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.

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My Furry Boy

No, I don’t mean the giant, despite his natural leg sweaters, and fur vest. I mean my real fur boy, Darwin. Darwin has a very interesting relationship with my other little boys. When we first brought Oee home from the hospital Darwin wouldn’t look at me for about a month. He would reluctantly follow commands I gave him but he refused to look me in the eye. He knew I had just completely ruined the life he was so accustomed to, being treated like our baby! (Apparently our dog is a misogynist and has no understanding of the birds and the bees, since according to him, I am solely responsible/to blame for our children.)

Darwin’s relationship with Oee evolved as Oee got older. The pinnacle of his torment was when Oee learned to crawl and Darwin could no longer just move away from the pint-sized maul-machine. Things slowly got better from that point and now they even seem to play together. When we brought Wossy home, Darwin already knew the drill and was resigned to his fate. There was no anger with me, just pity for himself. And boy can he ever look pitiful!

Regardless of Darwin’s frustration with ME for having brought children into our home, he has always been incredibly gentle with, and protective of, both the boys. Oee can climb all over Darwin, put whole hands in his mouth, and even ride him like a horse. (While pounding his chest and saying baby gorilla. I know, we have a strange kid with an impressive and weird imagination) We can no longer take Darwin to the park with Oee because he freaks out as soon as Oee is on any playground equipment and is desperate to “rescue” Owen from the slide or teeter totter or god-forbid another child that wants to play with him.

Oee mounting Darwin for a baby gorilla horsey ride and Darwin watching over Wossy as he sleeps.

Oee mounting Darwin for a baby gorilla horsey ride and Darwin watching over Wossy as he sleeps.

It isn’t that surprising, since Darwin has always been protective of us and he can even sound like a guard dog, when he feels like it. He is so protective that he even barks when people come to the door now. (Great job. The dog takes up barking when I have 2 little ones whose naps I desperately rely on. Awesome.) I noticed this last night, when I ran over to my sick sister’s house at midnight and returned home 20 minutes later. Darwin heard me on the porch steps and tried to wake up all three sleeping boys. But Darwin’s protective instinct seems a bit confused, since he stops barking immediately when whoever is outside gets into the house even if he has no idea who it is. So, monkey bars and Jehovah’s Witnesses beware, Darwin is ready for you, but anyone who makes it in to our house, you’ll probably be fine!

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!

Oee’s New Nemesis

Howdy parter! Shirtless is how I roll!

Howdy parter! Shirtless is how I roll!

Recently Oee decided he hates wearing shirts. I understand hating pants. They are tight around the waste and give me muffin top and hurt my tummy. But shirts? They are warm and unoffensive. Regardless of my opinion, Oee now hates wearing shirts. He hates getting them on and insists “No shirt. Shirt off, shirt off.” every time I put one on him. Even if it is green!

Now he knows how to take them off. I have found him shirtless in many situations; during parties, going to sleep, when we are getting ready to go outside. None of them appropriate, but some are less appropriate than others. Especially with the winter we have been having! Today, I went to check on Oee during his nap, to find one arm had manouvered it’s way out the neck hole of his rather snug shirt. On some occasions he has managed to get both arms out that way and wears a sweater as a tube top.

When I correct the renegade arm, he usually gets very upset with me, knowing that he was part way to freedom from his evil jail of a top. Fits of crying and flailing normally ensue. I have learned to handle this. The newest trend is the one that concerns me. Oee thinks Wossy also needs to be freed from the constraint of shirts. Now, in addition to protecting Wossy for Oee’s kisses, hugs, attempts at carrying or trying to share the baby’s seat, I need to make sure he isn’t forcbily stripped naked by his well-meaning brother.

Well, I predict a naked summer in this house! For the boys. I will remain very, very clothed.

Pronunciation Disasters

Oee is doing very well with his communication skills. He loves talking, and never stops! Lots of things are sung to the tune of the wheels on the bus. Whenever a person or animal does something, apparently it should be set to “Wheels Bus” as he says. But singing isn’t Oee’s only language quirk. Like most toddlers, he has pretty interesting pronunciation. Unfortunately, he inherited his mother’s ear structure, so his hearing isn’t great and his pronunciation suffers. Here are two of the most unfortunate words we are working on.

Clocks. Oee loves them. The giant and I each have a clock on our bedside table, but since being a stay at home mom, mine isn’t even plugged in. Oee loves pointing out “mommy’s clock” and “daddy’s clock” and letting us know that “mommy’s clock is broken”. The issue is Oee thinks the L is silent. The bigger issue is he loves telling us about this in public, any time he sees a clock.

The other notoriously silent letters are the first 4 letters in shampoo. Again, the shampoo always belongs to mommy, and he loves talking about it in public.

Oee, loving his bath time with "Oee's poo and mommy's poo"

Oee, loving his bath time with “Oee’s poo and mommy’s poo”

I have learned my best coping mechanism, which I am sure is the way of most toddler parents. Our public conversations start with Oee pointing and saying “Look, mommy poo” in his normal volume. Then I respond “Yes, Oee, that is like mommy’s shampoo. Just like mommy’s shampoo!” In a very loud voice. Thinking about it now, I don’t know why I care that much, but in the moment it is apparently very important to me that the other mom’s and retirees in the drugstore during the day know he is talking about haircare, and that I am not doing anything inappropriate in aisle 3.

Then there is another favourite; “mommy pee pee”. But he is just actually talking about me peeing (I have 2 under 2 and rarely do I have a moment alone, even in the bathroom!), so there is no way to correct that one, and I just have to laugh!