Tales of a two-year-old.

If there is an unknown substance on something, Devin will almost invariably pronounce it to be poo.
“What’s that?”
“I don’t know, Devy, maybe a bit of fluff-”
“Poo!”

He was recently playing hairdresser with my hair, using a rotary play-dough cutter, a grabbing claw and a Duplo block. The rotary tool was, as it always is, a circular saw. I’m not sure what the claw was. The block was electric clippers, I think. Then I had to do the same to him, and he made sure to tell me if I wasn’t doing it right. It’s becoming more evident recently that he’s well on his way to being a three-year-old child, not a two-year-old toddler.

If he’s really enjoying some food, he likes to tell us that it’s his favourite. Soup, noodles, pasta, apricots, chocolate and corn are all his ‘fave-rit’ so far.

He says ‘sorry’ a lot. A lot. Mostly for some very minor thing that hardly warrants an apology. Most often, he repeats, “Sah-ee ’bout”, which is ‘sorry about that’. I’m not sure why he dropped the ‘that’.

We were playing a popular game that I have just now named ‘Mummy-Devy’, and it works in much the same way as Marco Polo, except that in this instance (and many others) we were right in front of each other. When I switched around and pointed to him and said, “Mummy”, pointed to myself and said, “Devy”, he shook his head and laughed, then gave me a huge hug and said, “I lub you!”
Now, my shameful admission is that I don’t say that very often. To anyone. Jene says it to Devin more than I do, but I was still extremely surprised to hear Devin say it. I was speechless for a few seconds before finally saying, “Oh, Devy, I love you, too!”

He refers to himself as either “debbin”, “deh-win” or “deh-wee”. It is insanely cute.

Like many boys, he likes to do silly things on purpose and then say, “funny!” to get attention. We do tell him that he’s a ‘funny boy’, so I’ll take responsibility for that. Today, though, he was running at a park and fell over in a very awkward and amusing way – when Jene and I got past that split second of making sure it was a harmless fall, we both burst out laughing. Devin looked at us from the ground and said, “not funny.” That, of course, made us laugh harder, so he repeated it. It was especially amusing because neither of us could recall a time when we told him that something was “not funny” – he’d put the words together himself. Which might not sound super amazing, but it is – he’s moving from a wholly repeated vocabulary into one that he can mould to his needs.

Everything is “stuff”. If there’s a bunch of something, Devin refers to it as “stuff”. He brought Jene into his room one day after I’d been playing with him, pointed to the assortment of cars, animals and Mario plush toys on the ground, and said, “stuff!” If a room is untidy, he looks around and says “oh, stuff”, accompanied by a little ‘tsk’.

We specifically give hugs and kisses when he goes to bed and when he wakes up… Usually we have to ask for ours, but sometimes he’ll decide to bestow them on us unasked. He often does it when I’m getting him changed, which I think is partly a delaying technique. “Hug?” is followed by a fierce and long squeeze, and “tiss?” is followed by a very well-aimed peck on the cheek.

Pretending to talk on the phone –
“Hello, is this Devin?”
“Ummm, yes!”
“Oh, hello. What are you doing?”
*pause* “Talking.”

And finally,
We pulled up at some traffic lights next to a truck that was transporting sheep, and unfortunately our (manual) windows were wound down. I told Devin it was about to get stinky…
“Pee-yew! Stinky! Need to change it!”
“Need to change… their nappies?”
“Yes! New one on!”
“Yes, that’s a good idea, Devin. The sheep should be wearing nappies.”
Now every time he sees a livestock truck, he exclaims something like, “new nappy!” or “change it!”

Things to remember…

All right, all right, I admit it – Devin knows McDonald’s. He knows it well. If he can see that giant yellow M, he’ll point to it and exclaim. When we pull into the drive through, he throws his hand in the air and says (in Devish) “we’re here!”
The other day, we had some nuggets and he was pointing out the M symbols on the paper bag…
“Oh dear,” said Jene. “Oh, you are a smarty pants, aren’t you?”
Which prompted Devin to grab his leggings and start to pull them down. Pants were mentioned, after all.
I would like to clarify, though, that while we go there more than either of us would like, it’s not like it’s every day or every other day. I’d say a full-on week would have three visits, either for lunch or snacks. And Devin is not overly fussed by the food – he mainly only cares that he gets some chips (fries?).

