Friday, February 3, 2012

Stuff My Kid Says, Just Hopefully Not In Public

This is a magical time to be a parent.  My daughter will be two years old in a little over a month, and she's already scaring the four year-olds at story time.  Instead of saying, "Hello, what's your name?" she just walks right up them and puts her face about two inches from theirs and smiles.  I think it's adorable, of course, but I suspect that the other parents do not.  I also think it's hilarious to watch the four and five year-olds, who are just discovering the concept of personal space, react to a two year-old that is invading theirs.  The panic in their eyes cannot be replicated.

Anyway, our Munchkin's vocabulary is growing exponentially.  She describes her life with vivacious enthusiasm.  A simple "we played outside" becomes "WE PLAYED OUTSIDE!"  Every small discovery is like finding the Rosetta Stone.  "AIRPLANE!"  Every new sight and sound must be reported as if I were some note-taking assistant to a scientist in the Amazon, cataloging each new species as she finds it.  But she has also begun turning phrases that I don't really like.

Here are some of her best so far (with translation and dialog example):

I can't want to! (Translation: I don't want to!) 

Me: "Come get your diaper changed."
Her: "I can't want to!"

I know she doesn't really mean that she can't possibly have the desire to do something.  Of course she can.  I don't want to raise a child that is not self-motivated though, so I do correct her with what she means to say by saying, "You can't tell daddy that you don't want to.  You need to listen to daddy."  She needs to know that I hold the power of the cannot!

I can't like it! (Translation: I don't like it!)

Me: "Why aren't you eating these chicken nuggets I cooked for you?"
Her: "I can't like nuggets."

Even though I know she means "do not" I still hear her say "cannot," and this one hurts.  Especially since I cooked these nuggets for her as a healthy alternative to the processed product from the grocery store.  These gourmet nuggets are fit for a princess, and she just cannot possibly like them. I don't think they're as salty.  I will just have to wean her off of the store-bought nuggets and slowly change her over to the new ones.  It's like changing a dog over from Old Roy to something high-end like Nutro, minus the vomiting on the carpet.  Hey, no analogy is perfect.

Get off of me! (Translation: Get off of me!)

This usually happens when she gets tickled, or when mommy or I am changing her diaper.  I can't really say much about this one.  I used to say the same thing to my dad when he tickled me.  I come from a long line of strong ticklers.  Our big hands are good for more than just turning wrenches - we make fantastic tickle monsters.

It's mines! (Translation: It's mine!)

Me: Can you please give the toy back?
Her: It's mines!
Me: Yes, the toy is yours, but you also need to share with your friends, and she was playing with it first.  Now say you're sorry for taking the toy away.

Children are naturally selfish.  They come out of the womb grabbing, mostly for a vessel filled with milk, but still, that's some sense of entitlement.  Am I right, moms?  It's our job to teach them to share.  So, while I reinforce the fact that the toy is hers, I also encourage her to share with her friends.  This doesn't always work, and that's what it's time to remove the child from the situation and deal with the correction away from the other children. If you stand in a room full of toddlers trying to get yours to share while she's bawling her eyes out, you just look like a fool.

C'mon, it's be fun! (C'mon, it'll be fun!)

Her: Let's run real fast, Daddy!
Me: Daddy is making dinner, can we run later?
Her: C'mon, it's be fun!

On one hand, I feel bad when I have to turn down fun times running around the house in order to get something done, but it happens.  On the other hand, I don't want my child to grow up to be a pusher or a bully.  People, mostly teenagers, do a lot of stupid things in the name of fun.  I try to teach her that there is a time and place for fun as well as doing chores like helping Daddy clean up the giant pile of stuffed animals in her bedroom.  I do like having fun though.  So I usually cave in.  I'm such an enabler!

What I don't want to hear is the first three phrases said out loud in public.

I don't want to!
I don't like it!
Get off of me!

Then we've got an entirely different problem as somebody will be calling the police.


  1. I love the "I can't like it" quote, because literally it translates to "I'm trying to like it, I really am, but I just can't!"

  2. Your daughter is simply adorable! Her precocity is priceless! :) I can only imagine the things she'll say when she gets a little older...

  3. I know, right? Thanks for stopping by!

  4. This is a great post, Matthew! My youngest is now 3 and she's struggling to pronounce her L's and her R's and the TH sound correctly, so we are really working with her to get her to use the correct pronunciation. Most frustrating to me is when she asks, "mommy, how owd awe you?" and I reply that I'm 38. She then will say, "oh, youw 48?" NO...38..."fats what I said, 48." Ugh!! Lol! Kids are so funny...except when they aren't. And yes I would agree with you 100%. Those are definitely phrases you don't want her saying in public.


  5. @Rosann - I hear you on the L's and R's. My daughter tells everyone she "cwaps at the library". She is, of course, talking about clapping during the songs at story time, but everyone things the other word. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Stopping by from VoiceBoks. I couldn't resist!

    I just love that you're weaning her off the processed food. It's much easier when they're younger, trust me. I have a 16 and 13 year old.

    I liked her post. Very real and I can relate!

  7. @ThePepperificLife - Thanks for coming by! Your comment got flagged for moderation for some reason. Sorry! I appreciate the kind words.



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