What a joyous, proud moment it is when your toddler starts to talk. Did I say joyous? I meant slightly confusing. Frustrating. As you desperately try to figure out what your toddler is trying to tell you. Before they self-combust into one massive meltdown. Amy Ransom gives a quick guide.
Whatever it is you’re asking them to do? They’re not doing it. They don’t want to get dressed. Or eat that soggy piece of toast you’ve prepared. Or do a jigsaw puzzle the correct way. Stop asking. ‘NO means NO!’
This includes everything that’s theirs. And everything that isn’t. Good luck.
‘I do it!’
This is a warning. Which may be preceded by a GLARE. Don’t even think about going near them and trying to help them put on that sock. They’re perfectly happy trying to fit it over their head. Thank you very much.
Before you get really excited and think you’ve borne a child genius who totally knows all their colours, aged 18 months. Don’t. This has nothing to do with whether something actually is ‘Lellow’ (or ‘yellow’ as you and I call it). Basically? They’ve just heard the word somewhere, realised they can say it and now they want to say it all the time. Just to show you how clever they are. This word can be substituted for, well, anything. Sorry.
This is not, as you may rightly be mistaken in thinking, a reference to flies or mosquitoes. No. This is an indication that your toddler wants something right this minute. If they start repeating ‘Nat!’ with a slight desperation in their tone, it’s time to identify what they want immediately. Because once it’s accompanied by foot stamping, it’s game over. And you’re in a whole heap of trouble.
Your toddler wants you to stop restraining them so they can go and wreck stuff.