I remember spending time with parents of toddlers before having kids Their kids would pull on their pants mid-conversation and out of their mouth would come, “Dada whatta misa nuufus?”
“I think he’s in the bathroom sweetie.”
They’d tear off, and I’d say, “What just happened?”
“Oh, he was just asking where his Snuffleupagus stuffed animal was.”
“Bullshit,” I’d think, but sure enough here comes a beaming toddler out of the bathroom holding his Snuffy.
This fluency in toddlerese isn’t immediate, but the immersion is total so the learning curve is steep. I’ll call bullshit on a parent who claims fluency with an average 18 month-old, but by 24-30 months I’ll believe them.
Hampering fluency is toddler insanity. I remember for a couple weeks ago Josie kept using the word ‘Cah-row-ree.’ She’d say it mostly while playing in the car. I could make out that cahrowree lived up in the clouds, but that was about all. Eventually I figured out that she was saying ‘coyote,’ which is kind of hard to figure out when your toddler is emphatic that coyotes live in the sky.
Josie is still somewhat unintelligible to the unpracticed ear, so I still act as translator for our friends. To help out, here are some translations for her more common nonsensical words and phrases.
Toddlerese / English
Cahrowree / Coyote
Yet / This
Allbody / Everybody
Up the road down the road / Beyond the house
Fro / Throw
Rant you / Thank you
Cock / Chalk
Fuck / Truck
Turkey / Twisty
Facebook / The Internet
Luten / Josie’s cousin Lucian
My / I
Foon / Spoon
Arf arf / Dog
Coo / Chew
Fireworks / The tops of carrots, or real fireworks
Want not want / Don’t want