Parenting 2.0

Archive for the ‘Vocabulary Expansion’ Category

How many times have you sat and looked at your baby? Perhaps a look of confusion, intermingled with exhaustion crosses your face, while your baby cries or contorts her body in some way that just doesn’t seem to make sense. You do what you can to help, to cease the crying, but after all has failed you are left with this crying babe in your arms, or in her bassinet and you continue to wonder what the heck is going on.

Yesterday my friend Heather sent me a link to a YouTube clip with an Australian lady talking about her findings on Baby Speak. And really, who doesn’t like a good dose of retro-Oprah? If you’ve got 16 minutes check it out! Or if you’re curious what these 5 baby speak words are check it out. According to Dunstan these words cross gender and ethnicity. They are universal words/reflexes that all babies say/do, in order to communicate feelings of hunger and discomfort.

At first I balked at a 16 minute YouTube clip, but once I started watching I was hooked. It could have been that no-fail Oprah-esqueness that lured me in, or the fact that the clip was highly relatable to me and my 2.5 week old baby, but I actually watched and enjoyed the whole thing and it gave me some food for thought and apparently enough fodder for a blog post.

Anyway, Dunstan claims these words are spoken by all babies from 0 – 3 months and she’s even videoed a variety of babies “speaking” the language. Which you can see in the clip. Want to see the clip? Check it out here: 5 Words Babies Use. So post video, I spent the wee hours of last night and a good portion of today listening for these baby words – apparently it gets easier to decipher them with practice, but I think I did hear a few “eh, eh, eh”s. So, yes Mom, I guess she did need to burp…

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Happy to be 34!

This week I celebrated my birthday! I Turned 34 and I’m 34 weeks pregnant! Yah – my wish is coming true!

The morning of my birthday went something like this:

Daddy: Niko, it’s Mama’s birthday! Happy birthday, Mama! Here give her this card.

Niko: Hap birff-day Mama!

Me: Thanks Niko! Do you know how old I am?

Niko: … in thought…

Me: How old is Mama, Niko?

Niko: Six! Six, Mama!

Well, since he’s probably never heard the likes of a number above 10 or maybe 20, I’ll take six.

Me: Niko, Mama’s thirty-four!

Niko: Firty-four? … Six Mama! Mama Six!

If you’ve ever been around a toddler, even for a little while, you’d know that deciphering their toddler speak is not the easiest of tasks. Even if you’re the parent. Most of the time I can get what Niko’s saying, but then other times I’m just like “Huh?”.

So earlier today, amidst the morning chaos, as I’m doing dishes, packing Daddy’s lunch, sweeping the floor, putting the dog out, trying not to step on all the cars that seemed to have gathered underfoot and all the while having the willing hands and smile of a two year old trying to help me out, I was once again faced with the reality of not being able to clearly understand my little tyke.

This morning I imbued him with the new task of putting the cheese and cucumber back in the fridge. I haphazardly passed him the two grocery bags that had the items, and he of course fiddled with them until he was holding each bag by it’s proper handle, and by that time they were dragging on the floor. Then he couldn’t get the fridge door open because his hands here full, so I set it ajar and he figured out the rest.

So while I’m chopping and organizing Daddy’s lunch, Niko’s chattering away to himself (or me – sometimes it’s hard to tell) with the fridge door open. And the way our fridge is set up, the open door completely blocks him from view. So I can hear him, but I can’ t see him. He seems to be talking about his ice cold fish, and he’s going on and on about it:

“Ice Cold! Ice Cold! Ice Cold!” and getting progressively more and more excited!

He actually has a little gel-filled ice pack that we keep in the fridge, adorned with the picture of a fish, that we use in those moments of crisis when only ice seems to help his boo boos. Anyway, from time to time he catches a glimpse of it in the fridge and wants to take it out. So I assume that’s what he’s talking about:

“Ice Cold! Ice Cold! Ice Cold Mama!”.

And again, he’s getting more and more excited and I’m just pretty focused on packing this lunch in front of me.

At last, Niko emerges from behind the fridge door still excitedly exclaiming “Ice cold Mama!” and now having added giggling and hopping back and forth from foot to foot to his excitement, all the while smiling up at me and transferring a raw egg precariously from hand to hand.

Me???? Finally cluing in…

It wasn’t “Ice cold!”, but rather “Egg hold! Egg hold! Egg hold, Mama!”


How he got the raw egg out of the carton, and into my line of vision without breaking it, I’ll never know! I’m just thankful I got to rescue that fragile shell from his helping hands before it added to my “to-do” list.

Borys was surprised to overhear the following conversation between Niko and me when he got home from work the other day.

