On a regular basis I find myself completely shocked by how quickly Bingo is growing and changing. As I try to shove her foot into a suddenly-too-small shoe, as she climbs down a short set of stairs, as she casually says “octopus” as if it’s no big deal, my breath catches and I find myself wondering, “When did that happen?”
And then the moment passes. We hand the too small shoes onto friends, she climbs down longer flights of stairs, octopus gets added to her daily vocabulary, and I forget when it was new.
All of this watching a person learn and grow is wonderful, and miraculous, and exactly how things are supposed to be. It also means that old things are forgotten and left behind: that silly way she would wiggle across the floor replaced by a proper crawl, that crawl replaced by the inelegant thudding of her steps. As the days of babyhood disappear and toddlerhood whirls through our house in a mess of strewn washcloths, spilled food, uncontained giggles, and full body hugs, I’m acutely aware of how quickly toddler quirks come and go. Right now the thing that’s changing the fastest is her language. It isn’t just “octopus”: new words are appearing every day. As those words come, they replace the babbles, gestures, and toddler vocabulary that came before them. I want to see what comes next, of course, but I don’t want to forget those old things either. For the sake of recordkeeping, here are some of the toddlerisms I want to remember the most:
- Before Bingo could say “phone”, she would say “hello?” instead, holding her hand up to her ear.
- A couple of months ago, she realized that Sea and I have names other than mummy/mommy. She now uses mummy/mommy and our actual names interchangeably. She does this in a particular nagging tone that makes me wonder how Sea and I sound when we talk to each other.
- If I ask her, “Do you want to walk or do you want me to carry you?” she always replies “Carryyou!”
- “Ketchup” is “kepuch”.
- “Open” is “apoot!”
- She calls letters (written words, letter magnets, the alphabet song) “ABs” and points them out with great excitement whenever she sees them.
- She identifies colours correctly most of the time now. Before she could, every colour was purple. Every number greater than one is two.
- She pronounces the hard c sound as a t. “Come!” is “tum!” and “okay” is “otay”. She’ll hold a favourite toy or stuffed animal close (often after intentionally throwing it) and ask, “Otay? Otttaaay?”
There are more of these toddlerisms, I’m sure of it—ones that I’m already forgetting. These are just some of the ones that I want to hold on to, and this post is my way of tucking them away for the future. When Bingo speaks only in sentences full of clear words, I hope that I’ll be able to read this post and let her strange, perfect toddler language echo clearly in my mind.
For those of you who have/had small children, any favourite toddlerisms to share?