The secret language of a one year old

Over the last few weeks I have learnt a new skill. A new language in fact. Derived from the four walls that is our lounge room and adapting every day, this new language has developed quickly and is rapidly becoming very well known to all members of our families.

Look at me say ‘doo-doos’ and I’ll know that you really mean to say is shoes. ‘Dok’ meaning clock and ‘dink’ meaning drink. ‘Naana’ banana or sultanas depending on which part of the kitchen you are standing, and going outside is always accompanied by the reminder of ‘dat’ meaning hat. There are words that we drag out of our little talker just because we find them so impressive; ‘djagaaa’ (giraffe) and words that we are trying to encourage more of; ‘peees’ (please).
‘Mumma’ and ‘Dadda’ are now easily called for and we are quickly realising that no name that we could’ve given our child would’ve been easy for him to learn. Leo, to himself, is ‘Lllllllll’ sometimes “Llllle’ but we are nowhere near the full L-e-o.

Everyday there is a new word, today it was ‘Yes’ although not really used in the right way, it was nice to hear. His usual ‘No-no-no-no-no’ although very cute, accompanied by a sassy finger wave, is being used a few too many times a day and we are crying out for an opposing answer, hence, I have been working on ‘yes’ followed by a big nod. And today I finally got it.

There are so many parts of parenting that are time-consuming, this has proved to be no different. Where I would once get around the house quietly, deep in my own thoughts, I now have a trusty sidekick following by my side and there is a constant babble. Each task I do is explained and repeated, explained and repeated. Small babblings coming from the mouth of my sidekick, mimicking the noises I am making, only sounding slightly more cuter.
As well as a constant chatter of sounds we read what can feel to be 200 stories a day, usually being the same two or three books on rotation over and over again. Some days I have been known to strategically misplace a particular book because if that is the ‘bok’ Leo chooses to be on rotation that day I feel I will, no doubt, go insane.

As a parent some things only make life harder, like when they start to walk, or should I say when they start to run. But this is one part of parenting that actually makes your life easier. Part of parenting where the hard work actually pays off. Despite driving you mad, all the rhymes and the bright coloured pages somehow seep in to that brain of theirs. All the walks you go on asking questions like, ‘Where are the trees?’ ‘Is that a bird?’ All the slow repetitive, over explained tasks, they all start of pay off and as they get older and learn more it is only going to get easier.  I used to long for the days Leo could talk. Tell me what he wanted, what was the matter when he was upset. Now, I know we are still in the early days, and most days all he can tell me that what he wants is a ‘naana’ or his bear (one word he has learnt to say perfectly), but really, if that’s all he needs to make him happy then that’s OK by me.



2 thoughts on “The secret language of a one year old

  1. There is nothing cuter than hearing your kiddly winks mispronounced words! Little E is two now and he still says all of his ‘first words’ the same cute way; no matter how hard we try and correct him. “Nana” for banana or sultanas is a mainstay in our house too, and “peese” (always adorable!). My favourite is “fafalafant” which turns out to be elephant.


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