A Pacific Northwest Toddler

Published January 4, 2013 by jay p laughlin

“Ow! It hurts. My eyes, ” she said as the three of us walked to the grocery store. photo (6)

“What hurts?,” Jenni and I asked.

“The light, the sun, my eyes!”

One might think that, perhaps, the sun was shining in her eyes. True, it was an unusually sunny winter day. (And by “sunny” I mean that there was a little bit of sun peaking out through the clouds occasionally). But the sun wasn’t shining directly in her eyes, it was just shining. While this wasn’t the key moment in which we realized we had a Pacific Northwest toddler, it certainly adds to the growing stack of evidence.

Case in point. We were at our local watering-hole when I left the table to throw away some trash. ZK, being all grown now, was sitting in her own chair (NOT the stroller as she likes to inform me) with her own drink, and her own food. When I returned, however, she managed to reach across the table and snatch my (fully-leaded) beverage. Straw in her mouth, eyes wide in an expression of OMFingG!, and hardly a single muscle movement to swallow. It was like she somehow had the caffeinated goodness simply splash over her tongue on its way straight into the stomach. And, being the little toddler that she is, she put up a little fight when I tried to take it back.

I could continue with the evidence, but I’ll stop.

I haven’t posted in a couple of months because ZK and I have just been so busy. When I get a moment of rest I often want to read something instead of write. Lots of humorous exchanges have occurred and many of them (I’m certain) have been forgotten.

photo (7)ZK’s largest advances are in the realm of language. Every day it seems that she’s added new vocabulary or has tried new word combinations to express herself. She’s becoming quite good at it. She regularly uses 3-4 word sentences and inflects possessives and regular plurals consistently. (Little kid brains are like language sponges). Sometimes she even pulls out a little surprise when she demonstrates that she understands a concept but lacks the proper word for it. For example, when she wants to run fast she used to say “run big” until she learned the word fast.

But this is not to say that she doesn’t still need a translator handy at times. She’ll try to say words like “delectable” (it’s from one of her favorite books) but mangles the pronunciation. Even though she capable of pronouncing other words correctly, she has a habit of preferring the mispronunciation for some of them (like mikis for music). A few weeks back, however, even Jenni and I had to step back and ponder for a second to understand something that she said…

It sounded like, “I want big cock!”

Taken aback, we looked at each other and asked her to say it again.

“I want big cock!”

It must be said that, although I am known for both the quality and the quantity of my profanity, I am hard-pressed to ever think of a time when I have used that particular expression. She didn’t learn it from me.

I tried to quickly run through her pattern of mispronunciations to understand what she wanted. The third time she said it she threw her arms open wide. It was then that we understood.

“I want big hug!”

Oooh! You want a big HUG! Okay, sweetie.

© 2013 Jay P Laughlin


One comment on “A Pacific Northwest Toddler

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