Tagged siblings

Woof: The Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week

It’s time for the Ten Funniest Things feature, and this week there is also a word (literally) from William Wallace, sorry, The Baby.

First, Silly Mummy gives you The Toddler:

1. On ears, not safe
Silly Mummy touches The Toddler’s ear, apparently a more dangerous activity than it appears, as The Toddler yells, ‘Don’t touch it! It’s not safe!’ She does not expand upon exactly why her ear is not safe.

2. On the Tooth Fairy
The Baby is very insistently offering The Toddler a leaflet that came through the door and is now The Baby’s most prized possession. The Toddler is ignoring her eager little sister, so Silly Mummy explains that The Baby would like The Toddler to take her leaflet because she is trying to be nice. The Toddler catches on and takes the leaflet: ‘You give that to me? Thank you, The Baby.’ As is usually the way with small children, of course, The Baby only wanted to loan her prized possession to The Toddler. She is now looking hopefully at The Toddler. Silly Mummy asks The Toddler if she would like to give the leaflet back to The Baby now. The Toddler would not: ‘Not going to have it back. It’s my Tooth Fairy.’ Of course it is. Bloody Peppa Pig and her Tooth Fairy letters.

3. On Mary Poppins, summarising
The Toddler has just got to the end of Mary Poppins (again). As Mary flies off with her umbrella, The Toddler summarises the situation: ‘Mary Poppins she’s got to go and see more children. She’s got to go and fly a kite with her bag.’ Yes, that seems to about cover the end of Mary Poppins, if not correct kite flying techniques.

4. On Labyrinth, also summarising
Other films The Toddler has a perfect grasp of include Labyrinth (which Silly Daddy is inexplicably convinced any two year old would want to see): ‘Where’s the baby? We can’t find it!’ David Bowie appears, The Toddler exclaims: ‘What’s that?’

5. On distrac…fluff
Silly Mummy and The Toddler are engaged in a serious conversation, not that Silly Mummy can remember what it is about, as The Toddler seems to have led the discussion firmly down the path labelled distraction: ‘And then…Oh a bit of fluff there. Just a bit of fluff. It’s there. I get rid of it. It’s gone now.’ (As is everyone’s train of thought.)

6. On porridge, apologising for
The Toddler has been asking Silly Mummy for porridge. Silly Mummy is about to make The Toddler some food, and seeks to confirm whether porridge is still desired: ‘Do you still want to have porridge?’
The Toddler appears to feel Silly Mummy’s question implies porridge making is a particularly onerous task: ‘Yes, I do. Sorry about that. I’ll get it myself then.’

7. On her name
The Toddler is misbehaving. Silly Mummy informs her she is a little monster. The Toddler knows Silly Mummy gets confused, and patiently corrects her: ‘I’m not a monster, I’m The Toddler!’

8. On saying ‘woof’
The Toddler is saying ‘woof’. For no particular reason. This is a little odd. She’s also giving a running commentary about the fact that she is saying ‘woof’. This is more than a little odd. ‘Woof. I say woof to The Baby. I’ll say woof to you. Woof. Do you like woof, The Baby?’

9. On kettles, boring
Silly Mummy is asking The Baby to fetch her various items (to see what words The Baby understands, not because The Baby is Silly Mummy’s slave). Silly Mummy asks The Baby if she can find the kettle from the toy tea set. The Toddler has an objection and interjects: ‘You can’t have the kettle – it’s very boring.’

10. On sharing
The Toddler has been rooting around in the games cupboard she is not supposed to go in. Playing cards are now all over the floor. Silly Mummy is picking them up. The Toddler is protesting Silly Mummy’s seizure of ‘her’ property. Silly Mummy points out: ‘Those are Mummy’s cards.’
The Toddler is feeling generous: ‘I’ll share them with you.’

