A is for Aaaaapa… and other toddlerisms
It's one thing to see our littles learn to walk – waddle, bum-twist and all – but it's another thing altogether to hear them talk. From their first attempts at sound-like words 'mummmmumummm' (which every mother is convinced is 'mama') to proper adult-like sentences 'I know what I'm doing, mummy', the toddler dictionary is full of surprises. So before he grows up and speaks like a normal person, and I forget the cute words that used to come out of his mouth, I've penned down some of Little Man's grammatically challenged phrases, to reflect upon and chuckle at when he's no more a toddler.
Let's start with the first letter of the alphabet. Now Little Man has a weird accent when it comes to the alphabet 'a'. It's not an Indian accent (considering his mummy and daddy were born Indians), nor does it have a British touch (considering he's born in the UK and lives there). Nor is it toddlerspeak. It's just, well, different. He doesn't say 'a' as in apple; he says 'aaaa' as in aaaaple. Haaand for hand. Maaaan for man. 'I'm Baaatmaaan Mummy' or 'There's an aaaadvertisement' when he's seeing Fireman Saaaam on Aaaaamazon Prime. But we love this aaaacent! Aaaaabsaaalutely Aaaadorable:)
Then there's the stuff he picks up from TV and books, and at nursery. It's amazing how well toddlers imbibe sentences within them, and repeat at a later time but in the perfect context. I was blown away when we were walking down the street and a young girl whizzed past us on her scooter, and Little Man said: 'Oh, where did that come from?!' I later heard Thomas the Tank Engine say that when another train zoomed past him. Different situation. Different objects. But the correct context.
Like the other day when we were in the car and he told me: 'Mummy, if there's a fire, break the glass with a hammer'. I beamed again, very impressed with his words of wisdom. Assuming he learnt that at nursery during a fire drill explanation, I asked him if his teacher had taught him that. 'No, Fireman Sam told me that!!!' Well…
Of course, toddlerspeak comes with its fair share of over-smart comments. The Boss (what I call my son lately – you'll figure out why after reading this para) now asks me 'Do you understand me?' after he tells me something that is oh-so-important. His way of telling me to use my 'And – this one's so sweet – every time we go down the stairs or are on the road he warns: 'Be careful mummy'.' I suppose! And says 'I know what I'm doing' when I tell him to be careful or to not do something. We often hear 'Naughty Mummy' or 'Naughty Daddy' when we, err, do something wrong, like not put the cars back in the toy box and leave them on the sofa instead.
Though my current favourites are, not surprisingly, 'I love you Mummy' and 'I love you Daddy' which he says at least 10 times a day, accompanied by a hug or a light touch. I'm cherishing these because I know once he's older, he'll be too embarrassed to express his love for us! The other morning he told me: 'I really like you Mummy; you're so pretty!'. The love came a notch down to 'really like' but hey, I got a compliment so I'm not complaining! But the bestest (I know that's not a word and all but we are breaking the grammatical rules in this post) of them all is when Little Man tells us 'You're the best Mummy in the whole world' and 'You're the best Daddy in the whole world'. Makes all those sleepless nights and tantrum-filled days worth it!
Then come the imitations. Too cute (if I'm allowed to brag a bit). He picks up his Spiderman rucksack and waves goodbye to me: 'Bye Mummy, I'm going to office' and zooms off on his scooter. 'I have to finish my work' he continues while tapping his fingers on the table. That, I decoded, was him working on his 'puter' (computer)!!!
Sometimes he uses dialogues he's heard on TV and applies them to his imaginative self-play. The following conversation took place between two of his cars…
Hi, my name is Tayo. What's your name?
Oh, that's a cute name
(Adapted from Tayo the Little Bus)
Talking to his teddy – Harold – before bed…
Little Man: I love you Harold
Harold aka Little Man: I love you too
How he expresses emotions:
'I'm upset' when things don't go his way or he doesn't get what he wants. 'I'm so excited' when we're on the way to the zoo or a playdate. And 'Ah! I had such a nice day!' on our return.
'Thank you Grandpa for helping Granny' (on seeing Grandpa help Granny wear her shoes).
Little Man: I love you mummy
Me: I love you too darling
Little Man: But I like daddy also
And undiluted humour:
This took place when he was sat on the potty
Me: Are you done?
Little Man: No Mummy
After five minutes…
Me: All done? Can I clean you?
Little Man: No mummy, it's big! (Accompanied by a 'big' action with his hands). I burst out laughing!
Other priceless gems from Little Man's growing dictionary include:
Wet-tu – A wet tissue aka wet-wipe. I never saw that one coming!
Bisca – Biscuit
Debee Debee Truck – Delivery Truck
Pudisman which has now become Puisman – Policeman
Tup-tup – laptop (You've gotta love toddlers!)
Escus me – Excuse me
Fuddy biddy – fire brigade and
Foka – fire truck (This one did get me in a spot a couple of times, when Little Man said it with his strange accent)
Barbage Tuck – Garbage Truck
However, he now says these three words perfectly, owing to his love for Fire Engines and Garbage Trucks!
Ephenat – Elephant
Tapeto – Potato
Libuby – Library
Minerma – Vitamin (I have no idea either!!!)
There will be more priceless ones, and I promise to update you'll.
Till next time,
Break for an aaaaadvertisement:)
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