Toddler Translation

Buh-bye! –
A multi-use word, meaning in some cases “we are going to be in different locations” (is occasionally a suggestion or order) and in others “I don’t have anything to say– this usually gets rave reviews”)

Cat –

Dadu! –
Hark!  Something vaguely associated with dad, such as someone parking near the house, airplanes, or a door opening, or a computer starting in a three-block radius.

Hello/Ello! –
I have something vaguely electronic and am holding it up to my ear.

Hi! –
Greetings, person who doesn’t know me from Adam’s off ox. I don’t think you’ll give me attention if I act shy, so direct confrontation is indicated!  Now fuss over me, none of those who already know and love me get this kind of service!

Oops –
Look, mom, gravity is still working; pick up my fork and I’ll show you again.

Oowooowoow –
 Two meanings, sometimes overlapping: “that didn’t work” and “I am uncomfortable in this position.  Help.”

 A 99% sure winner, meaning something like “I want another one, and keep the attention coming.”

Uh-oh –
Alert!  Alert!
 For use in situations such as: the timer is going off, the microwave is going off, the cat just knocked something down, I just knocked something down, the things I am playing with won’t do what I want, the cat just got out of range, and I think mom will be mad when she sees me and I think she’s about to see me, the toy fell over, the music stopped.
 Secondary meaning: Oooh, I can type!  (applied for anything with a keypad, unless it looks more like a remote; never used when trying to use phone to adjust TV)

UP! –
 A new word, meaning either “I wish to be in your arms” or “I want to reach that!” Sometimes both.

(clapping) –
Another multi-meaning bit of vocab; means “yay,” “hark, I hear clapping” and “I am too occupied to say ‘uh-oh’.”

(shrill sobbing)
I am tired of this!  MOOOM!  FIX IT!  (Applies to everything from “I want something I can’t reach” and “the toy won’t do what I’m trying to get it to do” through “I am uncomfortable due to hunger, thirst, lack of sleep, the hairband I just put on my arm or lack of cuddles.”)

RUN, do not walk, and find out what I am doing.  It’s a coin flip if I’ve figure out how to reach the butcher block, or if I am calmly playing tickle-the-cat.

(Life is really busy.  Very limited net for the next few days– even compared to of late.  On the upside, our back porch/yard has never looked nicer, and I have an amazing crop of catnip.  Too bad the cat is a pothead without the stuff, and seems to prefer simple grass or the lemon thyme…..)


5 thoughts on “Toddler Translation”

  1. “Uh-oh”, one of the earliest phrases toddlers add to their vocabularies, is just about as abstract as you can get.

    But when they use it, it's nearly always appropriate. :-)

  2. One of my earliest memories — from the time before I could speak coherent words — involves understanding abstract concepts; specifically, understanding 'true' and 'false' … and 'intentional falsehood'.

  3. My grandson isn't at that point yet. He's more interested in the physical than the vocal. He did push an empty shopping cart all over WallyWorld, then pushed a shopping cart with 2 cases of Pepsi all over WallyWorld — at 16 months old. :)

  4. Hehe, Kit is 18 months old and often demands to be put down to help me push the cart. ^.^ She's pretty powerful for only being 25 pounds!

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