 
 
A word (just the one) from The Baby
The Baby has broken into the restricted (for toddlers and baby toddlers) dining area. She is very pleased with herself. She dodges Silly Mummy and manages to grab a pen before she is apprehended. As Silly Mummy approaches her, The Baby waves her pen in the air, Braveheart style, and issues her war cry: ‘Booooooop!’ You can take The Baby’s pen, but you’ll never take her bop! (In all fairness, ‘bop’ is a more rational war cry than the one William Wallace uses in that film. I’d go so far as to suggest that the course of Scottish history could have been very different had the Scots waved their pens and yelled ‘bop’ at the army of Edward I.)

Some other posts in the ‘Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week’ feature
Week 2: I’ll Tell You What, Mummy
Week 12: Undone, Everyone
Week 18: A Spinny Armpits
Week 20: You’re a Good Winner

You’re a Good Winner: The Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week

It’s Ten Funniest Things time, and The Toddler wants to eat Christmas trees but not The Baby’s bum.

Taking a brief break from meal planning, here she is:

1. On being a winner
The Toddler has taken up Rocky style encouragement: ‘Go on, Mummy, you can do it! You’re a good winner!’ The activity The Toddler is encouraging so enthusiastically? Getting her a biscuit.

2. On pandas, hers
Silly Mummy, The Toddler and The Baby are waiting in the queue at the Post Office. The Toddler has become inexplicably paranoid that other customers want to steal her top, which has pandas on it. She is occupying her time pointing at her top and informing various strangers in the queue: ‘This is not your panda. My panda!’

3. On herself, needing to get cracking
The Baby is wandering around the living room with her bag. Silly Mummy asks The Toddler, ‘Can you help The Baby to put things in her bag?’
The Toddler looks up: ‘No, I can’t. I need to get cracking.’
Silly Mummy did not know The Toddler had plans: ‘Have you got things to do?’
‘Yes, I do.’

4. On talking, never stopping
The Toddler is chattering away, mostly to herself, when she announces, ‘I’ll never stop talking.’ Silly Mummy thinks this sounds like a threat.

5. On Grandma, very clever
Grandma is visiting. Silly Mummy, The Toddler, The Baby and Grandma are going for a walk. Grandma has mentioned that she will just go and get her coat from the car. Later, walking past the car, The Toddler is very insistent that Grandma has to get something from it. Silly Mummy and Grandma assure The Toddler that Grandma already got what she needed. The Toddler is suitably impressed: ‘Oh, very clever, Grandma. Good girl.’

6. On mishearing requests
The Toddler is making demands. Silly Mummy says, ‘Don’t be demanding.’ The Toddler is confident she is able to comply with Silly Mummy’s request, mostly because she misheard it: ‘Sorry, Mum. I’m not doing mountain.’

7. On Christmas trees
The Toddler was 19 months old last Christmas. She appears to have remembered certain aspects of it. The fact that there were chocolates around, mostly. Whenever she hears mention of Christmas she starts talking about chocolates and the lights. Silly Mummy asks her if she remembers the Christmas tree. The Toddler nods: ‘Christmas tree, yes…can I eat it?’ Silly Mummy thinks The Toddler possibly does not remember the Christmas tree. She may be thinking of something else. The Toddler continues: ‘Need to blow it first. Need to blow candles.’ Definitely thinking of something else. Birthday cakes, it appears.

8. On both of herself
The Toddler and The Baby are being naughty. Silly Mummy says, ‘Can both of you stop doing that, please.’ The Toddler becomes concerned about how many of her are being naughty. To be safe, she confirms, ‘Yes, both of me stop.’

9. On babies, why they cry
Silly Mummy, The Toddler and The Baby are walking along the road. In the distance, a baby can be heard crying inside a house. The Toddler asks, ‘What’s that noise?’ Silly Mummy informs her it is a baby crying in one of the houses. Despite not knowing what the noise was seconds before, The Toddler is suddenly remarkably well informed on the subject of the the crying baby: ‘Oh, it doesn’t like having those hiccups.’

