Lost in translation

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Anyone out there looking to make a fast buck should consider writing a reference library for new parents. For all the baby books out there, I have yet to find the elusive, all-inclusive Baby Manual - a guaranteed goldmine.

But I'd happily settle for something more specific, like "Half-baked: the art of one-handed cooking" to cope with my 19-month-old chef, who prefers to spend all meal times perched on my hip. Not that I can blame him. What better place to oversee every step of food preparation, squeal with delight with the cracking of every egg or jump into action when his expertise in stirring, dumping, or loading the toaster is required? Not to mention the fact that my hip provides easy access to grated cheese and other tasty nibbles, and protection from the evil Blender Monster.

I've learned to look beyond the growing weight and the sizzles of drool hitting the frying pan to keep the peace. Besides, he helps with the dishes. But there must be a better way.

"The no-cry shower solution: how to get five minutes of peace and still preserve your baby's self-esteem," would be a quick addition to my library. I haven't had a peaceful shower since the delivery room, and only then because I was too drugged to care that I needed two nurses to hold me up. Good times.

I haven't showered alone since. Now, I have an entourage of cats and a kid parading through the open door. Thankfully, John has lost his "baby radar," which in his newborn days enabled him to wake up the second I stepped into the tub. And it's been better since he discovered that I don't actually vanish into the abyss when I step behind the curtain. As long as he has unrestricted access, showers are now howl-free. But it's become a game, where he scours the house for unusual trinkets, and passes them to me behind the curtain. I usually end up with an eclectic mix of saltshakers, fridge magnets and spoons. Though I have to be a little pickier about his gifts if I have a bath; we've lost a few cordless phones that way.

These days, the reference book I really need is a Toddler Dictionary. Some Toddlerese is fairly obvious: k'tee, dagee, heh-oh and my heart melts with every "hank-oo." John's first real word was "uh-oh!" He'll drop things on purpose just for an excuse to say it, and he's quick to point out all of our butter-fingered moments with a joyful chorus of it.

Some words are still just garble to me, but they're so repetitive, and sound so much like English, I feel inept not being able to follow along. The word that really has me stumped is "no," usually pronounced something more like "NOOOOOO!!!"

Every other word in his budding vocabulary has a meaning. K'tee, for instance, is reserved for moments when a cat wanders through the room. Or for every time we go to the basement, where we once housed a brood of felines for a vacationing neighbour. Likewise "poop" is invariably a request for a diaper change, and is usually uttered while he follows me around clutching a clean diaper.

But for some reason, "no" follows no rules.

Do you want milk? "No!" he'll say, snatching his cup. Do you want up? "No!" he'll cry, arms outstretched. Do you want down? "No! No! Nooo!" as he shimmies down my leg. Once, I was shocked to catch him dancing in the living room singing "no, no, no, no!" to the tune of Baa Baa Black Sheep. Sometimes, he'll just blurt it out for no apparent reason, and then laugh his head off at our stunned expressions.

So just what is the Toddlerese Dictionary definition of "no?" And when will it finally just mean "no?" The answer to this question alone is worth a goldmine.

Lost in translation

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Anyone out there looking to make a fast buck should consider writing a reference library for new parents. For all the baby books out there, I have yet to find the elusive, all-inclusive Baby Manual - a guaranteed goldmine.

But I'd happily settle for something more specific, like "Half-baked: the art of one-handed cooking" to cope with my 19-month-old chef, who prefers to spend all meal times perched on my hip. Not that I can blame him. What better place to oversee every step of food preparation, squeal with delight with the cracking of every egg or jump into action when his expertise in stirring, dumping, or loading the toaster is required? Not to mention the fact that my hip provides easy access to grated cheese and other tasty nibbles, and protection from the evil Blender Monster.

I've learned to look beyond the growing weight and the sizzles of drool hitting the frying pan to keep the peace. Besides, he helps with the dishes. But there must be a better way.

"The no-cry shower solution: how to get five minutes of peace and still preserve your baby's self-esteem," would be a quick addition to my library. I haven't had a peaceful shower since the delivery room, and only then because I was too drugged to care that I needed two nurses to hold me up. Good times.

I haven't showered alone since. Now, I have an entourage of cats and a kid parading through the open door. Thankfully, John has lost his "baby radar," which in his newborn days enabled him to wake up the second I stepped into the tub. And it's been better since he discovered that I don't actually vanish into the abyss when I step behind the curtain. As long as he has unrestricted access, showers are now howl-free. But it's become a game, where he scours the house for unusual trinkets, and passes them to me behind the curtain. I usually end up with an eclectic mix of saltshakers, fridge magnets and spoons. Though I have to be a little pickier about his gifts if I have a bath; we've lost a few cordless phones that way.

