While both my kids have pretty good language skills for their ages, there are a few things that I'm still struggling to help them to understand. Perhaps I need to learn to speak toddler? Despite my best and most patient attempts, the following concepts are proving particularly tricky for them to comprehend.
Sharing is a difficult concept for most people to grasp, and toddlers have more trouble than most at getting their sweet little heads around the idea. My Miss 3.5 understands the concept of sharing when someone else has something she wants - declaring "it's time to share!" before snatching the item off the other person. BUT when it's her turn to share she looks at me like I'm insane. Huh? HER share? Ummm, I don't think so lady... That wasn't the agreement. My 2 year old is much the same - he's very keen to get involved in the sharing when the thing that he wants is in the arms of another, but ask him to share something with his sister? "NO!! It's MIIIIIIIIIIINE!!!!!"
Which brings us to mine. 'Mine' is another fairly fluid concept as far as toddlers are concerned. When it's theirs, then they totally understand the concept of 'mine'. But when it's MINE (i.e. mummy's) apparently it is also theirs. This applies to food on my plate, the phone in my hand, and the keys in my pocket. However, the dirty tissue that is definitely not mine, is apparently not theirs either, so now it is mine. I'm confused too.
They hear me say "we are leaving RIGHT NOW!" however it seems to be interpreted as "we've got loads of time so please carry on standing slack-jawed in front of the TV smearing peanut butter on your clean t-shirt."
Mummy just needs 5 minutes to...(fill in the blanks)
Translated as "mummy is clearly desperate for us to jump all over her, spill her hot drink down her front, yell at the top of our voices and fight over who gets to sit on her lap".
Mummy is on the phone
Usually said in a frantic, hushed whisper-yell, with one hand over the mouthpiece of the phone, the other hand flapping the offending toddlers away. This phrase is completely misunderstood 100% of the time. I may as well say "mummy would love it if you could start shrieking at the top of your lungs about the fact that you need to do a poo, your desperate need to show me your amazing new artwork, or that your little brother just did a fluff on your head."
Miss 3.5 understands the concept of privacy. When she's on the toilet she'll say "I need some privacy mum, go away please", and I have to wait outside. She gets this one. BUT, when it's ME on the loo asking for privacy, she takes this as an invitation to stand as effing close as humanly possible, rubbing my legs, making creepy eye contact and asking me if I'm OK. No actually, I'm not OK, I want some fucking PRIVACY!!!
It's exactly the same
The piece of toast that is on my plate is EXACTLY THE SAME as the piece of toast that is on your plate. There is absolutely no freaking reason that you need to have mine. Or hers. They are EXACTLY THE SAME. And yet... they seem to understand this concept as "that piece of toast is eleventy billion times better than my piece of toast, so I'm going to do everything in my power to make it MY piece of toast!" Until they actually get that piece of toast, and then it miraculously turns into just another boring old piece of toast, and gets chucked on the floor. FARK!
Maybe means yes to them. It means no to me. Maybe this is a problem? Maybe not. We'll see (which means the same as maybe).
Do your toddlers have trouble grasping some of these concepts?
Do you ever get any goddamn PRIVACY????
This article was originally published on Toilets aren't for Turtles as Lost in Translation - Do you Speak Toddler?
For more like this, check out the blog at Toilets aren't for Turtles, or follow Mumma McD (Rachel McDougall) on Facebook and Twitter, as she blogs about the absurdity of raising her Little Miss Threenager, and her Terrible Two-Year-Old a.k.a. The Stuntman.