10. On The Baby, not eating her bum
Silly Mummy is changing The Baby’s nappy. The Toddler is providing the following commentary, a strong contender for this year’s prestigious It Goes Without Saying, Thank You, The Toddler Award: ‘We don’t eat The Baby’s bum. Can we not eat The Baby’s bum. We don’t eat The Baby’s stinky poo.’

Some other posts in the ‘Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week’ feature
Week 5: Don’t Do It
Week 15: We Are Not a Stinker
Week 18: A Spinny Armpits
Week 19: Clock

The Baby’s Snack

Silly Mummy is giving The Toddler and The Baby a snack. They are both waiting on the other side of the child gate at the kitchen doorway. Feeding time at the zoo.

Silly Mummy gets out a snack. The Toddler claims it. Well, first she tries to claim a different snack: ‘I have gingers? You getting me gingers, Mummy? Having biscuits?’ Once she has accepted she is not having ginger biscuits, she claims the first offered snack: ‘Oh thank you, Mummy! Thank you so much!’ The Toddler does not believe in waiting for the second offered snack. That snack has not yet been proven to exist. The Toddler does not risk snacks that may turn out not to exist. Always take the snack that is definitely real.

The Baby has been waiting hopefully next to The Toddler. The Baby is not as food obsessed as The Toddler. She is also used to having her food taken by The Toddler. Silly Mummy is trying to get out a second snack for The Baby. The Baby, however, evidently believes she missed her chance when the first snack was seized by The Toddler. With a sad little look, she toddles off, dejected. This happens frequently. If anyone remembers the old Incredible Hulk series or film, Silly Mummy is thinking that The Baby needs the closing theme music to accompany her on her sad little way. Or The Littlest Hobo music. A fugitive from snacks, always moving on before she gets her raisins.

The Toddler, who already has food, does not leave. There may be more food. Silly Mummy calls The Baby back to get her snack. The Baby does not return. The Toddler leaps into action: ‘I take it? I take it to The Baby?’ Silly Mummy is suspicious of her motives.

I’m So Busy: The Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week

It’s Ten Funniest Things time, where frankly it is a miracle The Toddler has turned up at all: she’s so busy.

Nonetheless, here she is:

1. On needing to be on the naughty step
The Toddler has pushed over The Baby (who is now on her bottom, looking mildly confused about how she got there). Silly Mummy tells The Toddler it is naughty to push The Baby, even when you’re playing, and she needs to say sorry or she will have to sit on the naughty step. The Toddler dutifully apologises, and gives The Baby a kiss. Silly Mummy tells her to remember not to push The Baby again because next time she will have to go straight to the naughty step. The Toddler is disappointed by the lenience she has been shown. She feels she needs a hard line on punishment: ‘No, I need to go on naughty step now.’ Off she goes. To sit herself on the naughty step. She reappears when she has suitably punished herself.

2. On her make up, finishing it
Mornings are a busy time for The Toddler. She marches over to the coffee table: ‘I finish my make up.’ (It should be noted that at no point did she start her make up. She is jumping right in with finishing the make up. It should also be noted that she doesn’t have any make up.) The Toddler has forgotten something: ‘I say bye bye Daddy first before I finish my make up.’ Silly Daddy dismissed, The Toddler returns to putting on her make up. Which appears to involve moving soft building blocks from the floor to the coffee table. The Baby wanders over and sits down in all the building blocks. The Toddler is scandalised: ‘My make up! The Baby, you’re on my make up!’

3. On herself, so busy
The Toddler has been told to apologise to The Baby for aggressively snatching from her (The Toddler’s sisterly skills appear to have been questionable this week). Unfortunately, The Toddler, who is lining up a tea set, is having some scheduling issues: ‘I’m too busy. I’m going to say sorry. I’m so busy. Say sorry in a second.’ (In a complete disciplinary fail, Silly Mummy falls about laughing at this point, instead of enforcing the apology. Oops.)

4. On taking photographs, the wrong way
The Toddler has Silly Mummy’s phone, and she is taking pictures: ‘I do photo. Oops, I did it wrong way! I did button wrong way, didn’t I?’ This could indicate anything from turning on the front camera and photographing herself, to inadvertently calling for an ambulance.

