It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Smart Kids

Many moons ago, when my eldest was fifteen months old…

At which time the child had a vocabulary of 125 words. I know, because I Wrote Them Down. Each and every one. I still have the list, somewhere.

This child, who had one hundred and twenty-five words in her spoken vocabulary, also had a sense of humour.

“Haley? Haley, say ‘mummy’.” Young and earnest mother that I was, I loved to hear this word in particular. Haley knew it. Her little face would crinkle in delight, and she would say,


“No, lovie. Say ‘mumma’. You can do it, say ‘mumma’.” It’s a game, we both know it, and I’m playing along.

Big grin. Mummy gets the game! Haley’s in control. Chortle. “Dada!”

“You little magoo! Mumma! I know you can say it!”

“DADA! DADADADADADA!!!!” Gales of baby laughter.

I pretend despair. “Oh, all right. I give up.” I walk into the next room, and, as I knew it would, from round the corner comes her little voice:



May 24, 2006 - Posted by | individuality, Mischief, my kids


  1. ach, so cute. I love this toddler age so much. Got my first “I love you” spontaneously the other morning. So sweet! Sadly, she then smacked me about ten minutes later, which of course netted her a VERY different response!

    Comment by kittenpie | May 24, 2006 | Reply

  2. 125 words? At 15 months? Wow Haley! And, I love that you wrote them all down. That was my assignment for the speech therapist when we first started getting help for K. Although, at 27 months she had 52 words or something like that. So cute that the 15 month old Haley knew how to play with mummy and make her laugh just because of word choice!

    Comment by Angela | May 24, 2006 | Reply

  3. Holy cow! You have a little smartypants. Mine has a great vocab at 22 months, but at 15 it was about a dozen words I think. Should’ve wrote them down. I went through the “say mama” thing too. He only said ‘mama’ in desperate situations though. He still reserves it for desperate times.

    Comment by MJH | May 24, 2006 | Reply

  4. kittenpie: Well, you always know where you stand with a toddler – at that particular nano-second. Passionate little people, aren’t they?

    Angela: Yup, she was a smart little thing. Still is, of course, only not so little any more… Sadly, I did not think to do this for her siblings. In fact, I’d forgotten I’d done it at all for years, until I stumbled across the list. I think I know where it is now.

    MJH: As I said to Angela, not so little any more. Haley is twenty, one year away from her B.A. – not so little, but still a smartypants, occasionally a smartass. (Generally in a truly funny way.)

    Comment by Mary P. | May 24, 2006 | Reply

  5. Mom to Ann (maybe 2-1/2 or so)

    “Can you say yes?”

    Ann “No”

    Repeat three times

    Ann in crib at naptime:

    “Can you say yes? No.”

    Repeat until mom shrieks.

    They’ve never let me live it down.

    Ann (aka granny)

    Comment by Granny | May 24, 2006 | Reply

  6. How fun!! And I always said that one of the most important attributes a mom could have is a sense of humor.

    My kids think I’m funny, and it’s one of the highest compliments they could pay me.

    Comment by Andie D. | May 25, 2006 | Reply

  7. Ahh, LMD, being 15 months too, loves this game & finds it positively hilarious:-)

    I don’t think she has 125 words though…..but I can’t be obothered to count em either. oh the shame of being a 3rd child – I counted mstr A’s words every week;-)

    Comment by Mrs.Aginoth | May 25, 2006 | Reply

  8. I’m a poor mother. I did not make a list of words for either child.
    I do recall that “no” and “dada” certainly were the most frequently used words…and still are.
    They know lots of words now–but “yes, mommy” is still a combo rarely spoken! 😉

    Comment by LoryKC | May 25, 2006 | Reply

  9. Granny: Some stories are just too good to let go…

    Andie: That sense of humour not only means more playtime and laughter with your kids, but also prevents you from throttling them or hurting yourself bashing your head into walls. It’s good all round!

    MrsA: I was thinking about this. I have this list for Haley. I know Adam started talking quite a bit later – 20 months for the language leap his sister had at 15 – but I have no list. And poor Emma? I can’t even really remember when exactly she started talking.

    I feel a little badly about this: I always assumed these things would be engrained for all eternity, but because I didn’t write them down, I no longer remember, or only in general terms. A little badly – but not too much!

    Lory: At least you were fair in your ommission. I did it for one and not for the other two. Bad, bad, bad… 🙂

    Comment by Mary P. | May 25, 2006 | Reply

  10. This is why I’m blogging. I don’t want to forget wonderful stories such as this.

    Comment by Mamacita Tina | May 25, 2006 | Reply

  11. I love the chatter soooo much.

    In the last couple day’s E. has cemented her concept of a good day. When her dad came home yesterday she asked him if he had a good day and it was so sweet. She also declared she had had a good day.

    Comment by mo-wo | May 27, 2006 | Reply

  12. Mary, I am laughing SO hard right now becuase Bah-bie and I plan this game EVERYDAY and it plays out exactly the way you describe.

    Comment by MIM | May 27, 2006 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: