Tag Archives: barbaric yawp

How to communicate with your toddler (or “The Diaper Incident”)

It’s always an exciting time when your precious toddler moves from the pre-verbal stage to the almost-verbal stage. You know, when they’re just talking up a storm but in a dialect and a language that you don’t quite understand because it doesn’t exist anywhere else in the entire universe.

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Take this recent incident between my son and I. See, currently his favorite game is “Drag All The Random Crap Out From His Room Into The Living Room And Into Momma’s Awaiting Hands.” The only rules I have imposed on this game are to not bring out his clean clothes from his dresser or the diapers from the diaper hangy thing (probably not its official name).

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We were playing this game yet again one afternoon when he brought out one of the diapers from the aforementioned hangy diaper thing. Being the amazing mother I am and knowing how important it is to give children boundaries and stick to them, I made him put it back.

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But then, a few minutes later, after handing me a rubber duck, a dust-covered binkie and his most prized possession, my left flip-flop, he brought out ANOTHER diaper. This time, I sternly laid down the law (again, because my mothering skills are unparalleled).

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And would you believe, he went back in his room and immediately came out with yet ANOTHER diaper, handing it to me while loudly and sternly proclaiming “Bah doo ishbah!” Kids, I tell you. They always have to push those boundaries (as any wise mother such as myself knows).

Well, believe you me I told him to put it back.

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And then…well, then he made his point the only way he possibly could when your wise, perfect, idiot mother is absolutely not listening to you. He reached into the diaper he was currently wearing and showed me in no uncertain terms that he had shat himself.

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“Oh…so, guess you need a diaper change then, yeah?” I sheepishly said to him.

And walking toward his room with as much dignity as one could muster with a pantsful of poop, my son replied over his shoulder, “Duh.”

It just goes to show you, communicating with your toddler can be rough at this stage. But with a little bit of love and a whole lot of patience, they’ll eventually teach us stupid parents to listen.

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You have to crawl before you can raid and pillage

For only being 9-months-old, my son has a lot of interests. I mean, a LOT of interests. All day long, he’s just interested in everything.

For example, here’s a list of things my son is interested in:

Pulling off his left sock.

Dropping heavy, loud things on the floor.

Shaking his head no. At everything.

Licking the couch.

Licking the dog.

Licking my cellphone.

Obviously eating the left sock he pulled off because I can’t find that damn thing anywhere.

Biting my collarbone.

This mug full of super-hot coffee in my hands.

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And here is a list of things my son is not interested in:

Learning how to crawl.

Yes, my son, while a master at the art of sitting, has absolutely no interest in taking that skill to the next level. And it’s not just that he’s not interested in learning how to crawl. It’s as though he actively loathes even the mere thought of transporting his tiny body in such a crude manner. I’m talking put that kid on his stomach and he either:

  1. Lies face down, arms and legs splayed straight out, while crying pathetically. Or…
  2. Turns round and round on his stomach like a clock (while crying pathetically), just biding his time until I finally give up on the whole charade, pick him up and let him get back to his very important job of licking the couch.

Now, in general, this does not bother me. One, because I know all babies start crawling in their own good time. I mean, sure, I have irrational concerns my baby is not developing normally, just like everyone else in America. But it’s fine. Because just like everyone else in America, I assume I will be rich someday and as such can always hire someone to carry him from class to class when he’s enrolled in Harvard.

Two, his semi-immobility does make my job exceedingly easier. Which, as an inherently lazy mom, I really appreciate. I know I can set that kid down in the middle of the kitchen and leave the room and when I get back he will still be in that exact same spot. Or spinning in a circle crying pathetically, but still relatively in the same spot.

And three, I’m pretty sure he’s just biding his time until he can jump straight to walking. Because just like a dog who doesn’t realize he’s a dog but thinks he’s human (and yes, yes I am comparing my baby to a dog again), my baby doesn’t realize he’s a baby and thinks he’s a 35-year-old Viking. A 35-year-old Viking that must yell his barbaric yawp and savagely pillage the toy basket on a regular basis.

And Vikings don’t crawl, thankyouverymuch.

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What does bother me, however, is the constant stream of “Is he crawling yet?” I get from other parents. There is a dark, dark underbelly to the parenting world and it is composed of people who constantly want to play the game “Let’s Compare Babies!” Which is less a game and more just a way for them to tell you all the ways their baby is better than your baby. It usually goes something like this:

Other Parent: “Is he crawling yet?”

Me: “No.”

Other Parent: “Oh. How old is he again?”

Me: “Almost 9-months.”

Other Parent: “Oooh. Nine months and not crawling yet. Hmm. Well, Sabrina was crawling when she was 7-days-old. But the doctor said that’s exceedingly rare. All babies crawl in their own time, you know.”

Me (to the waiter): “I need a cocktail.”

Other Parent: “It’s 9:30 in the morning.”

Me (to the waiter again): “Make it three.”

Yes, no one wins at “Let’s Compare Babies!” Because if you’re a parent like me, you end up feeling like crap and spending the rest of the day Googling “crawling specialists.”

And if you’re the Other Parent, you end up getting hit by a bus, like in my fantasies.

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