5. On the cheese, looking at it
The Toddler asks Silly Mummy, ‘Do you want to look at the cheese now?’ She has not organised an inspection of the cheddar. She wants to show Silly Mummy the photographs she has taken/ambulance she has called on Silly Mummy’s phone (‘say cheese’, you see).

6. On the dog, not allowed to wake up
The Toddler is at Grandma and Pop’s house. Grandma and Pop’s dog has been sleeping under the table, but is now getting up. She has not obtained the appropriate permissions from The Toddler for this behaviour, and The Toddler puts an immediate stop to it: ‘Dog, go back to sleep! Now!’

7. On being a bit older
The Toddler has wandered over to a box of toys and is staring at it contemplatively. She has reached a conclusion: ‘I’m a bit older.’ It is unclear whether she is a bit older than she was last time she played with the toys (about an hour ago), or a bit older than the toys and asserting her authority over them, or simply philosophising.

8. On dressing gowns, lovely
The Toddler is feeling very complimentary towards Silly Mummy: ‘Your dressing gown has spots on there. It’s lovely.’

9. On wands
The Toddler has a wand (well, a drumstick), and she is using it to put a spell on a troll on the TV. She is not letting the fact that she has forgotten both the word ‘spell’ and the word ‘wand’ stand in her way: ‘I shoo it away with my witch!’

10. On The Baby, book related behaviour
The Toddler has one of Silly Mummy’s books. The Toddler no longer tries to eat or rip books, and can be trusted with paper books. The Baby cannot be trusted. The Toddler knows this. However, she would like The Baby to join her for a bit of pretend reading. She gives The Baby very clear instructions as to the expected standard of behaviour for this activity: ‘The Baby, you come and read this? We’re not going to eat it, The Baby, just read it. You come here and read it with me. Don’t eat.’

Some other posts in the ‘Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week’ feature
Week 5: Don’t Do It
Week 12: Undone, Everyone
Week 13: I’m Not a Hufflepuff
Week 16: Ooh I Say

Ooh I Say: The Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week

Welcome to this week’s screening of Carry On Toddlering…sorry, this week’s Ten Funniest Things post.

Silly Mummy presents Kenneth Williams…sorry, The Toddler:

1. On her mind, ready
The Toddler is preparing for one of her trips again. It appears there is some confusion today as to the imaginary weather. The Toddler says, ‘Going now. Very cold outside. Very warm outside.’
Silly Mummy laughs, ‘Make your mind up!’
The Toddler replies, ‘Yes, mind up. Mind’s all ready to go.’

2. On stealing from The Baby
The Toddler has snatched a handful of The Baby’s lunch from the highchair. Silly Mummy says, ‘Don’t eat The Baby’s food, please. Give it back to her.’ The Toddler returns the food. Silly Mummy turns to The Baby: ‘The Baby, if The Toddler takes your food, say, “Stop thief!”‘ The Baby smiles. Two minutes later, The Toddler sidles over to the highchair, grabs another handful of The Baby’s food, and helpfully says, ‘Stop thief!’

3. On the Bandersnatch
The Toddler is watching Alice in Wonderland. She points at the screen: ‘What’s that?’
Silly Mummy says, ‘That’s the Bandersnatch.’
The Toddler watches the Bandersnatch chase Alice: ‘Look, it’s the big bad Bander…thingy!’

4. On Silly Mummy, very funny
Silly Mummy is chattering away, nothing very groundbreaking. The Toddler wanders over, ‘You’re very funny.’ (*Silly Mummy takes a bow*) Well, thank you very much, The Toddler: Silly Mummy will be here all week.

5. On childrens, responsibility for
The Toddler is watching Balamory. She appears to have decided that she is looking after the school children. Who are older than her. And aren’t in the living room. She announces, ‘Hello, childrens. I’m going to come with you.’ She proceeds to tear off in the direction of the door. She trips and falls. Her little voice can be heard: ‘Whoops! Sorry, childrens!’

