I used to be an adult. An adult who had adult conversations about adult things using adult language.
Now I talk about poo. And penises. ALL DAY.
Phrases like, “don’t put your penis in that” come out of my mouth on the regular, I don’t even blink anymore. It feels normal.
And phrases like, “my poo has gone to sleep” come out of my toddler’s mouth. Because he’s a massive liar and we all know it.
“Mate, do you need to do a poo?”
“Are you sure? You look like you need to do a poo.”
“No, my poo has gone to sleep.”
“Are you sure it’s asleep? Maybe we should go and sit on the toilet and see if it wants to wake up.”
“No, my poo is watching TV.”
See? Almost exactly the same as discussing the budget deficit.
Before we graduated to poo and penises, we had to go through a few stages of speech development:
- First words
LET THE BATTLE BEGIN. Will it be Mumma or Dadda? Will it prove, once and for all who the favourite parent is?
My son’s first word was “cheese,”(priorities) so we both lost out, but then it was Dadda for months before he bothered to acknowledge me. Hearing him say ‘Mummy” was the best sound I’d ever heard. 18 months later, I’m considering changing my name to Sue or perhaps Tiquanisha or something he can’t even pronounce because I swear to God, the kid can’t fart without a “Mummy watch me!” before it.
How PROUD you are when your little snowflake starts to put words together and talk in tiny sentences. The pride starts to fade when you realise he’s not discussing the weather or current events; he’s repeatedly screaming “pick me up!” or making demands, like, “NO BED” or “More biccies!”
Kids are delightful.
- Toddler charades
Once your little one has a few words under their belt, they’ll be chatting non-stop. Except there’ll only be a handful of adults that have the slightest clue what they’re saying because it’s a curious mix of pidgin English, grunts and completely made up words, half of which sound disturbingly R-rated. Talking with them is a never-ending game of charades as everyone tries to guess what they’re saying.
“Rocket? Pocket? Walk it? (*whispers* is he saying fuck it?) Is it one word or two? Does it have wheels? Can you see it right now? Is it an animal? Can you eat it? What sort of sound does it make?”
In our house, a jumpolee is a trampoline, a button is your bum, a no-no is a donut, lout is yoghurt and fifi is finished…. which is all so cute, until you look another adult in the eye and calmly ask for “two cinnamon no-nos please”.
- Little Parrot
The first time your child gleefully roars “wanker!” at a passing driver is an important lesson about a child’s tendency to repeat every last missive that falls from your lips. Suddenly your toddler is holding up his hand and telling you to “wait ONE minute” or to “hurry up” or sighing with his hands on his hips, telling you you’re a “naughty boy”. They’re a walking reflection of everything you say and it can be U.G.L.Y. (You’re properly F.U.C.K.E.D when they learn to spell).
Your little person wants to talk to you and it’s SO adorable! If by adorable, you mean a never-ending, spirit-breaking stream of WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY… It’s like being water boarded with questions.
Isn’t talking fun?
Before your child is capable of logic or reasoning, he’ll have mastered the fine art of deception. Kids will tell you to your face the sky is orange and they invented television.
You’ll walk into a room that has been utterly destroyed and they’ll look up at you with wide, innocent eyes and tell you, categorically, Batman did it. It’s breathtaking in its brazenness and slightly impressive in its conviction.
My son started bawling last week and when his father asked him what was wrong, he tearfully declared, “Mummy PUSHED me!” I was nowhere near him but he was so committed to the cause I almost apologised.
And then of course, you have your own personal PA system. Once your child has become confident enough to hold conversations with complete strangers, they’ll happily do all your publicity. No stranger is left uninformed.
Soon enough, the lady at the post office will know his penis is itchy, the bus driver will find out Uncle George wears women’s clothes and the parking cop will learn you called him a “revenue raising shit pocket,” as you try to sweet talk your way out of a ticket.
Your plan to never speak in front of your child ever again is foiled when you learn they are an expert-level eavesdropper.
- Accidental comedians
The most fun stage, by far, is when your kids start saying the most hilarious things without even realising it.
Recently I was telling my son how much I loved fairy bread and I gave him a slice thinking he’d love it too. He told me it was yuck because he didn’t like the “little balls” on the bread, meaning the sprinkles. I told him I love sprinkles and ate his slice. Later on, he couldn’t wait to tell daddy that “mummy loves balls!”
Daddy required an explanation for that one…
What’s the best thing your child has ever blurted out?
This post was first published at Kidspot