The frustrations of toddler talk

Watching a child grow up can be the most wonderful, exciting and fascinating thing. At each milestone, you stand amazed at whatever new feat they have achieved. Each time they succeed at something new, you feel the love in your heart burn a little stronger and think that nothing can beat this…until, of course, the next time they do something new.

This has been my experience of parenthood. Every few months I’d find myself muttering ‘this is my favourite bit’. At first it was the bum shuffling, then the improved sleeping (obviously!), then the garbled ‘mama’, then the Bambi-like stumbling from chair to chair, then the walking, then the talking and the singing and the actual ability to have conversations. Each time I was thrilled that this was better than the last feat, and that there was no way it could get any better. Each time I was wrong.
Until this time…
While a part of me still remains incredulous each time my little boy opens his mouth and utters a sentence, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find it cute when half the words are suddenly made up of indescribable sounds and twisted words. Sure it’s cute at first, but try asking ‘what would you like for a snack’ and repeatedly receiving answers such as ‘I waaaaant aaaaa…pummel!’ and the cuteness soon wears off. Same goes for a ‘pand’, a ‘boona’, a ‘fissoo’ and various other nonsensical words which wouldn’t look out of place in a Dr Seuss book. 
Seriously, what the **** is a pummel? I have just finished a full day of work, need to start cooking dinner and could do without completing a critic crossword style puzzle just to figure out what kind of fruit my child is willing to eat!
It only gets worse though. When the inexplicable shrieks and noises stop (and they don’t often), then the real annoyance starts…
‘I’m hungry’
‘What would you like to eat?’
‘I don’t know’
‘I want a chat’
‘What do you want to chat about?’
‘My day’
‘So what did you do today?’
‘I don’t know’
‘What did you eat for lunch today?’
‘I don’t know’
‘Why are you crying?’
‘I don’t know’
‘What do you want to do now?’
‘I don’t know’
I’m not sure if it’s the phrase itself, the regularity with which it is churned out or the fact that 99% of the time it is accompanied by a cheeky smile which seems to say ‘I’m only saying this to wind you up’, but it really does wind me up.
I got through the ‘what’s that’ phase unscathed and still thinking it was sweet. I am surviving the constant singing phase (constant singing with made up words of course!) and, to be honest, I kind of like it! Even if it is a little frustrating. I’ve prepared myself for the ‘why’ phase which I know is probably going to be a nightmare. But if this deliberately annoying non-talking phase doesn’t stop soon, I may need to start mushing up the pages of dictionaries and hiding them under his sausages in the hope that the words make their way into his brain via his digestive system. He spent all those months learning the flipping words, why not just use them?!

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