Saturday, November 21, 2009


Sometimes communicating with a 3-year-old can be a challenge.  And by "challenge" I mean "impossibly futile".  To demonstrate this, let me talk you through an actual conversation I had with MY 3-year-old recently.  A conversation that no doubt sounded ridiculous to a fly on the wall and left me feeling like a bumbling idiot when all was said and done.

N:  "Um, Mommy, where pain?"
Me: *Pausing*  "Where's the PEN?"
N: "No, where PAIN?"
Me: "Your what?"
N: "My PAIN!"
Me: "Paint?"
N: "No, Mommy, my pain...Where'd pain go?"
Me: "I don't know what you mean, honey...pain?  what does it look like?"
N: "My pain, Mommy...down there" *pointing at floor of car*  (like THAT helps in my car!)
Me: *Thinking quickly to what he had earlier that he could possibly be referring to - his shoe, his matchbox car, the magna doodle, and ultimately coming up blank with anything that sounds remotely like PAIN - so I try anything* "Paper?  Sippy?  Boo Bankie?  Alex?  Daddy?  Dinosaur?" (Don't ask - I was desperate at this point)
N:  *Looks at me like I have three heads and have completely lost it*
Me:  *Talking it out (out loud)*  "Your pain..."  "Pen?" (um, no...tried that) "You have a pain?" (huh?)..."You want to pray?" 
N:  *Looks at me sternly*  "Mommy.  Pain."  *Makes sound of an airplane and mimics flying motion as he points again, to the floor of the car*
Me: *Finally getting it*  "OH!  PLANE!"

Right.  Got it.  (Truth be told, I didn't know we even HAD a plane in the car.)  Now it makes perfect sense.  Of course.  Plane.  Silly me.

Similar conversations have been exchanged with "Dizzy" (which apparently means THIRSTY),  "Saynil" (which is Toddler for NATHANIEL),  "Purses" (which for the record means BUSHES - "as in BLUEBERRY Purses, Mom!"), and "Free" which is what the rest of us actually call a TREE.  It kills me, though.  This kid can say CORNUCOPIA, but for some reason I sound like a three-year-old myself trying to decipher the word PLANE.   Go figure.   


Sarah said...

Oh I hear you girl. And here's a tidbit from my house. Our almost-three year old refuses to say F's in his words. He can pronounce an F all alone. But when he uses it in a word, it turns into "sh." So! I constantly have to interpret his words and consciously remind myself that SHREES is trees and SHOWERS could really be flowers. "Sh" even appears mid-word, as in ASHTER, WASHLES, and MUSHINS. Did you catch that?

I alternate between laughing it off/calling it cute and getting all pissy about it as I try to get him to say the words right. Yup. He's the middle child so he promptly turns his back and stomps and says, "NO. I'm not!" And that, my shriend, is that.

Tifkota said...

Thank you for the chuckle this morning!!! That was so awesome! You really have a way of writing, Sweets. I feel like I was sitting in the passenger seat, trying to brainstorm with you, during this exchange. Someday we are going to miss their toddler-speak (sigh). xoxo

Heidi said...

You will be so grateful to have written this down in a few years. The kids and I were just discussing what they used to call things when they were younger and I had a hard time remember a lot of them. Chloe used to call horses "sophies" and Jayden used to call oatmeal "oakeyo". Ava called a spoon, "shoem". I am sure I have more of them written in their baby books but they are escaping me at this point!