A word to the toddler-wise

Marik just turned two on October 1st and we’re enjoying a whole new lifestyle, it seems. I just had one of the best mornings ever for communicating with him. He could point out where people and objects are on request readily. He could explain that Papa went away in the car with the sentence, “Papa vroom.” He helped me fold diapers and actually helped a tad more than he hindered.

Then, we were sitting at lunch. Shaye is away at preschool today, so it is just the two of us and Marik gets a lot more attention than usual. He was picking at his food, not eating much and I had reminded him to keep eating a few times. Then, he suddenly stood up in his highchair and pointed toward the hallway where our boots and shoes are kept and proclaimed, “Boo boo!” That is often what he says when he wants to put on or better yet play with boots and shoes. His word is closer to “boots” because he learned it in the winter and because the Czech word for shoes “boty” is closer to “boots”, so it nicely doubles.

“No, Marik. It’s time to eat,” I reminded him gently. “Sit down or you might fall and get an owie.”

He refused to sit and suddenly put one foot out into thin air as if to walk out of the high chair. I lunged across the table to prevent this and snapped, “Marik, no!”

At that he retracted his foot but began to sob, while pointing insistently into the hallway and blubbering, “Boo boo! Boo boo!”

I was coming over to put him back in his chair to forestall any more attempts to walk on air, when it hit me. He was not saying “Boo boo” or even “Boots” at all. He was saying “Poo poo!” I grabbed him, stripped off his bib, his overalls and his diaper, while running for the hallway, which also includes the bathroom door and the potty, naturally. I put him on the potty with effusive apologies and he did it!

Now, he has pooped in the potty before but calling for it in advance is a new thing and in my experience it is the primary sign of victory over the poo monster.

I suppose the moral of the story is a reminder to really listen. When a toddler mostly uses monosyllables and rarely makes sense, it can be hard keep the idea that there may be real information in the babble afloat. But the proof is in the… potty on this one. I think it is actually no coincidence that this came on a day when we had had several successful verbal communications. He had just seen that talking works, so he tried it out on something that matters.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Julie
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 20:18:16

    Hooray Marik. Hooray Mama


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