Tag Archives: toddler

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

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

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?!

toddler

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*

Toddler: “NO! IT NOT RAINING! IT! NOT! RAINING!

*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 #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

meet the family

Is it night time where you are? If so, look out of your window now… look up… see that glowing orb in the sky? That’s me that is.

… Well through my toddler’s eyes anyway. And ok it’s not the ACTUAL moon he mistakes for me it’s a particular picture of a rosy-cheeked crescent moon in one of his favourite books, but still, it’s not a bad thing to be compared to.

I am married to a snake though. In fact, according to my toddler we have rather an odd family set-up. In all the books we read to him, snakes are enthusiastically called “daddy snake!” and frogs are invariably named after his five-year-old brother. Meanwhile there’s a cat in ‘Slinky Malinki’ books (by Lynley Dodd) that he’s convinced is his seven-year-old brother. Then I’m the moon of course.

To give you a clearer idea, I’ve done a family portrait:

our animal family

Our family, in all our glory…

The funny thing is, I can see what he means. Of course he knows the animals (and celestial object) aren’t really us but he’s managed to pick up on something about each of us and see it in the pictures – the 5yo’s cheeky face, the 7yo’s slim physique, my rosy cheeks (and pointed nose) and his dad’s *whispers* increasingly hairless head…

If you’re wondering about the bee, I drew it to represent the toddler because it didn’t seem right to have a family picture without him in it. His brothers and I decided a smiley bee suited him – he’s little (both the youngest family member and small for his age) and gets on with things, just like bees do.

I’d better go, night is falling and there’s somewhere I should be…

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

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

toddler ‘nose’ best

We’re a week into March so sunny days are here, and they’re here to stay!

Aren’t they? Well, no:
snowYes, a couple of days ago, we actually had snow. A full-on blizzard in fact! My toddler was thrilled and rushed to the window. Perched on a chair, he gazed out shouting, “It nosing, Mummy, it nosing! The nose is zooming down!”

My heart melted.

Thankfully, so did the snow.

Little Hearts, Big Love