In yet another installment of “I was wrong about everything,” today it’s about the way we talk to children. Before kids I didn’t understand the difference. I was like “Hi, small child. How’s the weather? OK, now go away.”
But now, I put a little enthusiasm in my voice and enunciate, ask questions about their toys, count and point out colors. I sound excited about silly small things. And they respond! I had always said if I had a child I’d talk to them like adults. None of this silly baby talk stuff. But I didn’t understand there’s something beyond baby talk, and communicating with your toddler in a way that’s tailored toward them not only gets their attention but helps them communicate as well.
And I’m not talking about using made-up words and baby stuff here, I’m talking about really communicating. Using real words, pronounced clearly so they can understand what things are and how to say them. My two-year-old can speak clearly enough to ask my iPad to play car videos for him. He actually has practiced saying words so he can speak to the iPad and get what he asks for almost every time.
So I guess I do speak to my child like an adult after all. Just a really happy, excited, observant, quizzical adult that loves pointing out colors and counting things.
Yesterday while driving a car cut me off and I yelled “Shit!”
Immediately from the backseat I hear “Shit! Shit! Mommy Shit!” Shouted with great enthusiasm.
Silently, I think: Shit. Shit. Shit.
Now I’m perplexed. What AM I supposed to yell if “shit” is off the table, along with all its other 4 letter cousins? So I started try to come up with new things I could curse with.
Sugar! Shitzu! Shizoozle! Snootchie Bootchies!
None of these seem quite as satisfying. I have no idea how I’m going to retrain myself. It’s just an automatic thing. But I’m going to have to put the effort in.
Especially after somebody ran a 4-way-stop today and right on cue I hear an echo from the backseat going “Hey Jackass!”
So what creative curse words have you been yelling out?
My toddler has a pretty big vocabulary. He has a name for everything, and often I think his names are way better. I know you’re supposed to teach them the right words and correct them, but sometimes their words are just more fun!
My son calls motorcycles “mogatoos.” So everytime I see one I want to shout “Mogatoo!” It’s more fun to say, so I find it hard to correct him. But I don’t want him to show up the first day of kindergarten and tell everyone he wants to ride a mogatoo. That’s probably a parenting fail.
Strawberries are straw babies. He also likes blue babies and cran babies.
His sippy cup is a Z cup.
See? More fun.
I will do my job and eventually correct him. But I think I’ll keep mogatoo for a little while longer. 😁
So, what unique words has your toddler come up with?