Niko: Mama Bi-dtch. You bi-dtch! Bi-dtch mama. You bi-dtch.

Borys: What’s going on down there?

Niko and I were in the basement playroom.

Me: We’re just playing with Niko’s cars and blocks.

Borys: But what’s Niko saying?

Me: He wants me to build a bridge.

Borys: Oh, well it sounds like he’s saying something else.

Me (finally cluing in): Hahahhahaa. Niko what do you want Mama to do?

Niko: Bi-dtch Mama. You bi-dtch.

Seems his toddler-speak only allows for two or three word sentences. And in this case, the missing “build a” between the “you” and the “bridge” made for an interesting play on words. Anyway, seeing as he’s got a love-on for bridges these days we only thought it was fair to forewarn his daycare provider of his newfound, or maybe better described as lack of, vocabulary skills, just in case he decided he wanted a bridge at daycare.

We could just see him: “Sherri bi-dtch. You bi-dtch!” and the ensuing look of puzzlement and concern on her face. Not to mentions the questions to follow once we picked him up…

Ever since Niko received a basketball net from Santa last year, it has become one of his prized possessions. We have it set up in our basement, which really has no other furnture in it, leaving lots of room for a makeshift court. Every day Niko can be heard asking begging pleading to go down there and shoot some hoops.

“Bass-be-ball! Bass-be-ball! Bass-be-ball!

Peas Mama! Bass-be- ball!”

Bass-be-ball: That’s his version of “basketball”.

Peas: Please

The other day when Dziadzio and I* picked up Niko from daycare the little guy was in one those moods where his favourite response was “No”. Now, when he’s in a playful Mood No you can’t help but test him. Perhaps by asking such questions as: Did you have fun today?, Do you love Frasier? Do you like pizza? etc. All the while knowing that the only thing to come out of his mouth will be “No”.

While at times these moods are playful, at other times Mood No can be downright, what’s the word: Cynical? Scornful? Haughty? And at times like these the “No” comes out accompanied by a pout and perhaps a glaring from and/or narrowing of the eyes. Whereas in a playful Mood No the “No” comes out with a smirk and a sparkle in the eye. Anyway, on this particular day, the day when Dziadzio and I picked him up, the no-tone was negative, and that’s when Dziadzio stated very matter of factly, while emphasizing each syllable,  that “He is in Mood No.” And hence the term was born. Mood No. Brilliant.

So today, once again little Niko was in Mood No, but a playful one, and this is how the conversation went.

Daddy: Can you say monster?

N: No.

Daddy: Can you say Frasier?

N: No.

Daddy: Can you say ball? (Aferall, how could he resist saying “ball”, one of his very first words and one of his most beloved things to say and play with?)

N: No.

Daddy: Niko, say ball.

N: No.

Daddy: Can you say no?

N: Silence

Daddy: Niko, can you say no?

N: Silence, wheels turning…

Daddy: Say no.

N: Ball! Hahahahahaha

I love seeing Niko’s sense of humour developing!

* Dziadzio has been a wonderful help over the past few weeks. Seeing as I am pregnant and under doctor’s orders not to lift my little tyke, Dziadzio shows up every day to help me pick up Niko from daycare (by literally, picking him up and strapping him into his carseat, etc.!) Thank goodness for helping hands.

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“Claaay-er. Ott-tra.”

These utterances are now commonplace for our little man, and can often be heard in the car ride home from daycare. Upon first hearing these words, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of them. After all, deciphering toddler speak isn’t always the easiest of tasks, and I hate it when I have to tell him, “I don’t understand what you’re saying.” So after hearing these words over and over I finally decoded their meaning as the names of Niko’s beloved cousins, who he had spent a few weeks with during the summer.

Mama: Claire and Audra?

Niko: Uh-huh. (We’re working on “yes”.)

Mama: Do you want to call Claire and Audra?

Niko: Uh-huh. (huge smile)

Upon our arrival home we logged into Skype and called his big cuzzies. Of course once he could see them Niko was a little short on words, that was unless one of them stepped out of camera view. Then it was “Where did Claaay-er go?” or “Where did Ott-tra go?”. And the cuzzies would then come back into screen view only to be greeted by Niko’s adoring smile and giggles.

Note: Photo credits go to Grandad! Snapping pics with his new camera at Peggy’s Cove.

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  • bsw bsw: Here I am reading this blog 10+ years later with tears in my eyes. Just last Friday Frasier past away. He was an amazing dog and a cherished member of
  • Borys: You go girl!
  • alliwaw: Thanks Marion! Back to bball this Tuesday, so we will see how the wrist feels. Running, is a weekend thing...


Alli & Baby Niko

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