The Things I Didn’t Mean To Teach My Toddler

Toddlers are sponges and they suck up every single utterance you make and squeeze it out under any of the following conditions:-

  • In public
  • In public when its very, very quiet

Over the past 3 trips round the Sun we have inadvertently taught River some “bad practices” which I can’t undo. Not that I haven’t tried, he just refuses to be remoulded into a better citizen now. He feels he is too long in the tooth for change.

I’ll start with pants. When River was a baby we used to say “get your kecks on” rather than trousers/pants/shorts or jeans because we thought it was funny. But now he denies all other identities of this clothing genre; they’re all kecks. He has now taken to shouting very loudly in public toilets “oh no! There’s wet on my kecks!” (Even when there isn’t) much to the delight of other snickering toilet stall occupants. If we tell him to put his shorts on; they’re kecks. Pull up your trousers? Kecks. Put on your swimming costume? Pond kecks. He won’t be swayed.

Boobies. River will only refer to his torso as boobies and no other word will suffice. Tummy? No. Chest? Forget it. Its boobies. And if he wants me to carry him in public what does he say I hear you cry? “MUMMY I GO ON BOOBIES!” If I tickle him he will scream “NO TICKLE MY BOOBIES” at the top of his lungs at what can only be described at a vested effort to project it out of any open window or door. Sorry neighbours. Or my personal favourite “BENJI NO SMELL MY BOOBIES!”

Dracarys. Now this one is a doozy and takes some explaining so strap in. Frankie has a thing for Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones and has a small little Funko Pop of her that litters my living room. I keep moving it upstairs/in the bin but it travels it way back to my mantlepiece like a borrower. River showed interest in his mummy’s dolly one day so she taught him to say “dracarys” and for those not in the know; this is was Daenerys says to make her dragon scorch people. Now remember how I said toddlers just take everything in and then spray things out at the worst possible moment you can imagine? Well River has now decided the local statue of Jesus Christ outside a church is in fact, Daenerys, and loudly proclaims “DRACARYS!” whenever he sees it. I have tried to explain that it isn’t the true heir to the Iron Throne and how it is Jesus but he shouts at me and I’m not getting in to it with him. He can be smited and I’ll say I had no part in it when the time comes.

The Mummy/Mummy differentiation. People always ask what River calls us and from the beginning we always said we would start with Mummy and Mummy and see where we end up. He would find his own way. And he has. We are both Mummy until he needs a specific one and then its “Frankie” or “Me.” He calls Frankie her name because he hears me screaming it up the stairs often enough and he calls me “Me” because for a while he was getting frustrated when the wrong Mummy was answering so I kept pointing to myself and saying “do you mean me?” So now I’m Me.

He thinks the animals can talk and I can’t undo it. Benji (dog) and Jake (cat) have their own “voices” (judge us, I don’t care) but River has bought right in to it. He marches in from nursery and seeks out his furry companions to debrief on the day past and he isn’t satisfied until he has had a “oh very good, Love” from Benji and a “that’s lovely!” From Jake. If they don’t answer he shouts his story louder at them like a Brit abroad trying to get directions from locals. If we the animals accidentally say something in the wrong voice he will look you dead in the eye and tell you which animal should have answered. And that animal better answer quick.

I’m sure there is plenty more we’ll misteach him as the years keep rolling by… if he hasn’t been turned into a pillar of salts that is.

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