All kids are cute. Then they start talking, and they get even cuter. When they’re not saying—er, screaming—“NOOOOOOOO!!!” that is.
Case in point: The other day, my 2-and-a-half-year-old requested that I read his Star Wars: Colors book to him. Now, I’m a huge Star Wars nerd and have been since I was 2, so I’m always ridiculously thrilled when he requests something Star Wars–related. Anyway, on the cover is a picture of Darth Vader and Boba Fett. I asked him who they were, and he confidently pointed at Darth Vader and said, “His name is…Darth Vader!” When he looked at Boba Fett, he took a few seconds, scrunched up his face in thought and then said, “Alphabet?” I couldn’t stop laughing.
And that’s the thing about kids. They inadvertently say the most adorable things—things that are confused, garbled, mispronounced, grammatically incorrect and just plain wrong—and it’s the best thing ever. Especially on the worst days ever. Here are a few oft-repeated turns of phrase from my toddler that always make me smile.
“I want hungry.” My little guy is not so little. He just turned 2 and a half, and he’s already over 38 inches tall and 37 solid pounds of muscle—yes, muscle. No Buddha belly on this kid, and he’s got calf muscles that would make NBA players jealous. So you’d be right to surmise that he likes to eat, and when hunger knocks at his tummy, he can’t think straight. “I want food” and “I’m hungry” get mushed into “I want hungry,” and Mommy had better hurry up.
“I see cwowns!” Translation: “I see clowns!” Specifically, the clowns in Dumbo and the clowns that adorn the Central Park Carousel. He’s obsessed, so we hear this phrase a lot, even when clowns aren’t in our immediate vicinity. My son has an issue pronouncing his r’s and his l’s, and I’m glad that he’s too young to correct, because it’s so darn cute…even if his love of clowns isn’t. Apparently my pregnancy reading of Stephen King’s It didn’t get transferred in utero, which I find semi-distressing.
“Don’t worry, Mommy. I’ll rescue you.” Whenever he says this—or its variation, where he tells me he’ll “fix it”—my heart melts. The first time it happened, we were playing with firehouse stickers. When I said, “Oh, no! There’s a fire!” this is how he responded. My hero.
“The poo-poo’s coming!” If I think that the extended time on the potty isn’t going anywhere and he’s more interested in reading books than doing the actual deed, he reminds me that he’s there for a reason. I have to be patient…just like his potty book says.
“I so proud of you.” I really am, for so many things. (And I say it with the verb, of course.) I always try to praise him for a job well done, like the research recommends, not just for him being him—which, admittedly, is pretty awesome. But now, when my little man knows he’s done something praiseworthy, he sometimes heads me off at the pass and takes the words right out of my mouth. He also praises me when I go pee-pee on the potty. Um, thanks for the positive reinforcement, kid.
“I play a tuba…and a trombone…and a violin…and a flute…and a piccolo…and the drums…and cymbals…and a saxophone…and the trumpet…” The list goes on and on and on, and it’s the first thing out of his mouth every single morning. No joke. I don’t know if he’s been dreaming about conducting his very own orchestra, he’s recounting a concert we saw, or music is just the first thing he thinks of in the morning. Whatever it is, he gets so excited that there’s usually a toy guitar in his hands before breakfast.
“The egg is hatching! Baby’s coming!” I think his obsession with things that hatch started with the Museum of Natural History’s fossilized dinosaur egg…and is exacerbated every time he watches Tiny, Shiny, Don and Buddy hatch in Dinosaur Train’s opening montage. His love of hatching now encompasses all things that hatch, which makes attempting to scramble eggs simultaneously exciting and uncomfortable as he occasionally starts wondering where the babies are after the eggs have been scrambled. Um…any idea how to explain fertilization to a 2-year-old?
“I want hair! Take it down!” My son never had a blankie; instead, he had—and still has—my hair. And he thinks it’s his. If I dare to put it up in a pony tail and he wants it, he demands that I take it down. When I start laughing at his bossy little request, he laughs back…unless I don’t comply. Then my little dictator’s demands get louder and shriller, and he attempts to pull it down for me.
“We have great time!” My son likes to narrate his fun. The first time he said this to me was after a long, awesome day at a zoo in Florida. It was a Mommy-toddler date day while Dad and Grandpa were golfing, and we had fed the giraffes, eaten ice cream and raced around in toy trucks. As he rested his head on my shoulder on the way to the car, he mumbled this phrase. I almost started crying. Now, he announces that we’re having fun as soon as it starts. Literally, we could be at the pool for three minutes and he’ll start telling me about how epic it is.
“Thank you, Mommy.” The one makes me feel like I’m doing something right. “Bless you” after a sneeze is a close second.
“I love you, Mama.” And this one makes me feel like nothing else in the world matters.