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.

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.

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.