorgeous stage of language development and I didn’t want to forget any of those adorable utterances. The list was in a lovely notebook which I intended to continue using, adding to the list over time.

Did I do this? Nope. Can I find the lovely notebook? No such luck.


Since I’m massively prone to mislaying things in a huge heap of ‘important stuff I mustn’t lose’, I’ve decided that the best place to keep such notes these days is right here on this blog.

My eldest is now seven so his days of delightful language grappling are long gone. My youngest though is not quite two and has hit a lovely stage where every day he’s trying out more sentences. Here are some from this week:

“I eating beebees o bebuts.” = I’m eating (Rice) Crispies for breakfast. (Said with a huge grin as he LOVES Rice Crispies!)

“Mummy, why oo slippin?” = Mummy, why (are) you sleeping? (Standing by the bed in the morning, much keener to start the day than I was!)

“i dissy boon?” = Is this a spoon? (I was putting cutlery away and he was keen to point out what everything was).

He also asks “Where oo goin?” and “What oo doin?” a lot at the moment – he’s full of questions!

Finally, my favourite word of his at the moment is ewawas for pyjamas… on which note, it’s been a really long week and I’m shattered so I’m off to bed!

Little Hearts, Big Love