Toddler Terminology – Bedtime

Toddlers have a unique and often humorous way of describing certain things. So this post introduces a new feature to this website I am calling Toddler Terminology. Occasionally, I will post a column on Toddler Terminology that identifies some of the interesting and funny terms I hear the toddlers say.

In this post I want to share some terms the toddlers use related to bedtime.

Bedtime (or naptime) is a big deal for toddlers because it requires them to cease talking and/or moving. Although toddlers need lots of sleep, they do everything they can to avoid it!

The following terms will give you a little indication of what the bedtime routine is like around our house.

“Goggy”Noun, refers to a small, brown, silky blanket that is carried everywhere. The toddler can’t possibly take a nap or go to sleep at night without it even though he doesn’t know where it is because it has been carried around everywhere and dropped somewhere. However, it must be found prior to laying down in bed because it is impossible to go to sleep without it. It is usually accompanied by a stuffed Barney toy, hence the question: “Where is my Goggy and Barney?”

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Original Sin

Raising toddlers can certainly make you believe in original sin.

There’s no way they could have learned all that bad behavior from me!

Let me rephrase that last statement: There’s no way they could have learned all that bad behavior from me in the short span of their lives thus far!

They fight with each other so much I feel like a referee. No, I feel more like judge, jury, and prosecuting attorney, trying to figure out who did what to whom and why and then mete out justice.

Sometimes I don’t see what happens, so I have to look for evidence. Most often that evidence is in the form of teethmarks, red handprints, or scratches.

Kaleb is bigger and can handle himself fine in hand-to-hand combat. In fact, with his superior strength he can easily subdue Kenzie. So Kenzie has to resort to guerrilla tactics. She swoops in from out of nowhere and inflicts a bite, pinch, push, or kick so quickly that Kaleb can only respond with wails and tears.

But toddlers don’t carry a grudge. And so one minute they’re fighting and the next minute they’re loving on each other.

Sometimes I wish grown-ups could be more like toddlers!

Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milkshakes

My mother always said I take things too seriously. So did my wife.

So I get it. I’m a serious guy.

But life is serious business. And you don’t want to screw it up. Everyone should understand that–even if you’re a toddler.

But toddlers are NOT SERIOUS. In fact, with toddlers, life is a game, life is play, life is all about having fun.

Don’t they realize that they could grow up and become uncivilized barbarians, brutes, heathens, if they don’t take things more seriously? They can’t continue to be so carefree and have any hope of ever becoming productive members of society!

So, let me tell you what happened last Saturday and I think you’ll begin to understand my concern…

Last Saturday I thought it would be nice to get out of the house for a little while. We live in a very small town and they just got a new milkshake machine at the store/gas station down the road.  I thought it would be a nice outing to take the toddlers to watch the machine make a milkshake.

You might recall if you’ve been following my posts that Sissy is in the midst of potty-training. She had just done No. 1 and 2 in the potty and so I felt like we were on roll!

Yes, the perfect opportunity to take the toddlers out had presented itself!

I got them strapped in their car seats and ran back into the house to get something. By the time I got back outside she had wet herself–and the car seat!

The day was ruined! I swore that there was no way we were going to make a milkshake run because now it wouldn’t be, it couldn’t be, any fun. But what was so infuriating was that Sissy didn’t even seem to feel bad about what she did.

Didn’t she realize she had just spoiled our day?

So by the time I finished changing her I felt guilty because Kaleb was an innocent by-stander to this fiasco. Why must he be punished for Sissy’s indiscretion? So I recanted on my oath not to take them to get a milkshake and again we loaded in the car and went on our way.

After arriving at the store and watching this amazing new machine prepare milkshakes (Did I mention that they each had to make a run to the bathroom in the store while the machine was making their milkshakes?), we proceeded to the check-out counter to pay, each one carrying their freshly-made, thick and delicious chocolate milkshake! (I planned to share Sissy’s milkshake with her as I was sure it was more than she could drink herself.)

