The Toddlerese Phrasebook

"Mama in der? Mmma an na na a CHOUND? In der? IN DER?" (Mama, do you hear the sound that is coming from that general direction over there?) "A cow! Jump cow oh uh na amoon!" (The cow jumped over the moon.) "A TRAIN! A TRAIN! CHOO CHOO!" (A TRAIN! A TRAIN! OMFG!) "Aw, a boo hurt! Na ma a ban aid? Boots?" (I have injured myself and require a licensed-character Band-Aid.) "RAWR! RAWR! Onster anna book anna yoo turn da page! Oh no! (There's a monster at the end of this book and you turned the page! Oh no!) "No poop." (I don't care what you smell, woman.) "Oh no! A messth! Whew! Dapeart? Okay." (I would like to reverse my earlier position re: poop.) "I know. In der. A dridge. Ohhh, down. An tuntel. Up up up an der." (A complicated description of the engineering of drawbridges. I am told I wouldn't understand.) "Oh maaaannnnn!" (Success! Swiper the Fox has been foiled yet again!) "A nack? Okay nack. Nack oh der." (May I have a snack? Actually, I'm just going to go ahead and answer in the affirmative that yes, I may have a snack. And I'm going... Read more →

Stuff, and Then: Surprise! MORE WHINING!

THINGS MY CHILD WILL SAY IN FRONT OF ME, BUT NOT IN FRONT OF ANYONE ELSE, INCLUDING THE &$@* VIDEO CAMERA, WHICH MEANS ACCORDING TO THE LAWS OF BLOG IT'S LIKE HE NEVER SAID THEM AT ALL: 1. Hmmm. I know! 2. ONE MINUTE! 3. Dog! Dog! Where arrrrre you? 4. Won, Too, Tee, ready or not here I come! 5. Oh mah gawd! WORDS MY CHILD CAN READ VIA THE REFRIGERATOR MAGNETS, BUT ONLY IN FRONT OF ME BUT I SWEAR, PEOPLE, I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP: 1. Oops 2. Egg 3. Noah 4. Hot 5. Ass NUMBERS MY CHILD LEAVES OUT WHILE HE COUNTS TO TWENTY: 1. Four NUMBER OF TIMES IN THE PAST THREE DAYS I HAVE TACKLED MY CHILD, DIPPED HIM IN CADBURY CREME EGG FONDANT AND SWALLOWED HIM WHOLE: 1. 567,987,001 I expected pregnancy to sort-of suck. I mean, honestly, it sucked last time too. Although I would probably never let myself use that word, since I still remember walking through the pregnancy and family planning section of the bookstore years ago, a massive dose of Clomid coursing through my system, and seeing that book called "Pregnancy Sucks." And I blinked and sniffed and... Read more →

When Enough is Enough is Enough

So I was rifling through the closet today -- looking for my lost glove, of all things -- when...what's this thing? A...toddler? Oh RIGHT! My other kid. I completely forgot. Noah's doing just fine, thank you for vaguely maybe thinking of asking. The hellacious tantrums of a few weeks back turned out to be, like many of you said, the precursor to a lovely developmental spurt. He went to bed one night saying, "Bye Dada" and woke up the next morning saying, "Bye-bye Dada go work ALL GONE!" Complete with a little hand-wringing and the perfect touch of woe during the "ALL GONE!" part, like "Yes, Dada is all gone. We are fresh out of Dadas and do not expect our next shipment for at least six to eight weeks and it just breaks my heart to have to tell you this, ma'am." Don't get me wrong -- he can still be a willful little shit if he wants to, but 99.9999999% of the time I just adore the hell out of him. In a couple weeks we begin "transitional testing" -- basically we start the assessment process all over again to see what (if any) services Noah will qualify... Read more →

The Neenee of the Heart

When you have a speech-delayed kid, you will be constantly warned not to imitate their pronunciation, no matter how adorable it may be. When they butcher a word, you are supposed to model the correct pronunciation. You will be told this is very, very important. I have a very, very hard time remembering this. "Buddy, do you want some muck?" I ask while pouring the milk. "MMMMMMUCK!" he shrieks and nods his head. "If you are a good boy, I bet you'll get a baboonay," I tell him at Trader Joe's. "Yaaaay baboonaaaay!" he shrieks and eyes the balloons at the register. When I tuck him at night, he asks for his neenee. "Of course Mama will turn on your neenee," I say just before pulling the string on his favorite music box. That one is probably my favorite, since he calls ALL music -- instrumental, vocal, Snoop Dogg -- neenee. Jason (who gets nagged with more child language development bullshiteese than anybody in the world -- "Stop! You're playing the Director Role! That's not the Tuned-In Parent! You're not it! Observe! Wait! Listen!") hears me do this and raises a silent, judging eyebrow. "But it's so cuuuute!" I... Read more →

Lunch Bunch Dropout

So I quit Lunch Bunch yesterday. And the one-on-one occupational therapy. (The eyeballs of several trolls just rolled completely out of their heads and out into traffic. Quick! Run after them!) I pretty much knew it was time to quit after last week, and then Noah's success in his Thursday Non-Lunch-Bunch class confirmed what I already suspected: Noah did not like his occupational therapist, and she didn't quite seem to like him very much either, and no, the marriage could not be saved and was probably doomed from the day she walked into our house and then tried to rub his face with the duckie washcloth 15 seconds after saying hi. We moved OT from our house to the early intervention center. We added group therapy and a special ed teacher and yet, no progress. I should have listened to my gut and just called and requested a new therapist. But lo, I am pussy, hear me puss out. I kept giving it one more week, another try, another chance for Noah to snap out it because dude, she hasn't touched your face in months! Chill out. Eat some pudding. Then last week she called him a brat. She. Called.... Read more →

