The teenage toddler

Ordinary toddlers use the word NO – a lot.

“Teenage toddlers,” that is, toddlers who are around their cranky teenaged big siblings too much of the time,  already know they must resort to more sophisticated arguments.

Hence, Gavriel Zev’s endearing new habit of screaming “WHY?” when  he’s told he can’t do something.  Copied directly from big sibs, of course.  And like them, he doesn’t wait for an answer before screaming it again.  Like for them, the answer is not as important to him as registering an insistent vocal objection.

A couple of weeks ago, Naomi Rivka (who is not a toddler, but who continues to look to her siblings for inspiration) went through a phase of shrieking, “you’re not a mother!” at anybody, but especially at me.  It was meant to be the most hurtful thing one could imagine, but I couldn’t help finding it just a little bit cute.

And then there’s today’s gem, from Gavriel Zev:  “that doesn’t make any sense!”  Also an exact copy of dialogue he has heard many, many times.  But kind of endearing, nonetheless, when he shrieked it after I asked him to clear his dishes.

There is much that could be said against clearing dishes, but “not making sense” – well, that’s pure teenage toddler non-sense.


  1. I love this post and, for the record, I have *so* had these choice words yelled at me, too! & you're right: the "You're not a Mama!" *is8 on the endearing side!

  2. I love when they test things out they've heard. It's so cute watching them figure things out.

  3. I still giggle when I remember how my then 4-year-old son kept shouting, "I'm going to be BORED!" on his first day in a new gan.

    He was understandably nervous about going to a new gan with a new gannenet, but his choice of words - copied directly from his older siblings - cracked me up.

    It was especially funny, because the concerned gannenet, who didn't speak any English, kept asking me what was the matter and if there was anything he needed...


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