Toddler Translations

Oee being "Gentle" with Wossy

Oee being “Gentle” with Wossy

I have officially discovered the language of the toddler, and decided to translate it. It sounds very similar to English, but the differing definitions are astonishing. Here is what I have decoded so far:

“Gentle please” = recreate the Of Mice and Men scene with Lennie and the rabbits, all the while nodding and repeating “Gentle”

“Please don’t touch mommy’s computer” = Pound that keyboard as hard and as fast as you can. Know how to change any settlings? Great, do it stealthily and quickly! The stranger the better, like that time you made the screen display sideways.

“Did you poop?” = Deny everything. You never poop. You never need a new diaper. You never need to use the potty.

“Can you show (family/friend) that new thing you learned?” = stand perfectly still and silently stare at mommy like she has lost her mind.

“Yucky” = Put that in your mouth as fast as you can, before anyone takes it away from you.

“Can you share please?” = Run. Grab that toy and GO!

“Can you take one more bite please?” = Use both arms as windshield wipers to clear your plate. Or the table. Then wipe whatever is on your hands in your hair, in an attempt to ensure a bath.

“Shoes on” = We are going to the park. Make a run for the park, across the street, to be sure you don’t miss out. No need to wait for shoes, clothes or adult supervision, just get going!

“Shh” = Louder please, mommy obviously can’t hear you over the sleeping baby.

“Clean up time”= Mommy is trying to take away the best toys. Forever. Insist on playing with every toy she touches. Lose your mind if a toy goes out of sight.

“Just a moment and mommy will help you” = No one will ever assist you with this task, so you better lose your mind, become inconsolable and blow this WAY out of proportion

With many years of toddlers ahead of me, I look forward to learning more of this new language. And by “looking forward to” I mean I terrified of and desperately hope to keep my sanity through. But boy do toddlers keep life interesting.

Don’t Mind Me While I Catch My Breath

To say parenting is nerve-wracking is the understatement of my entire life. For more than 2 years (and for the rest of our lives!) the single most important job the giant and I have had is keeping our boys safe. In spite of themselves. It is amazing that the human race has survived as long as we have, given that every baby and toddler seems hell-bent on maiming themselves. “Why sure, I should definitely dive head first down the front steps”, “Let me touch the stove-windex-whatever, while I explain to you not to touch it” “Must. Roll. Off. Couch.” or my personal favourite “I wonder what my hand would feel like inside that pitbull’s mouth”.

It is not surprising to me that there are a lot of moments of terror, which have always turned out to be ok, but leave my heart rate sky high and me scrambling to catch my breath. Even with my children both directly in front of me, any loud noise resembling something coming down a flight of stairs leaves me completely panicked.

I had these moments of near-disaster before becoming a mom, they are just a much more common occurance now. Recently, both the giant and I shared similar moments, and not even related to our children’s safety. It was however related to our kids. One night, having finally lulled all my boys to sleep, I was tucking myself into bed when my bare foot encountered something somewhat firm, clammy and the size of my hand, under the blankets. I managed to not scream outloud, but I jumped out of bed faster than ever before and threw the blankets up. The next morning, when picking out a tie the giant stepped on the same object (yes, I just kicked it out of bed and left it on the bedroom floor), which let out a wet gargling sound, followed by a high pitched squeak. Then the giant let out a terrified “What the…” followed by an out of breath, and relieved “Oh thank god”. Let me explain: Oee often brings lots of toys into the bath with him and he is never very particular about their intended use or water resistance. Sophie the Giraffe was taken into the bath and was never quite the same afterwards. And Oee has also started hiding things in our bed. Awesome.

Thankfully, my kids are fine and I will do my damdest to keep them that way. And we don’t have any vermin in the house, just waterlogged toys. But I will continue to need a moment to catch my breath on a regular basis.

Back in 2011, Oee playing with (pre-bath) Sophie and his beautiful auntie Jess.

Back in 2011, Oee playing with (pre-bath) Sophie and his beautiful auntie Jess.

Parenting, Like a Dad

The giant and I have tried to split the weekend parenting duties, including sleeping in.  Saturday mornings have always been a joy for me. I get to sleep in. Sort of. And almost as good as the sleep in, is what happens when we get up. Depending on how sadistic Oee is feeling towards his father, the two of them may have been up for hours before Wossy and I come downstairs.

The giant is a great father. His parenting style differs from mine a little. He takes very seriously the sentiments “don’t sweat the small stuff” and “choose your battles”. This is very evident when I come down to a healthy, very happy young boy. However, he is frequently naked but for a diaper, with food covering much of his upper half, toys are everywhere and for that matter, non-toys are everywhere mixed with the toys.

A great example of dad parenting happened last weekend when staying with my parents. I spared the giant a trip to the department store to buy Oee’s birthday presents. I took Wossy with me and left Oee with his dad, right at naptime. I must point out, Oee loves being with family and naps and bedtime are especially difficult there, since he knows how much fun is to be had when he is awake. We have to stay in the room and routinely put him back in his bed, but can’t be seen or he wants to talk and play.  I returned about 90 minutes later, Oee and the giant were both out of sight behind the closed bedroom door, and I assumed that maybe the giant had fallen asleep as well. I open the door to find the giant, hidden from Oee’s sight behind the footboard. Oee is in his bed, wide awake, colouring on the walls with markers.

