Learning The Language of Toddlers


Learning the language of toddlers is like learning a foreign language, but not like any of the ones they teach you in school!

Before my daughter started talking, I remember a friend telling us how she’ll soon say words that sound nothing like the “real word” but you (and only you) will know exactly what she means.  Well, my daughter just turned 2 years old I can say we have finally reached this stage! 

We started teaching her sign language early on and it was pretty easy when she had about five signs down.  She would do the sign for milk, eat or please and we’d know exactly what she meant.  Now we’re in a new world of words like dip-dip, batit and mease… Do you know what those mean?  Well, I do!

“Dip-Dip” means ice cube.  I have no idea where she got this term and  I’m not sure what kind of little diva we’re raising, but she refuses to drink water unless there are ice cubes involved.  She will walk over to the refrigerator, reaching up to the ice maker demanding “dip-dip, dip-dip!”  Of course, this isn’t to be confused with “dip” which might mean hummus, baba ganoush or any other sort of dip we have in the refrigerator to go with her cucumber slices, carrot sticks or pretzels.

A “batit” is her pacifier.  Once again, I have no idea where this term came from and it’s not to be confused with “bankit” which is her blanket.  I know it seems like these words would not be easily be confused, but when she’s upset and/or tired, they sound very similar coming from her little self.  Luckily for me, if I’m confused as to which she wants she will point to her mouth and I know she means pacifier! P.S. If anyone has tips to get rid of the batit, please pass them along!

“Mease” means please.  No matter how much we emphasize the correct pronunciation of “please” she continues to say “mease.” It’s helpful for us that “please” was one of the first words she learned to sign, so “mease” along with the sign for “please” lets us know what she means and that we are in fact raising a polite little girl.

These are just a few of the words in Emily’s secret toddler language.  While on one hand, I long for the days when I can easily understand what she means and speaks in perfect English, I know I will miss these days of playing “what does she mean?!?” with my husband.

Does your child have a secret language of their own?  What are some of your favorites they say?  I’d love to hear what your littles call certain things!