Toddler Speech- Monkey See, Monkey Do!
YEAH IT’S THURSDAY! Time for some True Tales from the Pink &Blue Trenches– Our weekly series on toddlers, boy vs. girl style! This week we host our friends, Melissa and her gals from Home On Deranged!
Enjoy learning about Melissa’s “Mini-Me’s” and how she has recognized herself, in their speech development!
This week, it’s my turn here at Home on Deranged to pause for a moment and think about toddler speech. If our kids really do learn everything they know by watching us, then what the heck have I been teaching my kids??
At some point, you start to recognize that toddlers are little people, all their own. They have certain things they like and don’t like, places they like to go and places they can’t wait to leave, people they like and people that could disappear and they wouldn’t worry about it for one single second.
The truth is, though, that from the minute they arrive on the planet, our kids are watching us. Every. Single. Second. of the day. They watch how we dress, how we fight, how we eat, what we eat, things that make us laugh, gestures we make when we’re mad/happy/sad and more.
So it really shouldn’t have come as such a shock to me when I started seeing my behaviors being reflected back to me by my kids. They fold and refold their tiny baby blankets every day. Because I fold and refold the big blankets in our living room the same way. They pick up books and “read” to themselves (or their baby dolls) because that’s what they’ve seen me do.
But the words….you spend so much energy trying to get them to talk, sing and eventually read, it can be a bit of a jolt when you realize they are doing it. Just like you.
The “okay” epiphany
The day it finally dawned on me that my children really were listening to me? The “You okay, Mommy?” moment. Leelou has picked up speech at a faster pace than Annie, which makes sense. One day, she walks up to me, pats me on the shoulder and says, “You okay, Mommy?” After I said yes, she walked to Thomas and asked if he was okay. Finally, she asked her sister the same thing.
At first, I laughed. It was cute and sweet. And I wondered where she learned it. And then, of course, I realized, it was me. I have a chronic condition. I am a human barometer. I have an incessant, constant need to make sure everyone in the room is comfortable. If someone seems sad or upset, I say, “Are you okay?” If one of the girls takes a spill and I’m certain that there is no blood involved, I’ll say, “Are you okay?” If my husband comes in from completing a chore, I’ll ask, “Everything go okay?”
Leelou and Annie both love to drag you into whatever adventure they are having. They’ll come grab your hand and say, “Come on!” Over and over until you get up and follow. Guess what? My husband frequently says, “Come on, guys!” Sometimes it’s a jovial, follow me! kind of phrase, and sometimes it’s an exasperated seriously? kind of phrase.
Since the first of the year, Annie has taken to saying “Awww, man!” when she finds herself mildly disappointed. If I tell her we’re out of a certain snack she wants, “aww, man!” is her response. It took me a while, but then one day I heard Thomas say, “awww, man!” as an alternative to cursing. Awww, frick!
Leelou loves sweets. Like, a lot. About as much as she loves books, baby dolls and baby wipes. She has a real weakness for Tic-Tacs. I noticed she kept saying, “Two more?” every time I gave her some. Then I noticed that when we read books, she says, “Two more?” And when she asks for a baby wipe, she’ll throw in, “Two more?”
This code was the hardest to crack, because I never noticed Thomas saying anything remotely like that, and I never overheard myself saying it. I even eavesdropped on my dad and my sister to see if they did it. Then one night it happened. It was bedtime, and we had made Enjoy our way through the normal books. Leelou moves away from me, says, “More books?” and I say, “Two more.” She holds up two little fingers and says, “Two more?”
Turns out, Thomas was right. I really need to improve my vocabulary.
Every had an epiphany moment with your kids? Where you realize what they say or what they do is simply because you did it? Heady stuff, my friends. Share some of your moments with me in comments!
Enjoy this tale? Make sure to visit Melissa at Home on Deranged, she is actually this funny & clever- ALL THE TIME!♥