When Toddlers Pick Up Adult Phrases, Part 1

August 16th, 2010 by Dionna | 12 Comments
Posted in Eclectic Learning, Just for Fun/Miscellaneous, My Family, natural parenting, Toddlers

2010-07-16 08
Several times since Kieran started talking last year, we’ve noticed he has certain phrases that he uses fairly often.

“Where did he come up with that one?!” we’ll laugh . . .

And then one day we inevitably realize, “Oh. He got it from us.”

His latest phrase is a very enthusiastic “let’s do it!” which is definitely from me. Any time we come up with a plan or are getting ready for something, I catch myself saying “yeah! Let’s do it!” in the same enthusiastic voice.

Another couple of words he uses that I love are “well” and “sometimes.” The well is drawn out and pronounced with an almost Southern accent: “way-ell . . .” When the two are used in conjunction, the result is just about cute enough to melt butter. For example:

Mama: “Do you want to eat a snack with me?”
Kieran: “Well, sometimes I like to eat yogurt!”


Mama: “What do we want to do today?”
Kieran: “Well, sometimes I like to go to Grandma’s house and see our family!”

It’s always very matter-of-factly said, with a certain cock of the head and big gooey toddler eyes.

A few months ago, whenever he asked us a question and got a satisfactory answer, he would immediately come back with an “oh, I see,” (even when he didn’t).

Kieran: “Why it rainin’, mama?”
Mama: “Because the clouds got full of water and wanted to let some out.”
Kieran: “Oh, I see!”

About six months ago he was going through a phase where he wanted to direct our play. Whenever we weren’t playing to his exact specifications, he gave us detailed instructions, followed by the phrase “that’s how we do it!” For example:

“Mama, play with me! No, like this: jump up, then sit on the ground. That’s how we do it!”

Every one of his new phrases has been smile-inducing, even though we know he’s mimicking things he’s heard us say. Almost everything is cuter coming from a toddler’s mouth.

No really – almost everything – even forbidden words. Only once has Kieran ever repeated a cuss word. One day while I was sewing, the machine kept messing up and I’d spent twenty minutes trying to fix it before I lost my cool. “God damn it!” I said, further worrying Kieran, who was sitting near me and very concerned about me and the machine. A few minutes later, he was trying to take off some beaded necklaces he’d been wearing, very calmly saying all the while “God damn it, God damn it, God damn it!”

Can you hear yourself in your kids?

What sweet phrases has your little one picked up?

12 Responses to:
"When Toddlers Pick Up Adult Phrases, Part 1"

  1. ashley k. smith

    My lil ones say “here ya go” and “there ya go”. I had never realized how often I said it. Lately, they have been starting most answers with “ummmmmmm……”. They also will comment on pictures and people as being “bootifull”. I call their art beautiful. All the time. It is adorable.

  2. Rachel

    My little guy hasn’t started speaking much yet. But I take care of an older boy, now 5, but was 3 while I was pregnant. His favorite “that sucks” also during the elections he would say “Mccain Palin!” “GObabma” “NObama” “NoCain”

  3. pshouseblog

    T says “did you see that?” which is from me trying to direct pappas attention to whatever she is doing. She now says it for me: “dada, did you see that?? Did you see that??” over and over until he looks. Ooops :)

  4. Heather   xakana

    Lilly loves the “Well, sometimes” phrase… it’s such a part of her vocabulary that I’m just glad she’s not dropping as many absolutes (“You NEVER gave me a peanut butter and jam sandwich before!” for example, when she’d had one two days before or, “You always help me dress my doll” for something I’ve not done before, etc.).

    Yeah, when she drops a bad word, I crack up. And she chastises me for using them later, lol, after I explain that we aren’t supposed to use certain words. Like the time she asked, “Daddy, are you going to put your f***ing seatbelt on so we can go?” in a chipper voice as though f-bombs are for everyday usage. I couldn’t breathe for trying to stop myself laughing and explained that it wasn’t a good word and no, Mommy shouldn’t say it so much, LMAO. She hasn’t used it again, sweet thing. Mommy has :”o

    I don’t know that I have any particularly good catch phrases that I’ve caught her saying.

  5. Jennifer

    When I ask my little 2 year old how some part of his meal is, he’ll say, “Not bad.”

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      Jennifer – I’ve said before that if Kieran was my only food critic, I’d feel like a famous chef. He is always labeling my food “YUM!” or a very enthusiastic “pretty good!” (That doesn’t sound like a great compliment, but it’s the feeling behind it that makes it one :))

  6. Acrophile

    My 4yo has taken to saying, after one (sometimes *each*) bite of food, “Not bad. Not bad at all.”

  7. Amber   AmberStrocel

    My daughter totally picked up her ‘bad’ words from me. You’ll have to trust me when I say that her 2-year-old self yelling, “Dammit, they’re out of blueberries!” at the grocery store wasn’t so cute. Especially because she did it directly in front of a pair of older ladies. Of course.

    Fun times!

  8. Sarah

    I have to admit that to me a two year old dropping the F-bomb is one of the cutest things in the world : ) lol I don’t laugh in front of the kids though – and I never say anything about it either – I know where it came from.

    One thing our older DD (3.5) has started saying that I love is “Mommy I think we need to find a solution. Let’s sit down and figure it out.” lol Obviously some of the better things out of my mouth stick as well as the not so nice.

  9. antiprincess

    not too long ago my husband and I got into a really intense argument (I plead extenuating circumstances – we were climbing up a really steep hill on a 98-degree day with some 100% humidity! that’s fighting weather!). Wolfie (age two) was on my back in the Babyhawk as I was trying desperately to trudge up this ridiculous hill while my husband was just plain losing his s*it…did I mention I was six months pregnant at the time?

    all of a sudden, I hear this little voice over my left shoulder:

    “Eff that guy! Eff that guy! Ess on that guy! Eff outside! Eff outside, mama! Ess on that guy, dad!”

    but substitute the, you know, real word where appropriate.

    put a stop to that argument but quick, I tell you what. can’t cuss out your spouse when you’re peeing your pants laughing…

  10. Melissa

    ah. it is hilarious to see what things I say a lot. I absolutely agree that when my nearly 3 yr old daughter says a phrase I use often, it is waaaay cuter coming out of her mouth!

    She has taken to saying “2 minutes mama!” If I tell her it’s time to do something she doesn’t want to… she’ll tell me, she’s gonna continue her current activity for 2 more minutes before she’ll comply. it’s freakin’ hilarious!!

    also, when i get upset and start to lose my temper, as soon as i ‘catch myself’ and get my emotions in check, clearly, the first thing I say is “I love you” to my daughter. (my intention is to clarify that although I am angry, I am moreso angry at the situation [feeling frustrated] and not so much at angry at my dear 2 yo daughter). I don’t like losing my temper, but it does happen pretty often, apparently. So, when my daughter gets upset, she will stop herself and say “I love you, mama”

    my baby girl is a little mirror-image of me in so many ways. also, i have a habit of saying ‘just kidding’ a lot. however, my daughter hasn’t quite figured out what one can be ‘just kidding’ about. she, as 2 yr-olds do, has her fair share of wild mood swings. she’ll be mid-scream, then come out with ‘i’m just kidding, mama. i’m happy’ she’ll say with tear-stained cheeks.

    i have a nearly 6 month old daughter, too. my big girl often interacts with her the same as I do, including nuzzling her neck and saying ‘aaaah-GOO-goo-goooo!’ makes my baby girl bust into giggles every time. and a two year old saying ‘aaaaah-GOO-goo-goooooo! to a baby is beyond hilarious.

    love it!

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