Can you recognize these half-babbled toddlerisms from Peter? They are presented in increasing order of difficulty. It’s a fun game, but unfortunately the stakes when playing in person are a very irate 2 year old who is mad that you can’t understand him. Hints to give you context. Answers below.
1) “I faw down inna pakeen lawt.”
Hint: He was showing us a “boo-boo” on his knee.
Hint: Music and credits with a roaring MGM lion had just come on the TV screen.
3) “Bakyargehns. Widda fwyeen rock.”
Hint: I had asked, “What show would you like to watch?”
4) “Won gweh! WON GWEH!”
Hint: I had just tucked him in for bed.
5) “Guhb. GUHHHHB! WAN GUHHHHB!”
Hint: He had just finished washing his hands in the bathroom sink.
You can answer these in your head right now as you read them. Just remember that the correct way to solve these puzzles, when presented to you in person, is that you MUST repeat them out loud correctly back to Peter. We are beyond “Uh-huh,” “Really?”, “Tell me more,” and other filler statements that once upon a time would encourage more babbling. Now, if you try that, he repeats himself. Louder. Oh, and clearly very frustrated. Basically he puts caps lock on, like I’ve demonstrated here. At least he’s realizing that with the binky in his mouth he can’t articulate well, so sometimes when repeating he will take the binky out and let you have it. We’re getting there.
1) “I fall down in the parking lot.” He was running after Jack over to me in a parking lot and tripped and skinned his knee. This is the longest complete sentence he’s said to date, tied with “Daddy w’yoo fix my spaceship?”
2) “Tom and Jerry.” Katherine misheard him at first and said “No, that’s not a kitty, it’s a lion, Peter.” It was a bit striking to us that he recognized it was Tom and Jerry before any image of the titular animals appeared on screen. It means two things. First, he’s demonstrating his musical memory by recognizing the Tom and Jerry anthem. Second, he’s watching too much Tom and Jerry on TV.
3) “Backyardigans. [The episode] with the Flying Rock.” Are you saying it’s unfair that you had to guess the last two words? I thought so too — I didn’t know them either, until I went to the DVR menu under Backyardigans and saw that there was an episode with Flying Rock in the name–an episode which my wife so cleverly flagged as “Save Until I Delete.”
4) “Wrong way.” The trick here was not so much figuring out what he was saying, but what he meant. Which turned out to be that I had tucked him in with the cover upside down. Apparently he likes the square pattern on the top, and not the tiny starry dots pattern on the flip side. If anything’s off in his bedtime routine, he’ll tell you. Just as sure as he hands his sippy cupy of milk to me in my left hand and gets his binky from my right, saying “Milk go dis hand, binky in DIS hand.”
5) “Cup. [I] want [a] cup.” He would like to have a drink of water since he’s at the sink. Also, he’d like to play in the sink for another 10 minutes… so please bring him one of his plastic cups. Sheesh. This one took me a minute and there was a lot of screaming of that monosyllabic enigma.