6. On manners
The Toddler is feeling very polite. She sticks her face in Silly Mummy’s: ‘Might I kiss you?’

7. On Sleeping Beauty
The Toddler’s skill at abridging stories is in evidence again. This time she is telling Sleeping Beauty: ‘Is sleeping beauty. Once upon a time…was Sleeping Beauty.’ She really knows how to capture the key elements of a story.

8. On Silly Mummy, sweetheart
The Toddler wanders up to Silly Mummy. Silly Mummy says, ‘Hello, sweetheart.’
The Toddler replies, ‘Hello, sweetheart Mummy.’

9. On being Kenneth Williams
The Toddler is holding her water at a precarious angle. Silly Mummy says, ‘Can you be careful with the water?’
The Toddler replies, ‘Ooh I say!’ Silly Mummy didn’t realise we were in Carry On Toddlering.

10. On sorting it out
The Toddler has a new obsession with removing pyjamas from The Baby. The Baby is wandering the living room in her nappy. Silly Mummy says, ‘The Baby might be a bit cold now you’ve undressed her, The Toddler.’
The Toddler sets off after The Baby, ‘I’ll go and sort it out.’ Despite The Toddler’s air of calm competence, Silly Mummy can’t help but notice that she ‘sorts it out’ by commandeering The Baby’s ball. The Baby is still rather naked. And she now has no ball.

Some other posts in the ‘Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week’ feature
Week 7: Calm Down
Week 9: That’s Not Fair
Week 14: Childrens
Week 15: We Are Not a Stinker

Speaking for The Baby

This is a blog about children’s language. Specifically, my children’s language. Mostly The Toddler’s language, The Baby’s vocabulary currently consisting of ‘cat’. I have noticed something about The Toddler’s language (hey, it’s only taken forty odd blog posts about The Toddler’s language for me to notice something about it.) What I have noticed is this: the times when The Toddler chooses to speak for The Baby are quite interesting.

Mostly, you see, The Toddler does not speak for The Baby. Much of the time, she leaves The Baby to her own babbling, shouting or fussing devices. She appears to accept that this is what The Baby does, and does not intervene. Sometimes, The Toddler is interested in what The Baby is saying, and will join in with baby talk. Very occasionally, she will try to translate (which is to say, she will make it up). Other times, she pays no attention at all.

However, when The Baby’s noises show an emotion, particularly a negative one, The Toddler will usually get involved. She will report The Baby’s feelings to Mummy: ‘The Baby is sad.’ She will offer reassurance to The Baby: ‘Don’t worry, the Baby!’ She will be on hand to assist The Baby: ‘I’m coming, The Baby!’ She will try to cuddle and kiss The Baby. She will offer dummies, water and toys.

Most notably, when something is being done to The Baby that The Baby does not like (nasal aspiration, when needed, has never been popular), The Toddler will speak for her. She will be outspoken and very insistent: ‘No! Don’t do that! Stop doing that! The Baby doesn’t like that! Don’t do it!’

Likewise, when The Toddler believes The Baby wants or needs something, she will voice the need on The Baby’s behalf: ‘The Baby want more food. Get her more food, please.’

It appears that The Toddler recognises that The Baby does not have the words to tell people how she feels or what she needs (‘cat’, as it turns out, is not the most useful of words). The Toddler uses her words on The Baby’s behalf when she believes The Baby needs help.

What does this behaviour demonstrate? It suggests that The Toddler has some understanding of how important words can be as a means of expression. Certainly, it shows that The Toddler is able to recognise emotions in others, and has learnt some appropriate responses. Perhaps there is also empathy there. Maybe The Toddler is already showing an ability to empathise with her little sister. Probably a little. She has an innate human ability for empathy, and she is starting to learn to develop it. However, at her age, it seems unlikely her understanding of others has developed to the level of true empathy yet, not empathy as adults would understand or display it. One thing I believe The Toddler’s behaviour is absolutely indicative of, is how completely she has accepted The Baby. The Baby is hers, a part of the world The Toddler views as hers. The Toddler looks after what is hers, simply because it is hers. Perhaps, then, she is protecting her sister more than understanding her, at present. Or maybe it is a little of both.

