Toddler Learns to Talk
TRex’s birthday is next week and naturally, as he creeps ever closer to toddlerescence, and becoming a sentient being, his life-comprehension begins to expand. Not a slow dad-bod expansion either, but more like a final semester, you have nothing better to do but party and eat late night McDonald’s expansion; the rate at which they begin to comprehend the world is pretty rapid.
Part of this development means he’s learning to jump off the higher stairs [he’s been jumping off the first stair for the past few months]. The other part means he’s updating his vocabulary playlist almost daily. His Matt Murdock impression is fun, in that it freaks Mothersaurus out, and obviously his newfound communication is great because it makes life less of a guessing game. However, toddlers repeat/comprehend what they hear, and well…
Thankfully some of it is funny.
‘Uncle Baba Tam’
I see my niece and nephew, five and seven respectively, quite a bit, and because they’re my niece and nephew, they call me Uncle Tam. TRex adores, and learns a lot from, these two, so obviously he’s going to mimic them. Going so far as to call me “Uncle Tam”.
When I correct him, and ask him to call me ‘Baba’ [Mandarin for Dad] he will then call me “Baba Tam”. After I correct him again, he will settle on “Uncle Baba Tam”.
The whole interaction is infuriating. To make matters worse/better, this scene always plays in my head, and the slow realization that my paternal life is similar to that of Homer’s is frightening.
The Simpsons [at least the first 15 or so seasons] is great, and it’s because there are so many angles to the writing. Younger me gravitated towards Bart and the humor he brought, or caused, on the show. Father/middle-age me gravitates towards Homer’s character, as my life becomes his [or is it vice versa?]old gags/episodes are seen in a new light.
‘Thomas, Train. Punk.’
This phrase is my personal favorite. Why? Because Thomas is a punk, and the matter-of-factness in which TRex delivers it is Michael Scott worthy.
Ironically, I screen what TRex watches pretty religiously. He doesn’t watch much TV [about 30 min a day], but when he does watch I do my best to dissuade/block him from watching shows with whiny characters [Caillou can GTFO].
One day we were watching an episode of Thomas the Train. I had never seen one, and well… he likes trains, so why not give it a shot. Lo and behold, Thomas tends to mess things up, cry about it, and then have someone else fix his problems. On top of that poor life lesson, all the trains look like they’re murderers, or drive van’s that give out free candy.
Not wanting to subject myself, or TRex, to this nonsense, I casually mentioned to another adult in the room, “Man, Thomas is a punk.”, and told TRex I was changing the channel. No big deal. Everyone moved on with life.
Three whole weeks later, TRex saw a book that had Thomas on the cover. He then looked at me and said “Baba, [points to book] Thomas! Train. Punk”.
Me, “Wait, what TRex [I used his real name – even full-named him]?”
TRex, “Thomas. Train. Punk.”
I laughed. Mothersaurus was not amused.
Other Phrases of Note:
- “Poo poo. Brown.” I mean, it is.
- “No boo hoo hoo.” I tell him this when he’s crying/whining, and he’ll then softly, in a whisper, repeat it to himself as he’s self-soothing
- “We the people of the United States.” Just kidding, he doesn’t know The Preamble yet.
Like a former great comedian who sullied his reputation by getting charged with a bunch of inappropriate/predatory conduct once said, Kids Say the Darndest Things!