Toddler conversations can be a little frustrating.
With Emma, I've noticed how she's getting more and more communicative and using longer phrases and a whole string of words all connected together in what could probably be called a sentence. The trouble is, most of the time I don't know what she's trying to say.
I try to guess and repeat back to her what I think she might be saying but she just gives me a confused look or shakes her head and says "Mo". Sometimes all I can do is smile uncomprehendingly and answer "Yes, sweetie" or "I know" and she'll look me in the eyes as if to say "You haven't understood a word of what I've been trying to tell you, mummy, have you?" Guilty.
Sometimes the words are just bubbling out and I know she's really trying to tell me something, but I have no idea what. That's so frustrating.
Perhaps it's made a little more difficult for me by the fact that I have to go through the possibilities of what she could be saying in two different languages. Is this word in English or Spanish? Emma's not confused; she knows what she wants to say. I'm the confused one.
I remember struggling with French and Spanish Listening Comprehension exams when I was doing my GCSEs many many years ago. Well, how about Toddler Listening Comprehension? That's a whole other skill and unfortunately one you can't study for as each toddler has their own specific language. You just have to pick it up as you go along. Not sure I would pass the Toddler Listening Comprehension exam!
So, I thought I would record here a few of the more successful conversations we've had recently, where there was actually mutual comprehension. When that happens it's such a great feeling and I just want to keep having that same conversation again and again. Hey, with a toddler you can do that!
The other evening we had this little conversation:
Me: It's dark, isn't it?
Emma: Siii. Sun.
Me: Where's the sun?
Me: Is the sun asleep?
Emma: Siii. Daan. Mm. Bet. Mm.
Me: Yes, the sun's gone down and gone to bed.
Emma: Siii. Mm. Nut. Mm. Si. Mm. Nut.
Me: Yes, it's night now.
We can hear the pitter-patter of the rain outside.
Emma: wen, wen.
Me: Rain? Yes, it's raining.
Emma: Wawa. Ha. Ha. (Patting the top of her head)
Me: Do you want your hat on?
Emma: (shaking her head) Mo.
Me: Oh, your hair, you got your hair wet yesterday when we were out in the rain.
Emma: Siiii! Weh. Wawa.
One afternoon, Emma's having her dinner and I say to her "You can wash it down with some water." which she does.
Later, she's still eating and she takes her cup of water.
Emma: Wash, wash.
Me: No, that's water to drink, not to wash your hands.
Emma (insisting): Wash, wash.
Me (the penny dropping): Oh, you're going to wash your dinner down with some water!
Emma: Si. Wash. Daan.
I was both pleased and amused at how quickly she'd picked up on this expression that I'd used quite unconsciously.
Emma is going to brush her teeth. (Well, I'm going to try to brush her teeth while she tries to brush them herself!)
Emma: Bush teesh.
Me: Let's brush your teeth.
Emma (grinning to show me her front teeth): Teeen!
Me: Yes, we need to get your teeth all clean.
Emma (shaking her head solemnly): Hoy, mo.
Me: No, you don't want to get holes in your teeth, do you? (My current method of persuasion!)
Emma: Hoy, mo.
Then after a few seconds of moving the toothbrush around her mouth, she hands it back to me.
Emma: Ya. Teeen.
Me: No, Emma, they're not clean yet, we need to brush some more. Show me your teeth, oh, they're still dirty, oh no, let's get them clean.
She may or may not let me keep brushing, but you get the idea!
Those are just a few. I try to note them down in the moment to remember them. I'll collect a few more of our little conversations and maybe put them together in another post in a few weeks' time.
Have you had similar conversations? Do you struggle too with Toddler Listening Comprehension? I'd love to hear about it, so please leave a comment!