Friday, December 17, 2010

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.