Whatever the motivation, The Toddler instinctively speaks up for one who cannot speak for herself. Adults often develop inhibitions that prevent them from speaking out, even when they feel that they should; for a toddler, nothing stands in the way.

Soon, of course, The Baby will have her own words. She will speak for herself. However, I have no doubt that there will still be times when she will need her sister to speak up for her. Just as there will be times when she is needed to speak up for The Toddler. I hope that, no matter how old they are, my girls will always understand when the other needs them. I hope they will each always have the words to fight for their sister when she can’t do it for herself.

 
 
What do you think? Are two year olds capable of showing empathy? How do your children relate to each other? Do they protect each other?

Give The Baby Back Her Pigas!

Give the Baby Back Her PigasTechnically, The Toddler and The Baby each have their own toys. Nevertheless, The Toddler can often be found grabbing The Baby’s toys. Purely in the interests of showing The Baby how they work, of course. The Toddler will just be over here, hiding from The Baby, showing her how her toys work. Sometimes, she actually does show The Baby: ‘Look, The Baby! Look this one!’

The Toddler likes to present The Baby with her toys, even if she can be found taking them away five minutes later. Every morning, when Silly Mummy gets out toys for The Baby, The Toddler bounds over: ‘The Baby’s play toys! The Toddler take!’ Silly Mummy piles them into her arms, and she staggers off: ‘Take it! I got it!’ She drops them on the floor: ‘Here go, The Baby! Play toys!’

Meanwhile, The Baby can usually be found chewing The Toddler’s toys. The Toddler is mostly quite tolerant of this: ‘Are you playing, The Baby? The Baby put it in mouth, Mummy! Likes that one!’ She will give The Baby toys she knows The Baby likes: ‘Here, The Baby, have this one.’

Not the doctor’s kit, though. The Baby is not allowed to play with The Toddler’s doctor’s kit. The Toddler won’t stand for that: ‘No, The baby, can’t eat that one! The Toddler’s! The Baby can’t like it! Give it back!’ (This is fair enough, really. The first thing they teach in medical school is that you can’t eat the stethoscopes.)

The Baby feels it is time for a little toy possessiveness of her own. The Baby is on Silly Mummy’s lap. The Toddler has picked up The Baby’s musical bell shaker. It has come to The Baby’s attention that The Toddler has her musical bell shaker. She is bouncing and pointing excitedly. Silly Mummy says, ‘Yes, that’s yours, isn’t it? What’s The Toddler got?’
The Baby scours her vocabulary of no words for the right word (not an easy task). She jabs her finger in The Toddler’s direction, and yells, ‘Pigas!’
Indeed. Give The Baby back her pigas, The Toddler!

Five and a Half Things The Baby Has Learnt from The Toddler

Five and a Half Things The Baby Has Learnt from The Toddler1. There is a random object on her head. This is a ‘hat’
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a toddler in possession of a coaster must be in want of a baby’s head to put it on.* The Baby has learnt that a wide variety of objects will be placed on her head and declared a ‘hat’. In fact, the only requirement for objects that can be The Baby’s ‘hat’ is that they must not, under any circumstances, actually be a hat. The Baby smiles tolerantly whilst The Toddler puts a leaflet advertising pizza on her head and shouts, ‘The Baby hat on! Hippos away!’**

* To almost entirely misquote Jane Austen.
** ‘The sun has got his hat on, hip hip hip hooray.’ Obviously.

