Toddler Talk

I never used to understand how parents could understand their toddlers. I would watch them listening intently to their child and say “oh yes certainly you can shove that car up your brothers nose” (or something to that effect). All I heard coming out of the toddlers mouth was noises, nothing even resembling words or sentences. I used to think parents just made it up to make the rest of us clueless people look silly.

Now I have my own toddler who is starting to talk and it really is like learning a whole new language. Probably no one else would know that my little monkey pronouncing “loud” and pointing at the roof really meant “thunder”. Sometimes you just “know” what the word is they are trying to say. To an outside person my little monkey saying eek eek would not register as him saying squeak squeak, but to my finely tuned ears that is exactly what he is saying.

But more than that, you get really good at reading body language and good old fashion detective work. A pointed finger, quivering lip and a cry could mean (depending on what is in the direction of the pointed finger) anything from wanting food/drink, toy, blanket or person/pet. You have to slowly and methodically (though usually its frantic and chaotically) work through each possible item till a big smile breaks on your toddlers face and they clap their hands in delight, and you think “eureka!”.

I am not afraid to admit that you don’t really know what your kid is saying you just make it up. There maybe a whole stream of jibberish and one recognisable word so you hear yourself saying “yes that is a pink polka dotted elephant, well done!”. It’s not like you child can say “oh come on I am not speaking Japanese pull it together woman I meant ‘get me a water’ not ‘there is a pink polka dotted elephant’ ”. So you have the advantage there over other adults, who secretly suspect you have no idea what your child is saying, but because you look like you know, they assume you do. As the saying goes “Fake it till you make it”.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. stacybuckeye
    Feb 18, 2012 @ 15:26:53

    Gage is just starting to say a few words. For a few weeks he was trying to say clock, but couldn’t say the l. Needless to say it was a little embarrassing in public! Thankfully he quit trying to say that word and has moved on to broom, which is harmless 🙂


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