There are other places that elicit the “we’re here!” exclamation. One is the Mall. It’s only five kilometres from our house, so we’re there often. Very often. The other places are the turn before our street, the turn on to our street, and the turn into our driveway.

He is, unfortunately, saying no more often. At the moment it’s not too bad, and sometimes actually funny just because of the variations in how he says it. Sometimes he says it as a question, like he’s mocking me –
“Hey, you want to come help me with this, Devin?”
“Nahhh-oh?”
Sometimes it’s just a flat out refusal –
“Ok, time to wash our hands.”
“Nah.”
Sometimes it’s a combination of question and repetition –
“Time to hop out of the bath and brush your teeth.”
“N-oh? N-oh? N-oh?” – accompanied by vigourous head shaking. (He really enunciates the ‘o’ sound of ‘no’.)
And actually now that I think about it, he also frequently says it like the French non, which is funny since he pronounces ‘hot’ with a French accent, too.

He put his face in the bubbles in his bath the other night, and came back up with a perfect moustache and goatee. It made me laugh, which made Devin laugh, which made me laugh again, and then we ended up in a fake-laugh battle.

A toddler of few words.

As a person, I worry a lot. The things I worry about and the extent that I worry about them mean I would probably be officially diagnosed with anxiety.

But, as a parent, I am surprisingly easy-going. I don’t keep an eagle eye on milestones, I don’t really compare Devin to other kids, and I don’t fret if he happens to eat something off the floor. And generally, he hasn’t really given me much cause to worry – the only times my anxiety really switches on in regard to his development and well-being is when I read too much. I tend to be uptight about whatever it happens to be this time (eating more vegetables, reading more books, doing more puzzles, saying more words etc…) for a day or two, and then I realise that I’m not really helping and there was nothing wrong to ‘fix’ in the first place.

And now comes another but.

I am becoming more preoccupied with his speech. Or specifically, his rather small vocabulary, which currently consists of Dad, ice (eyesh), Poppy (puh-pah), Mum (mum or mem), apple (appah – and every fruit is an appah), and most recently, bye.
‘Bye’ was actually kind of funny – Devin was leaving with my mum and sister to go shopping, and after he waved and stepped out the door I heard a little voice say, “Bye!” I froze, looked at my sister who was still inside, and asked, “Was that Devin?!” Yep, sure was. I hadn’t heard him say any words so clearly before, let alone an attempt to say ‘bye’, so to hear it come from his mouth in perfect English was extremely surprising. I was so shocked that my heart was racing for a few minutes afterwards.
Now, everything and everyone gets a ‘bu-byyyye!’ when they leave his line of sight.

He seems to be trying to say ‘car’ and ‘truck’, too, though I can’t recall right now what it sounds like. It’s almost like he’s mashing the two together, or deciding that all cars and trucks are close enough to being the same thing that he can use one word for everything with wheels.

And, though he doesn’t say it in a way that is even remotely like English, he does say ‘thank you’ whenever he is given something. It sounds a bit silly to say that – ‘he says it, but he doesn’t say it’. But I know. Sometimes he takes a sip of a drink, for instance, before remembering that he hasn’t said ‘thank you’, so he quickly pulls the cup away, smiles at me and says it. And I always respond with, ‘you’re welcome.’ I’m really pleased that he’s doing this without being prompted, actually. Up until he started doing it himself, I’d hand him something while saying, ‘thank you, Mum’, then follow with ‘you’re welcome, Devy’ when it was in his hands. Also, Jene and I have always said ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ often to each other. But, for whatever reason, I thought it would be a long time before Devin really picked up on it.

There are things that ease my mind. Devin babbles a lot, he makes noises when he’s playing, he knows animal noises and machine noises, he groans with imagined exertion whenever we say ‘heavy’, he recognises a lot of what we say, and he sings along to music. He’s also started to occasionally say, ‘naaah-oh’ (no) when he recognises that something isn’t quite right – like when we were lining up his little cars and he put an aeroplane in the line.

When I lay everything out like that, I feel more relaxed. It’s just a little hard not to wonder if something isn’t quite right when many 2 year olds have vocabularies up to 100 words (or more) and are stringing them together into basic sentences. It’s also hard to know when comparing is just causing undue worry, and when it might actually be helpful…