The giant explained that Oee had become quiet so he assumed he was finally falling asleep. And making eye contact with a near-napping toddler is a rookie mistake! But as most parents know, quiet means either they are sleeping, or they are into something they shouldn’t be. Oee’s bedframe, the sheets, the wall behind the bed, and Oee himself were decorated in purple and red.

Luckily, I am learning from my husband and I can parent like a dad too. The markers were washable, Oee fell asleep shortly thereafter and none of us were sweating the small stuff. I’ll save the freak out for when Oee brings up getting a real, Tyson-style face tattoo!

Oee doing an easter egg hunt, right after his nap. You can still see the purle line on his hand, and Hitler moustache under his nose.

Oee doing an easter egg hunt, right after his nap. You can still see the purle line on his hand, and Hitler moustache under his nose.

More About Colours… And Throwing Up

"Oee, what do you mean I can't have chocolate!"

“Oee, what do you mean I can’t have chocolate!”

I know I already wrote about Oee’s love of green. Well, we have a fun new colour; Brown.  Oee thinks that brown and chocolate are interchangeable (not surprising given the giant’s love of dessert). Sometimes brown is brown. Sometimes brown is “coc-kit”. Today, the giant apparently wore his chocolate shoes to work. But Oee likes to talk about chocolate more than just as a colour.

Let me start by explaining Oee has always been a puker. As an infant he had an ultrasound of his stomach because he threw up so much. It got better, then he started eating solids and it got way worse. (We eventually had to throw out a carpet and I think we traumatized an uncle with an Excorist-worthy scene one random night!) It is somewhat under control now, but only because we know how to control it. For example, Oee can’t eat chocolate or he will throw up. Everything in his stomach. I try to rationalize with Oee as often as possible, so I explained to him around Christmas time when everyone else was eating chocolate that he couldn’t because it would make him sick. And to earn coolness points, I would made a fake barf noise. Apparently that really drove the point home.

Oee loves to tell anyone that will listen that “Mommy can eat cockit” “Daddy can eat cockit” “Oee eat cockit… blegh”. He started telling me about extended family members. Grandpa and Grandma can eat choclate, but he knows Darwin and Wossy would “blegh”. Today he pulled out all his stuffed animals and toys and decided which of them could eat chocolate. For 20 minutes I got to hear about how cookie monster could, but Elmo couldn’t. Ernie can but Bert can’t. Who knew we would have a kid who liked NOT getting chocolate more than getting it!

10 Rules for Buying Toys

So, it’s a month past Christmas, and after clearing out under the couch (aka the collector of toys, shoes, garbage and terrifying quantities of cereal and raisins!) I decided to organize the toychest before putting everything in it. This made me identify the numerous flaws in my previous toy-buying decisions. Here is my new list of rules:

It was organized for 5 minutes, before O-E destroyed it again

It was organized for 5 minutes, before O-E destroyed it again

10. Toys that go in other toys are awesome. Never buy blocks, etc. unless they come in a container. The easier to clean and organize the better.

9. “Pieces” cannot be necessary. Never buy a toy that is no longer useful or fun if one piece (or even multiple pieces) go missing. It will go missing. Most pieces will go missing and when a toddler finds part of a toy he wants to play with, you try to to explain why it isn’t working properly!

8. Books rock! But you better be prepared to read anything you buy literally thousands of times. If you aren’t willing to read it 10 times a day, you are setting yourself up for a lot of frustration. Also, be very careful with voices. Once you do a voice while reading a book, it is expected every time. There are no takebacks with voices.

7. Books shouldn’t move. Pop-up books, or books with movie features is like giving your child an elmo doll made of fine china. They can’t help themselves. Paper will tear, tears will flow, you will be frustrated. Stick with bright pictures and words. That’s what books are for.

6. If they make noise, the off switch should be parent accessible. And only parent accessible. Sometimes elmo doesn’t care if he’s tickled and the kids should not be able to change that on their own.

5. Little pieces should survive the dryer. Toddlers discover their pockets, and it’s a whole new world of what you find in the laundry. Mr. potatohead tongues, blocks, cutlery, the pieces of pop-up books they have destroyed. And those are the things I am not too embarassed to write about.

4. Age appropriate doesn’t just refer to choking hazards. If your kids are safe with a toy, but need your help to play with it because it is too messy or complex on their own (I am looking at you markers!) it is not ideal!

3. Don’t get excited. If you buy an awesome toy that you know they’ll love and they are happier with the box than the toy itself, get over it. Don’t try to show them how awesome the toy is and get frustrated when they don’t care. They’ll love the toy at some point. But never on your terms or timeline.

2. Just go with it. If it’s clean and safe, it can be a toy. There is currently a cleaned out Sunlight Dish Soap bottle, and an old cell phone carrier that snaps on to your belt (it came with the charger, neither me nor the giant are douchy awesome enough to wear cell phones on our belts. Ever.) in our toy chest. If they make your kid happy, and keep them entertained; AWESOME!

1. DO NOT buy toys that you want to play with. Your kids won’t play with them properly and it will piss you off. Mister potatohead’s ears do not belong on the top of his head, but O-E doesn’t understand. Maybe this one is just me. But seriously there are so many toys that he just doesn’t play with the right way!

Just 'cause he was looking too cute while I wrote this.

Just ’cause he was looking too cute while I wrote this.