The speech of two-year olds is the stuff of adorably cute memories that, if your family is anything like mine, are repeated for decades. Take bizarre names for people and objects, add a dash of accidental comedy genius and combine with an infant’s uniquely surreal take on the universe and you’ve got the recipe for an abundance of special moments. Tilly is no exception and having just turned three years of age and now speaking with remarkable fluency, I took a look at the meteoric and often hilarious rise of language from my daughter.
Show me hippos
Small children inevitably notice mobile phones and when Tilly took an interest in my iPhone I showed her a selection photos of her favourite animals from the web. At the time she lacked the vocabulary to ask to see the phone so instead I’d be minding my own business when she’d amble over and suddenly utter:
And she would keep saying hippo at you until the necessary goods were provided. Goodness knows what anyone would have made of it who wasn’t versed with this tiny toddler code and kept demanding hippos of them. Happily I knew the drill.
Over time it became more elaborate to include more of Tilly’s favourites, at one point comprising an eclectic selection of animals and fruit: “Hippos, Lions, Apples, Oranges?” Now of course she can demand any number of digital devices by precision but at the time it was unfeasibly cute.
Much of toddler language is learnt through hearing something and repeating it. Tilly has always been confident at this and will try out new vocabulary having heard it just the once, although this has tended to some comedy misheard words.
Having recently watched Toy Story for the first time, we put Toy Story 2 on our generic streaming service. Tilly’s immediate question was: “where’s Loggy?” After a moment of exchanging puzzled looks with my wife we realised that she meant Woody. Presumably Tilly had forgotten his name but had recalled it was somehow tree-related and made a best guess. We collapsed into uncontrollable fits of laughter although Tilly put a stop to this by coming over and roundly beating mummy and daddy up, having correctly deduced the comedy was at her expense. Fair.
Speaking of generic streaming services, we signed up to a couple of online TV services last year. Tilly had picked up us mentioned them as we were finding programmes for her to watch so next time she wanted the telly she demanded to watch “Netflakes”. Again much hilarity ensued, if more muted this time in fear of further violence. We did try for a time to perpetuate the use of Netflakes but alas she seems to have learnt the correct name now. Still, Netflakes would be a superb name for some breakfast-time internet offering.
As two neared three years of age, Tilly became more aware of her comedic potential. Her best effort of late came from a combination of her current fascination with my wife’s boobs and pretending to play babies with her at bedtime.
“Mummy: be a baby.
A baby with boobs? I’ve not seen that before!”
We again were unable to help ourselves and dissolved in laughter but this time Tilly understood she’d intentionally said something funny and was as proud as punch at being in on a joke. What will come next? We can scarcely imagine.
What spoken gems has your toddler come out with? Share in the comments section.
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