Toddlers speak louder than words…

The Bear Cub has started making some inroads with speech. There were some concerns that he might be progressing less quickly than some of his friends but he appears to have seriously upped his game in the past month or so.

He can say lots of different animals, he’s started to learn people’s names (although he still refers to the Little Boofuls as ‘Baby Arlo’ – the Good Dinosaur has a lot to answer for!) – he never seems to stop chatting away!

He’s threading words together into relatively coherent sentences and his latest challenge is counting to ten, which he can do. Almost. To paraphrase Eric Morecambe, he seems to know all the right words, but not necessarily in the right order. But he seems so pleased with himself we can’t help but praise his efforts and smile at how excited he is. 

Toddlers tend to say some outlandish things when they get talking and it’s the start of having to be even more careful about what you say as you have no idea of what they are going to pick up on. When they are tiny you can still get away with the odd slip up and a hint of bad language – not so with the toddler! They will swallow that up and make it the only thing they want to say in polite company for weeks!

Which brings us onto one of the Bear Cub’s more memorable forays into vocabulary. Aside from exploring words, he is also exploring his anatomy. All children go through this, but the innocent exploration of all that their body has to offer can be mortifying if you catch them at it. In his case, he was in the bath and his bottom was being given the kind of personal investigation that could have resulted in him producing a scale model of it later.

The other half was bathing him that night, so you can imagine my amusement when first I hear her dulcet tones exclaim ‘Bear Cub, stop playing with your butt hole’. 

I put down whatever it was I was doing and started to make my way through to see what was going on, only to hear a small voice say something I wasn’t expecting…

‘Butt. Hole’

The first reaction is to laugh; which both myself and the other half did. A lot. 

Well, you don’t often hear a two year old shout such a thing with perfect clarity. The problem is that this is pretty much the worse thing you can do. The Bear Cub, spotting the reaction this word combination is getting him, repeats it again and again, shrieking with glee. 

The other half is still giggling away but I’ve just had the realisation of what is about to happen – these are now his favourite words.

Later that week, we noticed him in the living room doing his ‘pooface’ – the Cub is not a big fan of the whole ‘poo’ thing and tends to let us know about it. His words on this occasion? 

‘Poo. Butt. Hole’.

Every time he did one, he said it. Every time. He even said it at a children’s party in the village hall. I say ‘said’ – it was closer to ‘announced’. Isn’t it funny how everything seems to go quiet just at the moment your child shouts something embarrassing across to you, even in the most crowded of spaces. 

This lasted for a number of weeks before things settled down and we don’t hear it as often as we used to. We also agreed in future to use the words ‘bum’ and ‘bottom’ – well, I did. The other half was non committal and, in my opinion, unrepentant about the whole saga. To me they just sound a bit more appropriate but I suppose no matter how you look at it, it’s still his arse he’s referring to. Hardly the greatest philosophical topic. 

I’m sure we’ll continue to slip up and he’ll carry on filtering out our errors as his ‘words of the week’. I nearly died when at the safari park recently he shouted what I thought was ‘Asshole’ at the elephants. I mean, after all, what did they do to him?!
After an accusatory look at the other half (let’s face it, she has previous…) it turns out it’s just what he calls them – neither of us know why. 

Think we’ll be avoiding the zoo for a while…

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