2. Kiss…cuddle…aah
The Toddler loves to do kisses and cuddles. She has a routine: ‘Mummy, kiss, please…Cuggle…Aaahh!’ The Baby is a frequent, if not always willing, recipient of Toddler kisses and cuddles: ‘The Toddler is wanting give The Baby kiss.’ Sometimes, The Toddler will explain what they are doing: ‘Mummy, doing cuggles. Cuggles, The Baby.’ This is presumably just in case an inexperienced observer was to think The Toddler, now wrestling The Baby with an arm around her neck, was attempting to strangle a distressed infant. They’re cuddling, okay? The Baby may not always appreciate the kisses and cuddles, but she has paid attention to the routine. Now, when Silly Mummy asks The Baby for a kiss, The Baby opens her mouth and head butts Silly Mummy (still not quite got the hang of kisses), before putting her arms around Silly Mummy and saying, ‘Aaahh!’

3. It is naughty to eat the bin (and The Toddler is a bit of a grass)
The Baby’s favourite toy/lunch is the living room bin. Should The Baby be lucky enough to find someone has left the bin within her reach (yes, hiding the bin from The Baby is an actual thing around here), she will immediately attempt to get any item she finds in the bin, the bin bag and the bin itself into her mouth. Should The Baby succeed in engaging in this activity without Silly Mummy noticing, The Toddler alarm will activate: ‘No, The Baby! Naughty! Don’t, The Baby! Mummy! The Baby can’t eat the bin! The Baby naughty!’

4. She’s ‘it’
Due to some very irresponsible parenting, The Toddler has recently learnt about being ‘it’. She now likes to run up to people, smack them and yell, ‘It!’ She understands that she is supposed to run away from people threatening to make her ‘it’. The Baby does not know the rules of ‘it’. Nor can she run. As a result, The Baby can be found sitting on her bottom, smiling patiently, whilst The Toddler repeatedly whacks her on the arm and screams, ‘It!’ The Baby does not know what ‘it’ is, but she accepts that she is ‘it’.

5. Raisins are contraband (and delicious)
The Toddler has some raisins. The Toddler holds out a raisin to The Baby. Silly Mummy tells The Toddler not to give the raisins to The Baby. The Baby is having her own, more suitable, snack. (Read: more digestible snack. There was a raisin incident; Silly Mummy doesn’t want to talk about it.) The Toddler nods. No raisins for The Baby. Silly Mummy fetches The Baby’s snack. The Toddler and The Baby are now looking shifty.
‘Did you give The Baby a raisin?’
‘No.’
‘Has The Baby got a raisin?’
‘No.’
‘Is that a raisin in The Baby’s mouth?’
‘Yes. The Baby eating raisin.’

5 1/2. The Toddler loves her
The Toddler gave The Baby one of her raisins. Voluntarily. The Baby is very special.

Conversations With The Baby

Conversations With The BabyThe Baby has made the effort to join in the conversation between The Toddler and Silly Mummy (not to mention, debated with parrots). The Toddler therefore decides to return the favour. She will chat with The Baby about what The Baby wants to talk about. She will use The Baby’s native tongue, Garble (a beautiful and nuanced language, for those who don’t know).

She announces her intentions: ‘Talk to The Baby.’ She sits down in front of The Baby, and looks at her expectantly.
The Baby says, ‘Ooh rah rah raah!’
The Toddler says, ‘Ooh rah rah raah!’
The Baby looks pleased: The Toddler has just agreed to hand over all of her toys for chewing. The Toddler looks pleased: she has no idea she has just agreed to hand over all of her toys for chewing.

The Toddler quickly progresses to initiating conversations. She approaches The Baby and says, ‘Ah wah wah bah!’
The Baby is pleased with The Toddler’s effort to speak her language. She yells, ‘Ah bah bah bah!’
The Toddler agrees, ‘Ah bah bah bah!’
The Baby is very excited, she bounces up and down and hollers, ‘Gah! Goober rah!’
The Toddler laughs and repeats, ‘Gah! Goober rah!’
The Baby has more to say. She screeches, ‘Geh rah eh nargh!’
This conversation has really got away from The Toddler now. The Toddler needs to shut it down: ‘No, The Baby! Shh!’

