language · slice of life

The Things a Two-Year-Old Says…

Not long after Ari learned how to say “Peek-a-boo,” he began to play Peek-a-boo with his stuffed puppies. About a week or so later, Ari started playing Peek-a-boo with the Puppies using his favorite blanket. Soon after, Ari started telling me that “Puppy is peeking my boo.” I had no idea what that meant. The reference to peeking my boo persisted. Ari would put one of the puppies up-close to his face and would say “He’s peeking my boo” every time. I began to worry since it sounded a little naughty. I consulted the Urban Dictionary and was reassured peeking my boo wasn’t slang. After breathing a sigh of relief, I chalked it up to strange toddler speak.

For the past couple of weeks, Ari has been engaged in pretend play with his stuffed puppies. This time, he has the puppy get close to his nose, makes a sniffing sound, and then says, “Puppy’s sneaking me.” Just like peeking my boo, having puppy sneak him makes zero sense. Yet again, I consulted the Urban Dictionary and — thankfully — came up empty handed.

This morning, Ari was in rare form after he called for me from his room. Both of the puppies were sneaking him when I walked into his room this morning. I snapped a photo of this happening since it made me laugh.

One day, Ari is going to grow up and shed all of these silly expressions. But for now, they’re part of his developing language and I’m all for it… as long as none of his Ari-isms show up in the Urban Dictionary!

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13 thoughts on “The Things a Two-Year-Old Says…

  1. These are great phrases! I love “peeking my boo” – too cute. In our house, we still call external chargers “lightning slappers” because of one child’s persistent phrasing when he was a toddler. May you all still occasionally peek some boos years from now.

  2. I love that you checked out Urban Dictionary! lol We still refer to granola bars as goodah bars and futons as tufons in our house. With all that creative language going on, it sounds like Ari is a writer in the making!

  3. OMG I love Peeking my Boo! That is adorable! (And it does sound kind of naughty so glad you checked that out!) Such a cute slice. Jessica had one today about her 2 year old Rose and the things she says- I am making some text to text connections here! 🙂

  4. Love this – such a creative use of language. I think I’ll be copying some of Ari’s phrases and others mentioned here – you never know what can spark a writing idea!

  5. “Puppy’s sneaking me” and “Peeking my boo” – absolutely THE.BEST. I think language development and play in toddlers and kids is such fun! Both your slice and Jess’s this week, has me remembering the playful, creative words and phrases my own kids used! My favorite was Hannah called barefeet, “wearing your toes”! So glad you’ve captured Ari’s life and language in your slice! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Cutie pie! It is actually a lot like EAL students who find creative ways to talk around the words they do not know yet – a version of circumlocution. I loved the phrases and the fact that you looked them up!

  7. This language play is fascinating. There is a thought behind what kids say but we, as adults, may not necessarily be successful at guessing what it is. I wonder whether in the future we might have kid language dictionary.

  8. This post is so sweetly similar to a post by Jess this week. Your little ones must be near to the same age. I remember so many malapropisms that my oldest said when he was just starting all away freely. I hold them in my heart.

  9. This reminds me of something I used to do in my first grade classroom–I think the idea originally came from Georgia Heard. We made an anchor chart and called it, “That Sounds Like Poetry!” I made a big deal of pouncing on an authentic snippet of kid talk to get the ball rolling, and from then on, whenever we overheard a classmate use a turn of phrase that included creative wordplay or evoked unexpected imagery, we added it to the chart. I found that this encouraged kids to listen to each other differently, mining for gems. Love the playfulness of kid talk!

  10. Such a fun post Stacey! Much like everyone else I love the playing with language. And I’ll have to remember to check in with the Urban Dictionary when I hear strange phrases in the future!

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