Communicating with a Toddler: Translator Needed

Trying to communicate with a toddler is 80 percent pure entertainment and 20 percent pull-your-hair-out frustrating. My 19-month-old daughter is dipping her toes into the talking pool, with a slew of words in her arsenal ready to be fired at a moments notice. Aside from her adorably squeaky and tiny voice, I think my favorite part of listening to her speak is the randomness of her words – helicopter, pronounced heh-cop is among the best. Of ALL the words to learn at 19 months helicopter is far from practical for every day use, but it’s hysterical. Heh-cop all day, every day.

Communicating with a toddler

Communicating with a Toddler

Before I had my daughter and knew next to nothing about parenting, I always got such a kick out of listening to parents translate for their young children. “Whkjdg avbgd kdjkjg.” “Oh, he wants to go outside.” OF COURSE HE DOES, how did I miss that?

Now it’s my turn to play translator and I love every second of it. Below are some of my favorite translations – toddlers are just the best!

MOO = movie, milk, the sound a cow makes

MORE, MORE, MORE = MORE, MORE, MORE, NOW!! {accompanied by frantic sign language for “more”} – do you want more? 

CA = CAR {learning from her RI family, “R”s don’t exist}

Heh-cop = Helicopter {living in Manhattan requires a lot of helicopter watching}

No = No, yes, maybe, I think so, DEFINITELY, probably not, no chance {sometimes accompanied by the hand signal for “SAFE” in baseball when she really means business}

WAWA = Water – close enough 

Melmo = Elmo! 

KaKa = Quack, quack!

DIS = This {basically everything falls under ‘DIS category}

Mama = No translation needed, this one melts my heart 🙂

Communicating with a toddler takes patience, a good sense of humor and a lot of love. Thankfully she doesn’t get too frustrated when I  don’t understand her, but those days could be ahead of us. I usually avoid telling her I don’t understand unless I am at a complete loss – if she confidently rambles to herself in a different language all day it’s fine by me.

What is your favorite toddler translation? 



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