These days, the reference book I really need is a Toddler Dictionary. Some Toddlerese is fairly obvious: k'tee, dagee, heh-oh and my heart melts with every "hank-oo." John's first real word was "uh-oh!" He'll drop things on purpose just for an excuse to say it, and he's quick to point out all of our butter-fingered moments with a joyful chorus of it.

Some words are still just garble to me, but they're so repetitive, and sound so much like English, I feel inept not being able to follow along. The word that really has me stumped is "no," usually pronounced something more like "NOOOOOO!!!"

Every other word in his budding vocabulary has a meaning. K'tee, for instance, is reserved for moments when a cat wanders through the room. Or for every time we go to the basement, where we once housed a brood of felines for a vacationing neighbour. Likewise "poop" is invariably a request for a diaper change, and is usually uttered while he follows me around clutching a clean diaper.

But for some reason, "no" follows no rules.

Do you want milk? "No!" he'll say, snatching his cup. Do you want up? "No!" he'll cry, arms outstretched. Do you want down? "No! No! Nooo!" as he shimmies down my leg. Once, I was shocked to catch him dancing in the living room singing "no, no, no, no!" to the tune of Baa Baa Black Sheep. Sometimes, he'll just blurt it out for no apparent reason, and then laugh his head off at our stunned expressions.

So just what is the Toddlerese Dictionary definition of "no?" And when will it finally just mean "no?" The answer to this question alone is worth a goldmine.

Lost in translation

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Anyone out there looking to make a fast buck should consider writing a reference library for new parents. For all the baby books out there, I have yet to find the elusive, all-inclusive Baby Manual - a guaranteed goldmine.

But I'd happily settle for something more specific, like "Half-baked: the art of one-handed cooking" to cope with my 19-month-old chef, who prefers to spend all meal times perched on my hip. Not that I can blame him. What better place to oversee every step of food preparation, squeal with delight with the cracking of every egg or jump into action when his expertise in stirring, dumping, or loading the toaster is required? Not to mention the fact that my hip provides easy access to grated cheese and other tasty nibbles, and protection from the evil Blender Monster.

I've learned to look beyond the growing weight and the sizzles of drool hitting the frying pan to keep the peace. Besides, he helps with the dishes. But there must be a better way.

"The no-cry shower solution: how to get five minutes of peace and still preserve your baby's self-esteem," would be a quick addition to my library. I haven't had a peaceful shower since the delivery room, and only then because I was too drugged to care that I needed two nurses to hold me up. Good times.

I haven't showered alone since. Now, I have an entourage of cats and a kid parading through the open door. Thankfully, John has lost his "baby radar," which in his newborn days enabled him to wake up the second I stepped into the tub. And it's been better since he discovered that I don't actually vanish into the abyss when I step behind the curtain. As long as he has unrestricted access, showers are now howl-free. But it's become a game, where he scours the house for unusual trinkets, and passes them to me behind the curtain. I usually end up with an eclectic mix of saltshakers, fridge magnets and spoons. Though I have to be a little pickier about his gifts if I have a bath; we've lost a few cordless phones that way.

These days, the reference book I really need is a Toddler Dictionary. Some Toddlerese is fairly obvious: k'tee, dagee, heh-oh and my heart melts with every "hank-oo." John's first real word was "uh-oh!" He'll drop things on purpose just for an excuse to say it, and he's quick to point out all of our butter-fingered moments with a joyful chorus of it.

Some words are still just garble to me, but they're so repetitive, and sound so much like English, I feel inept not being able to follow along. The word that really has me stumped is "no," usually pronounced something more like "NOOOOOO!!!"

Every other word in his budding vocabulary has a meaning. K'tee, for instance, is reserved for moments when a cat wanders through the room. Or for every time we go to the basement, where we once housed a brood of felines for a vacationing neighbour. Likewise "poop" is invariably a request for a diaper change, and is usually uttered while he follows me around clutching a clean diaper.

But for some reason, "no" follows no rules.

Do you want milk? "No!" he'll say, snatching his cup. Do you want up? "No!" he'll cry, arms outstretched. Do you want down? "No! No! Nooo!" as he shimmies down my leg. Once, I was shocked to catch him dancing in the living room singing "no, no, no, no!" to the tune of Baa Baa Black Sheep. Sometimes, he'll just blurt it out for no apparent reason, and then laugh his head off at our stunned expressions.

So just what is the Toddlerese Dictionary definition of "no?" And when will it finally just mean "no?" The answer to this question alone is worth a goldmine.