We’re a very verbal clan. From the time a kid came out of the quiet womb, we’d chatter and mimic baby sounds with them, read from soup cans or science books, so it isn’t surprising we tended to have early talkers. With five kids plus my day care home, they had to learn fast to get a word in edgewise! I’m not claiming my darlings uttered brilliant prose, but some of these funny toddler quotes became part of our permanent lexicon.
“Go bye-bye in car“
We no longer remember who started this one, but it was shorthand for saying “Hey, it’s time to go; let’s get our act together and hit the road!” It could be a demand from a stir-crazy kid or a question meaning “Are we leaving now?” But to this day my spouse and I will say to each other, or our grown kids, “Go bye-bye in car,” when it’s time to leave. What may have been adorable as a toddler quote probably sounds like idiocy coming from two aging Boomers!
“Shishy in bus“
My first-born, Jimmy, loved animals from the beginning. Over the years we had a menagerie of furry or scaly or winged critters in our home. When Jim was about two, we had a goldfish in a classic round bowl on a living room table. He loved to watch it endlessly swimming around. One morning before I was dressed, I could hear Jimmy playing with his toy bus in the living room. When I came in, he grinned at me happily and continued rolling his metal bus along the floor, making engine noises. As I passed by the fishbowl, I was shocked to note it was fish-less. Turning to my toddler, I asked in alarm, “Jimmy, where’s the fish?!” He was only too happy to tell me, “Shishy in BUS!” He was taking it on a nice long ride. Shishy go bye-bye in bus. So if we ever tell you that something is “in bus”, it doesn’t bode well.
“Day gettins bigger and bigger“
David, my second son, was about two when we were walking home from town after a great afternoon doing fun things together. We played at the park and the library, bought a new toy and ate downtown. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, and the weather was perfect. David and I were walking hand in hand when I chirped, “It’s been a big day, hasn’t it?” He looked up, scanning the sky and answered, “Yep. Day gettins bigger and bigger!”
“Go whoosh, see moon-ball in sky“
Our third son, Aaron, learned the word ball when he was nine months. He could identify anything round as a ‘ball”. His big brothers loved showing him objects like an orange or a globe or an egg, and asking, “Aaron, what’s this?” He’d proudly blurt out, “BAW!” When Aaron was about a year old, Doug started taking him outside after work to go for a ride on the infant swing. Doug would enhance the thrill by excitedly shouting “WHOOSH” every time he pushed the swing. One full-moon night, Aaron looked into the sky as the swing reached its peak, and yelled “Ball!” Doug told him that ball is called the moon. After that, Aaron would eagerly greet his daddy at the door every evening, saying, “Go whoosh! See moon-ball in ‘ky!” He didn’t seem to mind even when the moon failed to be a ball. If there’s a porch swing around, Doug and I still say “Wanna go whoosh?” Calmly, though.
“You talkin’ a God?”
Amy, our fourth kid and only daughter, was two when she became aware that when we said grace before dinner, or people bowed their heads while someone prayed, the recipient of these words seemed to be invisible. We explained that God sees and hears us even though we can’t see God with our eyes. She was fine with that. Lots of things are mysteries when you’re two. One day Amy wandered in to the kitchen while Doug was on the phone, but from her viewpoint, she couldn’t see the receiver held to the other side of his head. She walked up to him and asked quizically, “Daddy, you talkin’ a God?” Talking to God seemed the likely explanation. To this day when Doug is muttering to himself, and I’m not sure if he’s speaking to me, I ask him, “You talkin’ a God?”
“Faw down, go boom, gotta owie on a head, go to hospital, get a hat“
The same kid who noticed the moon-ball in the sky while going whoosh, was a great adventurer. By fourteen months there was very little that Aaron couldn’t climb.This made for nervous parents! One night Aaron had climbed up on a dresser and before we could catch him, he tumbled off and got a nasty gash on his head. We held a cold pack on our howling toddler, but after half an hour, the bleeding wouldn’t stop. We knew he probably needed stitches. When all the wailing and stitching and bandaging were over, we took our little climber home. The entire top of his head was wrapped in white bandage. Aaron hated his new “hat”. We had to explain the best we could to a fourteen-month old that this was the result of climbing on big things by himself. And to further impress this on him, we warned him with his own toddler quote whenever Aaron looked likely to start scaling tall buildings in his childhood. “Do you want to ‘faw down, go BOOM, getta owie on a head, go to ho’pital, getta hat’?” And over the years, his dad and I adapted it to include any accident to any body part. So we now can “Go to hospital, getta glove” or “Go to hospital, getta sock”. My poor mother-in-law recently fractured her wrist. We refrained from describing it to her in these words, but Doug and I knew she “Faw down, go boom, gotta owie on a wrist, go to doctor, getta sleeve”. Thank goodness she didn’t need a whole “suit”!
The great yowler
And from child number five, not a toddler quote, per se, but when Joshua was a toddler, we had to deny some request of his one day. Instead of a two-year old temper tantrum, Josh fell to his knees before us, threw up his arms in dispair and looked to the heavens with the pained expression of utter disbelief on his little round face. With anguish worthy of Job, he wailed out a long wrenching lament, “OooOOoooOoh!” We knew we had a drama queen on our hands. Did I mention he’s a rock singer now?