Parenting 2.0

Posts Tagged ‘vocabulary

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…

As has been proven many times, Niko is definitely good with the letter “N”. Afterall, “No!” is a regular in his limited, but ever expanding repertoire of vocabulary. Why then, does he insist on calling himself “Kiko”? For some reason when Niko talks about himself, we only hear the following:

Me: Who’s in this picture, Niko?

Niko: Kiko!

Or when asserting his independence.

Niko: Kiko do it! Kiko do it!

I’m not sure what it is, but when it comes to his name the “N” certainly is elusive. He must be harbouring his “N” power for all the emphatic and clearly stated “NO!”s that fly around our house on a seemingly regular weekly daily hourly basis.

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.

Mornings can be hectic. Despite the fact that I am now a stay at home mom, sans toddler*, the mornings still have a way of running at a quick pace. I mean Borys still gets ready for work, Niko has to be duly aided in his morning routine, and I, well I am sort of just sitting at the sidelines doing my best to ensure the process runs smoothly.

As of late Niko’s vocabulary is expanding on a daily basis. Even just this morning, I heard “dolphin”, “whale” and “sharp” for the first time. Now while “dolphin” and “whale” can be easily explained – he has two little bath toys in their likeness that he insisted on carrying around with him today. “Sharp” is a little more worrisome.

This is how it all happened… Niko had finished his breakfast and was scooting around our main floor, playing with his cars, bugging Frasier, and running around in circles between our kitchen, hallway, living room and dining room. And this was all before 8 AM. Mind you, I was close at hand, busy at the dining room table, checking email. Nothing pressing in there really, but you know, once you get to the inbox zone, the background noise of daily living becomes a sort of ambiance much like the white noise of a television. So, as I’m checking email, and Niko’s delighting himself by scurrying around our main floor I am only vaguely aware of what he’s saying. But whatever it is, he’s got it on repeat and soon enough it becomes clear. He’s gleefully repeating “sharp”, “sharp”, “sharp”, while he’s running his route. Sharp!? Wait a minute. His repetition of this word busts me free from my email reverie and focuses me on what’s actually happening.

I look up to see Niko running his loop, smile on face, with the BBQ tongs in hand and with “sharp” continually spouting from his mouth. Needless to say the tongs were immediately revoked, and the tears of loss ensued, but with a little redirection he was just as happy to be running with Lightning McQueen as he had been with the tongs. Geesh. We keep the knives out of reach, but who would have thought the tongs to be so enticing. Lesson learned.

* My main job these days is incubating. Our little girl is due January 1, and seeing as I have a high-risk pregnancy with a few complications I am off work and currently on modified bedrest.

Both Borys and I love to read, and we agree that it is important to pass this love onto Niko.  He can learn so much from reading; he can learn about history, expand his imagination, learn new vocabulary: the list is endless and the benefits are amazing. A few times since Niko was born I have tried to read to him.  At first I was reading his books, but he really paid no attention. So then I figured, since we wasn’t exactly getting the gist of the story I would read my books to him.  I think at the time I was reading the novel Half Broke Horses, so I gave that a whirl.  I’ve heard that babies just like the rhythm of reading, so it doesn’t really matter what you read to them, as long as they can hear the rhythmic tone of your voice. But even reading my novel to him wasn’t too inspirational, for him or me.

Anyway, seeing as I have noticed an improvement in his hand eye coordination, I decided to try one of his books again yesterday, and he seemed to really enjoy it.  We were looking at (I can’t really say reading, as there is no written story line in this particular book, it is more left up to the imagination of the child and the reader how the story will develop) a soft book called Discovery Farm, that he received as a Christmas gift from Dziadzio. The book is filled with lots of bright colours and textures, and Niko even reached out for the pages and seemed to turn them.  But he also had a hankering for just biting the pages, hence the title of this blog entry. 🙂

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