Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Toddler Translator.

About two years ago, when I was still pregnant with Athena, I overheard my friend's toddler talking to her. I couldn't understand one word of what he was saying to his mother; it just sounded like a bunch of animal sounds and babbling. Yet, without hesitation, his mom replied as if he has spoken perfect English. I was baffled, yet very impressed.

Now I can understand my friend's fluency in the language of toddlers. With each new development involving my daughter comes some new bit of vocabulary. For instance, when she says 'cup,' it sounds more like 'cook,' and when she says 'belly' is sounds like she is saying 'baby.' The latter almost got me in trouble once, when she pointed to my friend's stomach and said 'baby.' I had to quickly translate and explain that she looked nothing near pregnant.

I get an amazing sense of pride when I can understand Athena's words when others can't. It feel part of an exclusive group with a secret language. Of course I can understand her, I'm her mother, but things can get rather complicated when she tries to communicate with new people
such as babysitters. I try to predetermine important words before I leave her with a sitter to make things easier.

The older Athena gets, the easier she is to understand. But there are still often times when she'll just babble to herself and even I can't comprehend what she's saying. I wonder to myself what she could
possibly be talking about. I remember when she first started talking; I knew most of her sounds were just vocalizations so she could hear herself, but I was also curious about what she was trying to say. It's so interesting watching her learn the English language. I can't wait to hear what she'll yell at me next.


  1. 3 of Olivia's favorite words are Dee (kitty), Pee (pretty) and Bee (Brianna). Unless you're listening closely you can't tell the difference. We get confused looks all the time.

  2. Wow, those all rhyme. I need a pocket toddler dictionary or something. :P