Recently the wildfires that seem to be an annual occurrence in the hills and valleys around my childhood home once again reared their ugly head. I messaged my mom over chat.
TCStream: How close is the chemical fire to you guys?
GrammaJ: <is typingâ€¦> five minutes later
far it is in camarillobut we never know with the wind so strong it can mouve fast, 30%chances of rain on Sunday
TCStream: Hi dad
GrammaJ: <is typingâ€¦> nine minutes later
ciao bella , and haw did you know it was me? spelling?grammar? OR ACCENT?
TCStream: Youâ€™re typing on a computer â€“ there is no accent. I can tell cuz mom types quickly and correctly
As so aptly demonstrated by the great truegee game of â€™96, Papa is often teased for his hiccups with the English language. (And this is even after being married to a speech pathologist/educational brass for upwards of 35 years.)
It mirrors the developing communication skills of toddlers. Which is rather appropriate when you think about it:
Papa: n. A giant toddler with ability to proffer grownup approval for overly energetic ideas.
And sometimes things can get a little confusing.
During my parents visit for BirthdayPalooza 3, a toy suddenly deemed ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY for survival by one of the boys went missing. A family search commenced.
Me: Hey Dad, have you seen the matchbox car with Mickey on it?
Destroy: NO! Thatâ€™s not Daddy. That Papa. Daddy in the other room.
Me: I stand corrected.
The following morning:
Search: There’s frog outside.
Search: No daddy, frog.
So you’ve all been warned, there’s frogs out there, be careful. (Perhaps itâ€™s the friend of Toad come to visit.)
I will admit, as much communication confusion is caused as the little dudes come into their own â€“ including how to express their thoughts, there are a lot of the quirky miscommuniques Iâ€™ll miss.
Winter footwear decorated with superheroes or monsters. To be worn with an awesome beat-boxing attitude.
SautÃ©ed green flower-headed vegetable. Fun and delicious! Unlike similar plant in cabbage family that even former presidents wouldnâ€™t eat.
Pre-mashed mashed yellow/brown herbaceous food. Caution â€“ eat only one bite before throwing fruit away.
Educational daycare location where young humans are fed sugar and avoid naps. Turns children into goblins once retrieved by parental units.
Heavy-equipment machinery crawler. Yellow. Made by Tonka.
Stylistic basketball goal with sand-filled base. Light enough to crash to ground should a toddler breathe on it.
Stuffed donkey. Commonly recognized as Eeyore from A.A. Milneâ€™s Winnie the Pooh series.
Only carpeted room in the house. Secured by baby gate. Limited options for total home destruction.
The opposite of where ever a child is. And where they NEED TO BE RIGHT NOW.
Left handed electric guitar. Adult-size instrument that Dad wonâ€™t let you play.
Ring-shaped pasta dinner. More closely resembling a belly-button than amphibian reproductive parts.
Caller and enforcer of rules at baseball games. But only when heâ€™s the man in black â€“ not wearing blue.
Iâ€™ve got nothing. Please enlighten me â€“ muppets keep chanting it and laughing like they know something I donâ€™t. (Which they probably do.)
But really, the only critical translation you need to understand when in the presence of toddlers is:
Mommy! Watch this!
Which is toddlerese for “I’m about to do something stupid. And I’m gonna need a witness.â€ (And possible medical attention.)