Tag Archives: bad language

New words! A toddler communicates

New words! A toddler communicates www.mindthebaby.ie Mind The Baby Blog
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Pip says “yes” now! Hurray!

What’s the biggie? You say.  It’s just another little word.

But it’s not though, really. It’s huge for toddler communications in this house. We’ve been very clear on the “no, no, no, no” for quite some time which is great but it not unlike when your boss turns around to you at work and says “I don’t know what I want, but it’s not that”. Where do you go from there?

But with “yes” and “no” we have an either/or situation and therefore a solution. I think a lot of mini meltdowns are being avoided because if the level of questioning goes the right way you can figure out what it is that he’s looking for. Interestingly, water is usually the most common answer. (Okay, if I’m being honest,  it’s probably “Peppa”, but that’s feckin awful, isn’t it?)

Another lovely advantage of “yes” is that the child himself has realised that it opens up all sorts of doors of opportunity. When he says “yes”, usually something good happens. So he has taken it upon himself to broaden its meaning slightly, like handing me his shoes (hurray) and walking to the front door to swing out of the handle and saying “yes” when he wants to go outside. Or handing me the TV remote and saying “yes” when he’d like to watch Peppa (there’s that infernal pig again). The answer to that is usually no by the way, unless it’s actually Peppa time.

There’s great chats happening.  Apart from “yes” and “no”, we’re very clear on “Dad”, “shoes”, “socks”, “car”, “ball”, “row row” (which means sing row, row, row your boat), “hiya”, “bye bye”, “oh jeez” (we don’t know where this came from), “who’s that?” (we say this whenever the doorbell rings but he can apply it in any given scenario like shouting it up the stairs) “stuck” and he says his own name too. And then suddenly since Thursday we’ve been assaulted by a barrage of “fuck it”.

I know.

10% of my child’s vocabulary is expletives. Nice. That’s some quality parenting there. Although in our defence, neither myself or my husband use that particular term preferring instead to use the word as an adjective to scatter across a sentence rather than an exclamation. And we have been very consciously toning back the colour in the last few months. In fairness, he could have picked it up from anyone considering the Irish don’t really hold back on letting it rip most of the time.

Pip said it in front of both of us separately and then in front of his grandmother and aunt and everyone rightfully adopted the correct approach of pretending they didn’t hear it. We’re also in the habit of positively reinforcing any new words by repeating them back to him and praising him which we’re obviously not doing with this particular gem so hopefully it’ll slip right out of the lexicon there.

My mother in law told me that Pip’s father did exactly the same thing at exactly the same age which was a huge relief to hear and hey, now I can blame the other side of the family for their linguistic genetics. 🙂