The Toddler’s translation skills are a little suspect. The Baby says, ‘Ming ming ming !’
The Toddler says, ‘Ming ming ming! Talking to The Baby, Mummy.’
‘Yes, I can see you are talking to The Baby. What are you talking about?’
‘Kiss. The Baby want kiss.’
The Baby glares. She does not want a kiss. The Toddler wants a kiss. The Baby wants to discuss historical Chinese dynasties, apparently.

Despite The Toddler’s previous record of mistranslation, Silly Mummy still calls upon her expertise in matters of Baby interpretation. The Baby says, ‘Bah bah gah.’
The Toddler says, ‘The Baby talking.’
Silly Mummy agrees, ‘Yes, she is. Do you know what she’s saying?’
The Toddler nods, ‘Bah bah gah.’
Obviously. Silly Mummy. Ask a stupid question…

Five and a Half Ways The Baby Is a Big Disappointment to The Toddler

Five And A Half Ways The Baby Is A Disappointment To The ToddlerIt should be made clear at the outset that The Toddler loves The Baby. The Toddler is very proud of The Baby. She likes to show The Baby to anyone and everyone: ‘My sis!’ Nonetheless, The Baby is, on occasion, a big disappointment to The Toddler; and here are five and a half reasons why.

1. She sits on her bottom when she has been explicitly told, several times, ‘Come on, The Baby! Quick, quick!’

2. She upsets the cat. The Toddler has worked very hard to earn the cat’s attitude of contemptuous tolerance towards her. The Toddler plays it cool. The cat respects this. The Baby does not play it cool. The baby is overzealous in displaying her love of the cat. The cat doesn’t like it. Now, what it comes down to is this: we all love the cat, but some of us (naming no babies) are upsetting her and ruining it for everyone else. The Baby is not a team player: ‘Mummy, The Baby naughty. Cat not happy.’

3. She does not kiss properly. The Toddler says, ‘Mummy, want to kiss The Baby. Bring here. Kiss.’ The Baby is duly presented for toddler kisses. The Toddler tries to kiss The Baby. The Baby turns her head. The Toddler laughs, ‘No, The Baby: kiss! Come here! Kiss!’ The Toddler tries again. The Baby turns her head. The Toddler is nothing if not persistent: ‘No – kiss!’ She approaches The Baby once more. The Baby puts her head forward. Things are looking promising. The Baby has remembered this kiss thing: she is going to nail it this time. The Baby opens her mouth and grabs The Toddler’s hair. Not quite, The Baby. Despite The Baby’s failure to reciprocate appropriately, The Toddler is determined to show The Baby love. The Baby will be shown love. It is therefore now cuddle time: ‘Cuggle! The Toddler cuggle The Baby!’ The Toddler moves toward The Baby. The Baby reaches out her arms – she has spotted hair again. The Toddler dodges: ‘No, The Baby! Don’t!’

4. She does not do the Hokey Cokey. The Toddler is doing the Hokey Cokey. Which is to say, she is doing the important part of the Hokey Cokey: running in and out whilst screaming, ‘Rah, rah, rah!’ The Baby is sitting on the floor, chewing a toy remote control. The Toddler turns to her: ‘Come on, The Baby! Cokey!’ The Baby continues to sit on the floor. She continues to chew the remote. She shows no inclination to do the Hokey Cokey, or even to turn around. Not a single arm goes in or out. The Toddler turns to Silly Mummy: ‘Mummy! The Baby’s turn! Cokey!’

5. She is not a bumble bee. The Toddler is dressed as a bumble bee. For reasons that are incomprehensible to The Toddler (The Baby does not have a bumble bee outfit), The Baby is not dressed as a bumble bee. The Toddler addresses The Baby firmly: ‘The Baby bee! The Baby get clothes! Bee! Buzz!’ Despite these very clear instructions, The Baby continues to not be a bumble bee.

5 1/2. The Baby is not doing the Hokey Cokey dressed as a bumble bee. The Toddler knows it can be done: she herself is doing the Hokey Cokey dressed as a bumble bee. The Baby remains very uncooperative on both points. Disappointing.