At the check-out counter I also ordered a corndog for each of us. This was certainly going to be the perfect Saturday. Now I wouldn’t have to figure out what to cook for lunch because we had corndogs and milkshakes! As I turned to check on the location of the toddlers, Kaleb walked up with his milkshake and proceeded to drop it on the floor (and my foot) right in front of the counter.

The clerk ran around the counter with some towels and started sopping it up. I recovered the milkshake cup with about a third of it left in the cup. I took it over to one of the little dining tables in the store and made Kaleb and Kenzie sit down at the table with their milkshakes .

I went back to the counter to pay, apologizing profusely for the mess in the middle of the store. While I was paying, I glanced back and now Sissy had knocked her milkshake off the table and it spilled all over the floor around the table!

Again the clerk came running around the counter with some towels. But this time she just threw the towels on the spilled milkshake and returned to the counter, presumably to complete my transaction so we would leave the store before any more accidents occurred.

I recovered about a third of her milkshake, paid the clerk, and got us out of there as fast as I could.

I was furious! I was outraged!

I swore I would never take them anywhere again. How could they be so careless! And most of all, why weren’t they as upset as I was about spilling their milkshakes and causing all this trouble and embarrassment!

If they were upset, it was only because I was mad (though making me mad seems to be a great source of enjoyment for Sissy)!

I guess I am finally starting to see some humor in it all after several days. However, at the time it seemed like their lives were headed for ruination and my care and tutelage was having little or no effect on their descent into a life of barbarism!

OK, so I’m being melodramatic. But that’s what overly serious people like me do. Why I’m the archetype for the old saying, “Don’t cry over spilled milk.” I’m the quintessence of making the trivial significant!

Yes, I take things too seriously and their toddler ambivalence causes me a lot of frustration. So maybe it’s my behavior, not theirs, that we should be concerned about!

After all, they’re small and cuddly and carefree for only a short while. Why impose all my adult expectations on them so early in their, thus far, brief lives?

“So ease up on them, Poppy,” I tell myself. Sometimes, you may need to stop and take a deep breath and take heed to the lyrics from a song by that famous British rock band and just Let It Be, Let It Be

We Don’t Eat Dirt?


I seem to be daily developing new rules for good behavior in our household. You might even think I have too many rules.

Though there may be countless rules, the toddlers have no problem continuously reciting my rules.

But just because they can quote the rules doesn’t necessarily mean they OBEY the rules!

And when they quote a rule, they state it in the interrogative form, not the imperative (that is, as a question, not a command).

Let me give you an example. While Kenzie is taking a bath, she grabs one of the little cups she is playing with in the bathtub, scoops up a cup of water, takes a little taste of bathwater and says:

“We don’t drink water in the bathtub?” (Notice it’s in the form of a question. I call it an imperative/interrogative sentence. They transpose the command into a question to make it seem all right!)

Why are you making my rule into a question? And why are you asking me if it’s all right to do it when you’ve already done it? And so what’s my options now that you’ve already broken the rule?

So here’s some of the other rules they often cite. I’ll let you use your imagination to consider the circumstances under which they are recounting these rules.

“We don’t eat dirt?”

“We don’t eat boogers?”

“We don’t pee in the pool?”

“We don’t pull the cat’s tail?”

So tell me this. Am I delusional or are the toddlers actually using the rules I create to empower themselves to commit the inappropriate behavior the rules are intended to prevent?

They’re toddlers…surely they can’t be that savvy….

Can they??

Girls Sit, Boys Stand

For this first post I thought I would start describing some of the rules I have established for this new adventure and let you know how they are working out. You see, I like things organized and so it’s helpful to have rules so we all know what to do and how to do it. And, of course, having rules helps things run smoothly around our home, right?

While my rules are certainly no “Ten Commandments,” they are intended to help maintain some semblance of good behavior and help me maintain order and control in our home.

After all, I’m the grown-up, so shouldn’t I be in control?

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