Run-on happy

I'm afraid if I try and do that thing where I put on my little serious writer's cap and try to write something eloquent and/or witty I will actually ruin this moment because I just can't wait to get the words out and tell everyone that Noah didn't cry at class today at all and I was in the next room the whole time supposedly getting taught how to teach my kid to talk but I really spent the whole time listening for his screams and when I didn't hear them I asked one of the veteran moms if the rooms were soundproof and she said no and I didn't believe her but when we went to join our babies for the goodbye song Noah was running around with a big smile on his face and then he ran to the teacher and sat on her lap while we all sang goodbye to him off-key and horribly and then he SAT ON A CHAIR NEXT TO HER and clapped along to the song and waved bye-bye to his friends and said "Again?" after each kid's turn and when we sang goodbye to a child named Kay Noah said "Kay!" and... Read more →

The Easy vs. The Good

(Fair warning here: this post is one big emo crybaby jag away from being my own LEAVE BRITNEY ALONNNNNE! video, even though it is not about Britney at all) (But for real, people. LEAVE BRITNEY ALONNNNNNE!) So there's this song on one of Noah's Signing Time DVDs -- it's over the end credits and has made me emit a Free-Hugs-Campaign-Like-Snorfle on more than one occasion. Rachel (Signing Time host/creator/Noah's favorite thing this side of creepy animatronic choo-choos) wrote it for her husband, presumably sometime after their first daughter was born deaf and their second daughter was born with spina bifida and cerebral palsy: It was you and me and the whole world right before us I couldn’t wait to start I saw you and dreams just like everyone before us We thought we knew what we got And then one day I thought it slipped away And I looked to my hands to hold on And then one day all my fear slipped away And my hands did so much more So maybe we won’t find easy But, baby, we’ve found the good No, maybe we won’t find easy But, baby, we’ve found the good. And this is where I'd... Read more →

Maybe It's Because I Forgot to Teach Him the Secret Lunch Bunch Gang Sign

So I'm turning 30 next week -- blah blah yes yes whatever not the point of this entry FOCUS people -- and when Jason asked me what I wanted, I did not even hesitate. All I wanted in the world was to not ever go back to the ruddy stinking Lunch Bunch nonsense. He got me a MacBook instead. Oh, I'm kidding. (Sort of. MmmmmmacBook. Shiny!) He took Noah to the class today, alone. I wish my reasons were more admirable -- to expand Jason's involvement in Noah's various therapies, to give him first-hand experience with what we're dealing with, or to maybe see if Noah behaved better without my neurotic self there. All perfectly good reasons, all perfect steaming loads of bullshit. I just didn't want to go. Don't make me. I can throw quite a tantrum myself, actually. So Jason went and I stayed home and obsessed over Jamie Lynn Spears, clearly the current poster child for responsible, involved parenting. It did not go well, again. Noah continued his full-scale freak-out over anything vaguely structured and bawled and clung and thrashed and screamed. Last week Jason listened to my report and wondered if maybe, JUST MAYBE, our kid... Read more →

In the Meantime We Got it Hard

Noah's occupational therapy has been...not going well. To put it mildly. We've made so little progress -- OT arrives at door, Noah bolts, spends entire session wailing from under the dining room table because he. Does. NOT. Want. To. Ride. On. A. Towel. Christ. Almighty. -- so his therapist suggested moving his sessions to the EI center and enrolling him in a couple structured class-type things. Today was the first of those structured class-type things. The Lunch Bunch, they call it. For kids with oral motor problems and sensory food issues. On paper, it sounds lovely -- a little circle time, feeding plastic food to a puppet, then setting the table and eating some lunch, cleaning up and a story. Every other week the kids make the lunch; other weeks you bring it from home. One food they like and another they don't, which they will then be encouraged to lick or kiss or even just to TOUCH it while putting it in the clean-up bucket. So it's a lot of kids who eat crackers and shriek at the sight of lunch meat, basically. Our kind of people. But...oh God. I don't even know where to begin. There are no... Read more →


Last night Jason and I were snacking on some cheese -- the stinky, ooky, weirdo cheeses that scare everybody else but oh God, I could eat an entire wheel, hell, I could build a car out of them and then eat all four wheels -- and Noah came over and asked for some. He signed cheese, over and over, and would not accept our explanation that this was probably not the kind of cheese he'd like. He insisted, so Jason gave him a bite. He gingerly touched it to his tongue, and then promptly handed it back to Jason. "Yuck," he said, clear as day. I wonder when we'll stop celebrating every word. When we'll just nod and shrug and go on with our meal instead of pumping our fists in the air and laughing, like holy crap, did you just hear that? I wonder when I'll move him out of the "speech-delayed, present tense" and into the "speech-delayed, past tense, can you believe this kid used to ever not talk?", and when I'll stop flinching when strangers ask him questions he can't answer (What's your name? How old are you? You must be talkin' up a storm these days,... Read more →