Thursday, March 6, 2014

Chicken Nugget House and Other Stories

If you don't count the times my mom tells me to clean the bathroom, living at my parents' has had a lot of perks. It's been really fun living closer to family the past couple months, especially my niece and nephew. They are two and almost-one, and noticeably grow every time I see them.

In effort to make sure I remember the funny toddler things that they do, and to provide some cheer after the umpteenth snowstorm (it's like Narnia about now - always winter and never Christmas), here are some funny stories about my niece, Claire:

The first is from a few months ago when she only had a few words in her vocabulary: "boat," "wada boddo" (water bottle), etc." The funny thing was, when she was mad, she'd just say any words she could think of, including her favorite artists, Toby Mac. (Ok, he's one of my favorites too. This is what happens when you grow up listening to DC Talk. Yes, Mary and I are still ten at heart and dragged our kind hubbys to his concert last year. And since Claire really only hears the music that her parents choose to play, she was doomed.) So since "Toby Mac" was one if the few words in her repertoire, it became like her version of a curse word. For example, my dad had to pick her up once when she was running away, and she flailed her arms screaming, "No! No! Toby Mac! Toby Mac!"

Once she got more mobile, she started getting into things that she shouldn't, to which her mom would just say, "no no" and she'd obey. It didn't take long though, for her to realize that it's like a fun game when she does not do what she's told. The funny thing about Claire, is that she will defiantly do exactly what she shouldn't (touch outlets, play with scissors, scratch her brother), but she'll correct herself while doing it. She says, "Nooo nooo," while touching electronics, or tells her dad, "I'm disobeying." Let's hope she either starts obeying or stops tattling on herself. Clearly only one of those is a good option.

Have I mentioned how much Claire loves salt? We sometimes have to hide it at dinner or she will continually ask for it, dump some on the table, then eat it. I'm not totally sure how she made the connection, but with so many snow storms, she's been snacking on the salt that's spread on the porch to prevent ice.

The other day she said to me, "Sarah sad. Jasee long trip." Then she tells me to pretend cry because she thinks it's funny.

She calls McDonald's "chicken nugget house."

Another thing we laugh about is her penchant for nicknames. She normally says "Mommy" when referring to her mother, but sometimes has silly moods where it turns into "Mommy-a-ma," or "Mamu." "Pop pop," my dad's name, is sometimes pronounced "Popth" with the same ending noise and saliva spray as when you stick your tongue out and blow. I find it hilarious that these names aren't spontaneous either. She plans her silly names and once told my mom before my dad came home, "I'm gonna say 'Popsy poo.'" My mom decided she wanted to go by the Filipino word for grandma, Lola. "L" words seem especially hard for kids, so for a long time Claire said something closer to "Ra-rai" (said: ruh rye, like rye bread). But when my mom, who can sometimes have a hard time pronouncing words, tries to repeat Claire's name for her it sounds like "Wa-wai." But then my dad repeats what my mom says and it turns into "Wawee." Did you get that? There are three iterations of nickname that result in Claire saying to my mom, "Wawee, I call you wawee." I told you she plans out her goofy names. I didn't think the ESL in our house could get any better. Turns out that when you add a kid learning to talk it does! The best part is that with all her nicknames, she doesn't as many for her dad. Instead, her favorite name for him is calling him by his first name! "Jiiiiiim," she'll say through a clenched smile.

My last story involves her bed time story routine. You know how kid's books have all these rhymy nonsense words? (No wonder they come up with goofy words on their own! We encourage it!) One of Claire's favorite books is full of animals singing nonsense-word songs, Dooby Dooby Moo - I think from a Chick-fil-a kid's meal.  Even nonsense though, needs to be read properly. One night when her dad was reading it, she told him, "Mommy read it. Too hard for Daddy."