It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Blowing my Cover

“Wuuu-wuuh! Wuh, wuh gaddagadaba. Mah-wee! Mah-wee, wuh, gadda tuck! Tuck, tuck, tuck wane! Wuh, man, man-ha, man-ee. Tuck, wah stikya ai.”

Nigel is on the very cusp of fluent speech. He has quite a few words, in fact. Individually or in pairs, his words are toddler-clear and effective. In larger groups, they’re a little more opaque.

Something has captured Nigel’s attention out the front window. I come to see what fascinates. A large moving van is parked outside the house across the street, the house which sold a while back. Oh, an activity we can both enjoy!

“Yes, I see the truck. The man has the truck. The man has a truck in the rain.”

“Hass ban? Hass ban? Hass ban? Hass dat?” His enthusiasm is adorable. I’m not snooping, I’m sharing an experience with a child.

“Yes, they have a van. What’s that? It looks like a table. The men are taking a table out of the van.”

“Table. Big table. Mrruh! Mrruh!”

“Oh, you’re right! What a lovely mirror! I wonder if they’ll put it in the hall. It has the look of a hall mirror.”

“Mrrr. Man hass mrruh. Goggy! Yady goggy!”

“You’re right! They lady has a doggie. A chocolate labrador! What a nice doggie. I wonder what his name is?”

“Goggie! Wuss goggie go?”

“The doggy went in the house with the lady. I wonder if that’s who’s moving in?”

“Wuss daddy?”

“At work, love. Oh, look, Nigel! See the chair?”


“That’s right, chair. There’s six of them, sweetie.” I like the lines of them, slim and elegant, but the colour? Never have been a fan of orange. “Let’s count the chairs! One…” Nigel’s butt bumps into me as he ducks under the couch. “Can you count the chairs, lovie?”

“Wuss Ahhma? Wuss Ahhma? Wuss Ahhma?” His voice is muffled. He’s right under there now. But what’s this? Well, with that light fixture over the dining table, maybe the orange chairs would work. That’s very clever, really.

“Wuss Ahhma? Wuss Ahhma?”

“What? Oh, Emma’s at school, love.”

“Wuss Aaah-Damn?”

“At school. Hey, Nigel, Nigel, look at the couch. More for style than comfort, that thing. Ick. Oh, and see the bed, and oh, look at that armoire. Very nice. Nigel? Nigel? Nigel?” A squeak and a bang from the kitchen. A distinctive sound – the hinged cupboard in the corner, where the crackers and cereal are kept. My joint activity has become solo.

In the mind of a toddler, snack-stalking trumps neighbour-snooping any day.

© 2006, Mary P

September 26, 2006 - Posted by | Nigel, our adoring public


  1. i seriously love how you love your kids.

    Comment by jen | September 26, 2006 | Reply

  2. Darn it, doesn’t he know he was supposed to be providing cover?

    Comment by Monica | September 26, 2006 | Reply

  3. I LOVE the way toddlers talk, and how it makes perfect sense as long as you listen. I’m going to be a little sad when my two-year-old starts using “real” words.

    Comment by Trivial Mom | September 26, 2006 | Reply

  4. Hahaha! At least the new neighbors didn’t see you watching, look up and find you alone, with no toddler standing next to you to use as an excuse. 🙂

    Nigel’s speech is cracking me up. So cute.

    Comment by Kristen | September 26, 2006 | Reply

  5. Snacking while neighbor snooping might bring him back…

    Comment by LoryKC | September 26, 2006 | Reply

  6. Along with what Kristen said, at least the new neighbors didn’t see you snooping *while talking*. They’d think you were bonkers.

    Comment by Candace Miller-Janidlo | September 26, 2006 | Reply

  7. I knew his attention had faded as soon as we got to the default “where’s [insert name here]” line of questioning.

    Comment by Haley | September 26, 2006 | Reply

  8. Just saying hi. Incoherent at moment.

    Comment by Granny | September 27, 2006 | Reply

  9. Ha! I love sitting at the window looking at folks walking down the street with Q. Sometimes they look back in and are startled to see our attention. You’re right though- having a small child beside you excuses a lot of staring.

    Comment by Lady M | September 28, 2006 | Reply

  10. No, that definitely wasn’t snooping. That was spending quality time with one of the tots.

    And Haley is so smart. She hit the nail on the head.

    Comment by MIM | September 28, 2006 | Reply

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