Mother (Almost Never) Knows Best: Toddler Charades: A 90s Musical Tribute

Friday, 9 March 2018

Toddler Charades: A 90s Musical Tribute

My toddler remains on the cusp of being a conversationalist. He has mastered a few key phrases including, but not limited to:

"Pot pot"

"I don't like"

"Are you OK?"

"T-ank ooo"

" 'ey Duggee?"

However, the vast majority of his utterings remain a nonsensical babble which is mostly directed at his beloved sister and which is always accompanied by the most earnest of expressions etched on his rather beautiful face (not biased in anyway.) His sister has the patience of a saint; engaging her skills as a thespian by pretending to understand, utilising her "active listening" body language and responding with generic phrases like:

"Oh really?!"

"That is interesting!"

"Tell me more"

Always There to Lend an Ear

But there are times when these platitudes will not appease him and he desperately craves understanding. He is clearly demanding something that is imperative to his continued survival but, for the life of me, I cannot decipher what. The resultant routine, which we have down to a fine art, can be summarised in a number of 90s classic hits. Why? 

Because [I] Want To!

"Why d'you always say what's on your mind? Because we want to! Because we want to! "
(Think Billie Piper in a crop top, baggy trousers and a classic 90s up-do. Got it? You are welcome.)

Stage One: Say My Name by Destiny's Child

"Say my name, say my name
If no one is around you"

The first thing that will happen is that my name will be emitted like a siren, with the toddler barely drawing breath in between anguished cries of:

"Mum-my, Mum-my, Mum-my..." (repeat until hoarse.)

On hearing his summons, I will abandon whatever I am, undoubtedly, in the middle of doing and present myself at his service. Did I mention that he is my baby? Anyhoo, he will continue to call my name upon my arrival despite my multiple, varied and exuberant gesticulations until I acknowledge his call verbally: "Yes, Sire?"

"Mum-my, Mum-my, Muuuuuuum-myyyyyyy"

Stage Two: You Oughta Know by Alanis Morissette

"It's not fair, to deny me
Of the cross I bear that you gave to me
You, you, you oughta know"

At this point, he shall look at me with a quizzical expression. Upon realising that we are not able to communicate telepathically, he shall roll his eyes thereby placing the blame firmly at my door, exhale loudly and mutter:

"Blah bloo blaboo blah bloo blah. Blah bloo?"

Upon hearing him trying to converse with me, my expression will lift into one of maniacal joy. He is trying to tell me something! He is so clever! No one has ever been this clever in the history of clever people. We shouldn't gloat, no one likes those parents who boast about their toddlers. Just look at that Deborah from playgroup. She is always banging on about Jack's self potty training over a two day period and his ability to catch a ball while standing on one leg, with his hands tied behind his back. No one likes Deborah. No, we shall keep this one to ourselves and just bask in the happy glow of knowing that our toddler is going to change the world.

"Come on, Mother.... focus"

Wait. Why is he looking at me like that?


Oh! He wants me to respond?


Stage Three: I Want It That Way by The Backstreet Boys

 "But I want it that way

Tell me why
Ain't nothin' but a heartache
Tell me why
Ain't nothin' but a mistake
Tell me why"

The next stage involves me haring around the room like a rabbit on Ritalin whilst he repeats his indecipherable command at crescendoing volumes. I will try to follow the general direction of his wild, thrusting points which he casts around the room with reckless abandonment, becoming increasingly frustrated at my apparent incompetence as his primary caregiver and swearing never to partner me in any future games of charades.

"That! No, not that. That!"
When I proffer what I think he has been longing for he wails in anguish. How could I do this to him? How could I hurt him in this way? Am I doing this on purpose? I throw the offending object over my shoulder and start again.

Stage Four: Killing In the Name Of by Rage Against the Machine

"F@&! you, [you] won't do what [I tell you]
 F@&! you, [you] won't do what [I tell you]
F@&! you, [you] won't do what [I tell you]
F@&! you, [you] won't do what [I tell you]
F@&! you, [you] won't do what [I tell you]
F@&! you, [you] won't do what [I tell you]
F@&! you, [you] won't do what [I tell you]
F@&! you, [you] won't do what [I tell you]
F@&! you, [you] won't do what [I tell you]!
F@&! you, [you] won't do what [I tell you]!
F@&! you, [you] won't do what [I tell you]!
F@&! you, [you] won't do what [I tell you]!
F@&! you, [you] won't do what [I tell you]!
F@&! you, [you] won't do what [I tell you]!
F@&! you, [you] won't do what [I tell you]!
F@&! you, [you] won't do what [I tell you]!

Incandescent rage.

He is overcome with frustration; he locks his elbows, clenches his dimpled hands into immoveable fists and proceeds to bang his head on whichever surface is closest and hardest. This is it. He must end it all. Inflicting pain on himself is the only possible answer. Nobody will ever understand him.

"Don't look at me..."

Stage Five: Enter Sandman by Metallica

 "Exit, light
Enter, night
Take my hand
We're off to never-never land"

I go to retrieve him, hopefully  in time to prevent any serious concussions and he instantly becomes compliant; moulding himself around me and snuggling in, his body limp with sheer exhaustion. 

He looks up; the realisation dawning that he now has reach and leans his body in the direction that he wants me to go. At my height he can reach the fridge door which he then beckons me to open. 


It's always milk.

...and relax...
Lucy At Home
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