It’s Not All Mary Poppins

We’ll call it ‘communication’

…for lack of a better term…

“Ah da-graffoo,” Rory comments to Grace. They’re about a foot apart, standing facing each other.

“Yafiwwa,” Grace answers.

“Ga fwu fwu gai,” Rory notes, reaching toward the hairband in Grace’s hand.

“Fai ya oomble.” She pulls the hairband out of his reach.

“Ga fwoo gai ah bahn ya,” he smiles and reaches again.

“A woo bow bow booowoo,” she removes it again, and smiles at him.

“Ooo buh wuh-ooo mmm ahh.” He returns her smile.

Her smile broadens, and she gives him a firm and friendly ‘mission accomplished’ sort of nod. If they were older, she’d have offered a firm handshake, I’m sure.

Well satisfied, they part company, Rory to the kitchen, Grace to the living room.

January 10, 2011 Posted by | Developmental stuff, Grace, Rory, the things they say! | , , , | 1 Comment


“Down! Doowwwwwn!”
She takes my neatly-folded jeans out of the laundry basket and dumps them on the floor.

She looks at the jeans, now on the floor.
“Uh-oh! Uh, oh, down!”

She crawls to my sweetie, fixes her enormous chocolate brown eyes on him, lifts her dimpled arms.
“Up! Up! Up! Up! Up! Up! Up!”

She stands at the high chair.
“Meh-meh-weeee! Meh-meh-weeee, UP!”

She crawls to where I’ve tossed her fleece jacket onto the floor, in preparation for going out. She picks it up and holds it out to me as I help Noah zip his jacket.
“Tang-oo! Tang-oo!”
(Who says little ones don’t ‘get’ “thank you”?)

Baby Lily has started talking, and it’s the cutest damned thing you’ve ever heard.

May 13, 2010 Posted by | Lily, socializing, the cuteness!, the things they say! | , , | 2 Comments

Babytalk, part two

Yesterday’s post, and particularly Z’s comment, got me to thinking with great fondness of long-gone turns of phrase in my children’s lives.

At the age of three, Haley had the most lyrical imagination. I wish that I’d thought to write her creative phrases and delicious adjectives down at the time, because I know that hundreds have been lost forever. (Can you hear my heartfelt sigh?) Two stay with me.

Upon encountering a lawn sprinkler for the first time, the sort that is a plastic doughnut that sits on the grass and sends out a sort of half-torus of radiating arcs of water, she exclaimed,

“Look, mummy! It’s a droopy-up!”

Isn’t that just so sweeeet?

We were driving home after dark one winter evening. She must have been outside after dark before. Even sleep-hardass Mary wouldn’t have had her children in bed by four p.m., which is when it gets dark in January in these parts, but for whatever reason, she noticed the streetlights for the first time.

“Oooooh.” Her voice was awestruck. “Mummy! See the crystal trees?”

When Adam was just shy of two, we lived a few blocks from a fire station. Imagine the excitement when a firetruck burst onto the street, the deep blast of the horn, the shrill call of the siren. Imagine a little boy in footed pajamas, standing up in his crib and pointing at the window, bouncing to the noise, and calling out,

“Vider-fucks! Vider-fucks!”

There was also “own-der-eye-gle”, which was almost as exciting. Too bad those things don’t have sirens.

Emma, for reasons known only to herself, called socks “gookums” for a solid year. (No, of course I didn’t correct her. She was my third. By now I’d learned how fleeting and precious these things are; I’d also learned that she’d get this sort of thing right without my help…)

Gookums. It’s still a puzzlement!

She was also the one who called her paternal grandparents “Gamma and Gamma”, which was cute right there, but even funnier was her indignation when the WRONG “Gamma” answered.

“Not you, Gamma! GAMMA!” Well, that clears it right up.

It’s probably just as well we didn’t know which was which, because she played favourites. “Gamma is NICER than Gamma.” Okay, then. (And you know, to this day I have no idea which Gamma was the “nicer” one. They were both pretty-near perfect grandparents, far as I could make out.)

Okay. Those are some of my fond remembrances. Thank you to Haley for giving me a couple of these! Note to all you young mothers out there: WRITE THESE THINGS DOWN! You think you could never possibly forget — but you will. And it will cause you deep regret, and many a wistful sigh.

So. Let’s write some of them down, right now! What are your children’s cute sayings, mispronounciations, malapropisms … How do your kids mangle the language in a totally ADORABLE way? Tell us in the comments.

Share, share, share!

July 22, 2008 Posted by | the things they say! | , , , | 38 Comments


Mother and son sit on my front hall floor, engrossed in the business of putting on his shoes, curly blond head nestled against graying blond head. It’s a cute tableau, and I smile even as I look down on inch-long gray roots. Time for a touch-up, mom.

“Push little foot!” Mommy’s voice is sing-song and cheerful. My smile becomes a teeny bit fixed. I am not a huge fan of babytalk, but they’ll be gone soon. I can gag in private in a few minutes.

The child grunts a bit, but makes no discernable pushing motion of his foot into his shoe. Mom’s being had here. This child can put his own shoes on. Takes him two minutes, tops. Oddly, I know mom knows this. Some days she has him do it. But today is a gooey day.

“Push! Push little foot!”
More push-less grunting.
“No? Can’t? Okay, I will help little boy. Oh, look! Little shoe!” She’s so happy.
Mommy slides the shoe on.
“There! All done! Shoe on little foot!”

He hops off her lap, and, happy child that he is, hops around the front hall. Bounce, bounce, bounce.
The mother smiles. “Oh, happy boi-oy!”

He laughs. He is a happy boy. He is also three years old. It has been close to a year and a half since he’s spoken the way his mother has been speaking to him for the past five minutes. Interestingly, this normally chatterbox boy hasn’t yet spoken a word in response. Perhaps he doesn’t understand Baby?

“Okay, now. Say ‘bye-bye’ to Wee-wee.”


“Wee-wee?” It’s been close to two years since he’s used that annoying diminuitive of my name. It lasted about three weeks. I mean, does anyone really want their nick-name to be a bodily fluid? I haven’t heard it in two years (less three weeks). I had no idea it was ongoing at home. It’s a bit of a start to hear it at all, much less from the lips of someone pretty nearly my age. Isn’t forty-mrhph old enough to know better?

Thank goodness this verbal retrogression is only an occasional thing. On a daily basis, it would leave my fingers itching for a muzzle. Or the ever-handy duct tape. The return to ooey-gooey babytalk always has me scratching my head. Once you’ve left it behind, why go back? What need of her is it filling? What mood does it express? Or is she just privately assured that there too little Inane in the world?

“Wee-wee.” Yeesh.

July 21, 2008 Posted by | parents, quirks and quirkiness, the dark side | | 10 Comments