When my son turned 2 years, his practitioner voiced some concern that he might be a little behind in his speech. It was something I tried to keep in mind, that we needed to work more on those social skills, to cultivate his language, and most importantly, to encourage it. He had a particularly effective way of communicating: pointing and screaming and we worked tirelessly on this. When he was frustrated, we’d tell him to say help (vs screaming) and when he pointed and screamed, we’d try to teach him the words for what he wanted.
Whether this particular method worked or not, I don’t know. It could of been him aging another 6 months that brought out more language or perhaps our efforts weren’t as futile as we thought. While he still jibber jabbers in his own little language, he also communicates more. And it’s wonderful. I love getting to see him starting to really put two and two together, to see how communicating gets him what he wants vs a frustrated mother with a migrane from screaming.
In the last few months, he has started saying some of the cutest things. My all time favorite is “It’s delicious” which he says about all his favorite foods. Delicious sounds like de-wish-us and melts my heart in a moment.
Unfortunately, with all forms of communication and children, he began to communicate words that we had not necessarilly taught him, but things he picked up from the communication of the world around him (Ie: his 8 year old sister and daycare). These words (and one phrase) have haunted me these last few months. I’m sure my other mom’s out there will understand.
“Mine!” – As Daddy sits on the couch, reading the news on his phone, this word rings out as my son shows up to wrench the phone from his hands. This word can strike at any moment, typically aimed at something that is not “his”. And when you take the item that he wants from him, it can lead to biting, hitting, crying, or pushing.
“No!” – Lately, this is the instant answer to anything I say. Sometimes followed with a pause, and then a “yeah” when he actually thinks about what I asked. Sometimes it comes out in a firmer “Nope!” It is also typically aimed at something that his opinion wasn’t warranted on.
“Let’s take a tubby.”
“Nope!” As he jumps off the couch and runs for the stairs to get to the tubby.
“Don’t want!!!” – Ah, my favorite. This is the only phrase I included due to the needed negative marker. While Nat is very good with telling us what he wants (IE: “Mine” and a yoink), he is equally as good as voicing his displeasure when he doesn’t want something. Who knows where he learned this one, but is most commonly said right before the oncoming tantrum. Socks are the usual culprit. Nat doesn’t like socks.
“Swings!!” – The dreaded swings. Don’t get me wrong, one of the greatest joys I get as a mother is from watching my son get excited about going to the park. (Fyi: This is one of those “No… yeah” moments.) His excitement builds as we drive to one of the many playgrounds near by. Shrieking. Laughter. “This is fun” is a phrase he says a lot when we get to the park. But going to the park is so much more than for his enjoyment. Our reason for going to the park? To get a few action shots, but mainly to tire the little energizer bunny out in hopes that he will go to sleep at a normal hour. But, Nat’s favorite thing are the swings. And wants nothing more than to be swung over and over. Something that wears out Mommy and Daddy, but definitely has no effect on draining his batteries. Trying to convince him away from or off the swings most likely will trigger the dreaded toddler tantrum
This word also pops up when were are driving. Like when Nat sees a playground that we are driving past on our way home or to daycare. Incoming child tantrums when we don’t stop.
“Kindle!” – My mother bought my son a kindle fire for his birthday. This is his most treasured possession (unless he gets mad, then thankfully it is covered in a protective rubber case, because he’s going to chuck it). It is also the perfect thing for long car rides which we do every Sunday. Unfortunately, he drains the battery like crazy leaving the PBS kids app on for long extended moments (which also by the way, doesn’t work in the car unless you have the 3G version). Any parent knows that typically, at any time, either all the chargers are being used or have mysteriously vanished. This will be the exact moment that your child will zero in on the uncharged Kindle and need it NOW. Nat has now also learned how to say “charge” and hands you a dead kindle. 20% of the time, tantrums will ensue.