It’s Not All Mary Poppins

The Art of Toddler Debate

1. Pick a noun. Any noun will do: socks, mommy, kumquat.

2. Preface that noun with “My”.

3. State these two words as a declarative. “My kumquat.” This is your “first affirmation“, or “proposition“. (Note: the object in question does not have to be in view. The object in question does not have to be in the house. Heck, you don’t even strictly need to know what the object in question is.)

4. Wait. If there is another toddler within a mile and a half of your declaration, the debate will proceed as follows:

“My kumquat.”
My kumquat.”
My kumquat.”
My kumquat.”
My kumquat.”
“MY kumquat!”
“MY kumquat!!”
MY kumquat!!!!

For variety, you might try a rebuttal:
“NO, my kumquat!”

Or a counter-proposition:
“Not YOUR kumquat. MY kumquat!”

Or even a riposte:

Continue with debate until Mary starts banging her head into the wall again. Then you declare the debate closed, and all go watch.

November 6, 2007 - Posted by | aggression, power struggle, socializing, the dark side


  1. YES! The favorite noun around here is Daddy. And it’s that exact dialogue.

    Comment by kelli in the mirror | November 6, 2007 | Reply

  2. And then do _you_ get to say “MINE, MINE, MINE HEADACHE!”? *grin*

    Comment by Ms. Huis Herself | November 6, 2007 | Reply

  3. is that still Malli bein’ a pain one’s rear??

    Comment by sassybelle | November 6, 2007 | Reply

  4. This is exactly what my toddler and his sister sound like. With piercing shrieks in between declarations.

    Comment by Alison | November 6, 2007 | Reply

  5. I don’t know how you do it. 🙂 I would have to declare all the kumquats to be MINE and take them away…but then they’d just do it again with something else, wouldn’t they?

    Comment by Florinda | November 7, 2007 | Reply

  6. wait… is that not adult debate too?

    Comment by Lara | November 7, 2007 | Reply

  7. Jeffrey hasn’t gotten here yet. I am fearful for the coming days.

    Comment by Dani | November 7, 2007 | Reply

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